Dedication ceremony scheduled for school multi-purpose building
With tornado repairs nearly complete, new asphalt on the pavement and the multi-purpose facility ready to open, Tonganoxie schools are starting out the year in better shape than ever.
Board members Monday night planned a dedication ceremony for the new multi-purpose facility. The event is staged for half-time of the second home football game, Sept. 8.
Richard Dean summed up the mood of the board when he commented on the work it's taken by many to get the school facilities in shape.
"Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard this summer on getting all the facilities in order, including the new multi-purpose facility," Dean said.
In other matters, Darren Neas, assistant junior high principal, said it looks as if at least three home-schooled students will be enrolling in the Tonganoxie virtual school this year. With an enrollment date that extends to Sept. 20, Neas said he's hoping additional home-schooled students will enroll.
Through this program, the school district will provide a computer in the student's home and the students will be able to use the Internet to access class assignments. A similar program, the Virtual Charter School, has been used at Basehor-Linwood for several years, and its enrollment continues to grow. Tonganoxie board members think this is one way to increase enrollment, as a decline in student numbers has plagued the district during the last several years. This will also provide home-schooled students with an accredited curriculum.
Despite enrollment decline, the school's band program continues to grow.
Charles Van Middlesworth, starting his third year of teaching band in the district, said that so far he has 44 seventh-graders, 48 eighth-graders, 44 ninth-graders and 62 upperclassmen enrolled in band.
"I hear there are new kids coming in every day," Van Middlesworth said.
With the growth in the number of band members comes the need for an increase in the number of uniforms. Here again, the band's in great shape.
"We have 30 new uniforms," Van Middlesworth said. "We have about 120 uniforms altogether. We're going to be looking really spiffy down there."
"Down there" refers to the Cotton Bowl, a band trip planned for the annual game on Jan. 1, 2001.
The band has been holding fund-raisers for this trip, which is estimated to cost about $31,000. So far they've raise more than $14,000, and more fund-raisers are planned. Still, Van Middlesworth said the band might come up short, leaving a shortfall of $5,000 to $6,000.
"If the board is interested in any way in helping us get to the Cotton Bowl, we'd be very grateful," Van Middlesworth said.
Board member Ron Moore said he thought the board could help.
"If you fall $5,000 to $6,000 short, that's not bad to send 100 kids," Moore said.
The board approved the 2000-2001 school budget, which lands the district at somewhere near the $9 million mark.
Superintendent Richard Erickson said he's hopeful that enrollment growth will mean fewer tight budgets.
Erickson expressed his appreciation to the board and the district patrons for their support of the local option budget, which this year will bring in about $1,123,473 for the school district.
The LOB is based upon a tax levy that measures at 16.73 percent of the general fund. Of that amount, about 60 percent comes from district taxpayers and 40 percent is paid by the state.
Following an executive session, the board:
Accepted the resignation of Sue Stottler as food service employee at the elementary school.
Approved the hiring of Betty Foley as custodian at Tonganoxie High School.
Approved the hiring of Matt Luck as assistant football coach at Tonganoxie High School.