Archive for Thursday, May 9, 2002

Schools plot strategies for future

May 9, 2002

In Tonganoxie, plans are under way to examine the school district's future needs.

The district has hired architects to look at the school's building needs. The work will include taking a close look at the school and community.

And the district will consider growth of the community, enrollment and taxes.

After construction and renovation plans are made, the firm will lead the school and community through a bond issue election. If an election would fail, they will stay with the district, not charging until a bond does pass.

Tonganoxie schools posted an enrollment increase this year, totaling a full-time equivalent of 1,427, compared to 1,403 in 2000.

"I think that hopefully is the sign of some good things to come," said Tonganoxie Superintendent Richard Erick-son. "I think the future is bright, there's just a wealth of potential right now with the school district and with the community."

Erickson said he sees the community coming together to work for a common cause.

"I've been impressed with the various groups, the city council, school, recreation commission," Erickson said.

Basehor-Linwood

The Basehor-Linwood school district also saw a slight gain, bumping up from 1,980 in 2000 to 1,983 at the start of this school year.

Helping the Basehor-Linwood school district show a healthy enrollment number is an Internet-based school through which children can be educated at home. In December, the virtual charter school became the first of its kind in Kansas to receive state accreditation. The program serves children in grades K-12. Students across the state who complete the high school curriculum will graduate from Basehor-Linwood High School.

Students enrolled in the program pay $30 in computer rental and $40 in textbook rental fees. The state reimburses the Basehor-Linwood school district the same amount as if the students lived in the school district.

During its first year the program enrolled 63 students. The next year there were 300, and this year and last, the number reached the 360s.

The district deliberately capped growth at 360 for this year, said Brenda DeGroot, the program's director.

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