Preparations going forward toward the forthcoming schoolyears with a look back in review were among the order of business items USD 377 Board of Education members recently addressed.
Despite having three members absent, the board managed to take care of the business at hand with four members present on Thursday, June 13, at the district’s administrative office in Effingham. Board members absent were Kelli Bottorff, Lori Jones and Greg Smith.
Dr. Andrew Gaddis, superintendent of schools, told board members present — President Nancy Keith, Vice-president Barbara Chapman, Corey Neill and Lori Lanter — to expect more discussion concerning school safety and security measures in the near future.
Gaddis said that with support from Atchison County Sheriff Jack Laurie, the district is applying for Community Oriented Policing Services federal grant funding administered through the Department of Justice. These grants are awarded on a 75/25 basis. Meaning, if successful, the district will be responsible to pay 25 percent of the project cost out of pocket.
In other news, Gaddis announced Kansas lawmakers have renewed the opportunity for Kansas Schools to apply for another round of Safe and Secure Schools Grant funding that requires a dollar for dollar match from the successful applicants.
The district will apply for both opportunities, and if the quest for funding is successful, then there will be a need to decide how much the district will be able to spend, Gaddis said. New external and vestibule doors at Atchison County Community Junior Senior High School are priorities on the wish list for potential projects in time 1920-21 schoolyear.
Board members also unanimously approved the 2019-2021 negotiated agreement between the Atchison County Teachers Association and the Board as presented in the packet. The 38-page document is posted for all to review at www.usd377.org: click on School Board, Board Highlights June 13, 2019. Scroll to 7.02 and click on Ratification of Teacher’s Contract and Negotiated Agreement (A). The document provides information on base salary scales, fringe benefits and the teachers’ contracted days of service and other information.
Board members recessed to convene behind closed doors with Gaddis to discuss matters of nonelected personnel. Initially they expected to be in privileged session for 20 minutes. Then board members took action to extend their session for an additional 15 minutes.
After the public meeting resumed, board members unanimously approved the recommend personnel report. They extended a certified contract to Ethan Archer, instrumental music instructor, and also:
Hired Coy Atzenweiler, Darrell Cox, James McDermed and Hannah Lawerence for custodial duties performing temporary summer help at the rate of $9.50 per hour.
Hired Margaret Sundby to work in the transportation department as shop help
Accepted the resignations of Head Softball Coach Chris McManigal, Assistant Wrestling Coach Derek Oswald and Cathy Coronado, a teacher’s aide;
Accepted the retirement of Judy Chalfant, effective June 1;
Accepted the transfer of duties of Amanda Hughes to full time from half time ACCJHS social studies and half time academic interventionist;
Hired Corey Thomas as part time ACCJHS social studies and part time agriculture teacher;
Hired Rebecca Hubbs as an English Language Arts teacher at the rate of $25.80 per hour;
Approved Will Gerety and Haley Michel each receiving pay adjustments to $10 per hour, effective May 14;
Approved Rob Burge receiving a wage adjustment to $10.50 an hour, effective May 14;
Approved 63 supplemental recommendations for the upcoming school year for activities, athletic coaching and sponsorship positions.
In some other matters, board members:
Scheduled their fiscal 2020 year organizational meeting for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, and authorized Gaddis and Business Manager Megan Grace to make the appropriate transfers and close out the 2019 budget.
Unanimously adopted a proposed change in the traditional bell schedule to provide more support and opportunities for students.
Tabled a discussion and any pending action concerning proposals to fill cracks and seal asphalt around the ball fields.
Unanimously adopted an amendment for the 2019-2020 school calendar to change the Monday after Easter as a mandatory teacher holiday to a staff development day and to remove an initially scheduled staff development day from the end of the school year.
Board members also recognized the following:
Kaelyn Kimmi, for placing in the National Business Professionals Association Contest (second for Intermediate Word Processing, third place Advanced Office Systems and Procedures, and sixth for Administrative Support Team competition);
Atchison County Community Junior High School students for their North East Kansas League junior high activities overall champion honors in music, sports, athletics and academics;
Haeden Forbes, for championship achievements in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter competitions in junior high track and field;
Coltin Myers, for achievements in the discus and shot put events in junior high track and field;
Bricen Lee, Coltin Myers, Matthew Worley and Haeden Forbes, for achievements in the 100-meter relay event in junior high track and field;
Renay Myers for achievements in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter events in junior high track and field;
Danielle Chew, Isabelle Kimmi, Maelyn Smith and Renay Myers for championship honors in the 100-meter relay event in junior high track and field;
Trystin Myers, for his individual Class 3A state championship honors in the 110-meter hurdles, as well as his second-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles and qualification for the triple-jump event;
Tucker Smith, for his sixth-place finish in the 400-meter dash event at the Class 3A state tournament;
Victoria Caplinger, for her 10th place finish in the 1600-meter race at the state tournament;
Jonathan Joice, for his ninth place finish in the high jump event.
ACCHS students Bailey Wilson earned an honorable mention from NEK League Baseball, and MaKaea Forbes received honorable mention for NEK League Softball.
Avery Handke, a sixth-grader at Atchison County Community Elementary School, was brought to the attention of school board members for reading 5 million words during the 2018-19 schoolyear as tracked through the Accelerated Reader Program.