Archive for Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tonganoxie school board briefs

December 13, 2006

Tonganoxie students score well on ACT

Tonganoxie ACT scores are looking good. School Superintendent Richard Erickson told school board members Monday that high school senior John Davis had made a cumulative score of 34 on his ACT test. The highest possible score is 36.

THS counselor Kathy Walker said Tuesday five of this year's THS seniors made ACT scores of 30 or higher.

Erickson said Tonganoxie's ACT averages of 23 for the 2005-2006 school year yielded a tie for fourth place among Kansas City area schools. The ranking netted a listing in Ingram's magazine.

"It was the highest ACT average composite score in recent years and probably the highest in the school's history," Erickson said.

Executive session lasts two hours

At Monday night's school board meeting, board members met in executive session, citing matters of personnel and student confidentiality, for two hours and 15 minutes.

During the executive session, parents of a high school student met with board members for 20 minutes.

After the parents left, Tonganoxie High School principal Tatia Shelton and Tonganoxie Junior High School assistant principal Darren Neas went into executive session. About 10 minutes later, Neas left the executive session, but Shelton remained.

For the next 50 minutes, THS football coach Mark Elston, athletics director Brandon Parker and THS assistant principal Brent Smith met with board members and Shelton in the executive session.

Several minutes after leaving the executive session, Parker was asked to return to executive session.

For about the last 30 minutes of the executive session, the board members met by themselves.

After reconvening in open session, board members:

  • Approved the transfers of: Dee Stone from elementary school to middle school night custodian; Belynda Woods from junior high to middle school day lead custodian; Joyce Parker from day TES custodian to night TES custodian; Pat Hull from night TES custodian to night THS west campus custodian; Rita Hutton from night junior high custodian to night TES custodian; Debbie Pantoya from TJHS day custodian to TES night custodian; Michael Kovac from TES night custodian to THS west campus custodian; Teresa Ellis from TJHS kitchen to TMS main dish cook; Rita Emery from THS assistant basker to TMS assistant baker; LaDonna Harcar from TJHS salad bar cook to TMS salad bar cook; Helen McBroom from TJHS kitchen assistant to TMS kitchen assistant; Loretta Haase from TJHS kitchen assistant to TMS kitchen.
  • Hired Phil Neal as lead day custodian at TES; Lisa Folk as night custodian at TMS; Sophie Vinyard as TMS kitchen assistant; Geni Fields as TES baker.

At a special board meeting Nov. 29, board members met in a five-minute executive session. In open session, board members voted to accept the resignation of Jeanne Moore, THS language arts instructor.

School district's

revenue higher

In reviewing the school district's budget, Erickson said the district has $1,080,700 more in revenue for the 2006-2007 school year than in the 2005-2006 school year. He said the increase is from an increase in base state aid totaling $220,000, an increase in enrollment totaling $323,700, and an increase in the local option budget, totaling $537,000.

Of these funds, Erickson said $600,000 went toward salary increases, and $150,000 for additional utility and insurance costs for the new buildings. Funds will also pay for the addition of four custodians and three food service employees, needed to operate the new school.

Superintendent lists projects for future

At Monday night's meeting, Tonganoxie school superintendent Richard Erickson talked about future projects he thought the district should consider working on. These include:

  • Renovate practice soccer fields west of current junior high, level the field, add underground sprinklers and fence the area.
  • Renovate the multi-purpose building by removing the center interior wall to enlarge the weight room. Enlarge the girls locker room in the building as well.
  • Replace the worn carpet in the high school's former band room, which soon will become the vocal music classroom. Erickson suggested installing linoleum, rather than carpet.

Internet upgrade completed in district

Tonganoxie school district's technology coordinator Carl Robison told board members Monday night that the district's Internet service is faster than ever.

It's been upgraded to four times the earlier bandwidth, Robison said. This will enable the district to accommodate the new building's technology. And it will make it possible for classrooms to video-conference with classrooms in other school districts.

Board rejects plan

for $30,000 sign

Board members postponed deciding on whether to purchase an electric sign to place in front of the new middle school. Construction manager Kris Roberts said the proposed sign would have three lines of electronic text message space, with computerized controls located inside the school building. The cost of the sign would be about $30,000.

Board member Ron Moore asked if there was a less expensive alternative.

"It just seems that a reasonable person would think $30,000 for a sign is a lot of money," Moore said. "Could we get a different sign with different features, possibly not a deluxe sign."

Roberts said the district might not like the alternative -- a sign in which custodians climb a ladder to put letters on a lit background.

Board member Darlyn Hansen said the proposed sign has the city's approval.

"If you go in and want a different sign, you would have to go through the approval process again," Hansen said. "Any sign variance will have to go back to the planning commission."

Moore responded, "That's not a problem to me."

Board president Kay Smith said $30,000 was too high.

"It's so much money in a year where we have spent so much money," Smith said.

School board members Monday night unanimously approved an $8,664 bid from Wirenuts, a Tonganoxie security and alarm firm. Wirenuts will install monitors for security cameras and run wire to the administration offices in the grade school, middle school and high school.

Board members also approved the district's bidding and purchasing procedures policy. With prior approval of the superintendent, all bidding of materials or services will be done by the central office secretary.

At Monday's meeting, board members also voted 7-0 to accept an agreement for services through Leavenworth County Special Education Cooperative.

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