Archive for Wednesday, July 12, 2006

School Board Briefs

July 12, 2006

Middle school work ahead of schedule

Construction manager Kris Roberts updated Tonganoxie school board members on progress of the district's $25.3 million construction program.

Roberts said the middle school, which the district plans to move into between the fall and spring semester, is on or ahead of schedule.

"The schedule for the high school is going to be really tight," Roberts said. "We have less than six weeks before we need to be turning it over."

Roberts said, in order to finish remodeling of the high school gym by Aug. 21, the floor contractor likely will have to work overtime.

Roberts noted that other work needs to be completed at the high school.

"We have a lot of work to do, so we'll be busy," Roberts said.

In part because of the new construction, the Tonganoxie school district will have two more bus routes for the 2006-2007 school year. At Monday night's board of education meeting, bus supervisor Shari Curry recommended the increase. School board members approved Curry's request on a 6-0 vote.

In a letter to the board, Curry wrote, "Second semester when we move into the new mid-level school, the unloading process in the morning and loading process in the afternoon will add approximately 25 minutes to the day of every students that rides a bus."

Curry said the additional bus routes would split the district's longest routes -- one that covers the area north of Jarbalo, and another that stretches south of Kansas Highway 32, in the southern part of the county.

Curry said if there were no change in routes, some students would board the bus at 6:35 a.m. and wouldn't return home until 4:25 p.m.

And, Curry said, another advantage of the added routes would be that the district would be able to provide bus service to students who live in Eagle Valley subdivision.

Board OKs hike in mileage rate

Tonganoxie school board members Monday night approved by a vote of 6-0 a raise in the district's mileage reimbursement from 28 cents per mile to 33 cents per mile.

Board members also approved 6-0 a milk bid from Anderson Erickson, which offered a bid slightly lower than that of Robert's Dairy. For instance a half-pint of whole milk would be 14.5 cents, vs. Robert's price of 15.36 cents.

Board members approved 6-0 a bid from MAC for repairing the multi purpose building's parking lot and for work at Tonganoxie Junior High School's track. The bid of $8,017 was the only bid.

Board elects Smith as president

Kay Smith is the Tonganoxie school district's new school board president. Monday night, school board members elected Smith as president and Liana Leslie as vice president.

Board members also approved these appointments: Audra Boone, clerk, KPERS representative and freedom of information officer; Rodney J. Stephenson, treasurer; Kansas Association of School Boards for attorney services; Jerry Daskoski, Steve Woolf and Tatia Shelton, school lunch representatives; Richard Erickson, school lunch hearing officer, compliance coordinator of federal programs and affirmative action officer; Jerry Daskoski, Tammie George, Steve Woolf, Darren Neas, Tatia Shelton and Brent Smith as school attendance officers; and The Mirror newspaper of Tonganoxie as the official district newspaper.

Also at Monday night's meeting, board members approved 6-0 TES assistant principal Tammie George's recommendation that the district begin using new standardized tests for the 2006-2007 school year.

"We haven't purchased a new standardized test for 10 to 12 years, so it's definitely time," George said.

District considers summer school plan

Summer school may no longer be an option.

At Monday night's Tonganoxie school board meeting, TES assistant principal Tammie George discussed proposed changes to the district's policy.

A highlight of the proposed changes would make summer school mandatory for students in kindergarten through the eighth grade if:

  • The students scored at basic or unsatisfactory levels in the Kansas Math or Reading Assessment.
  • They fail to meet the grade level requirements in either reading or math.

The school board would set the schedule for the summer session and determine the minimum number of days required for attendance.

This means the students would attend the minimum number of days and complete the work required each day with at least minimum competency.

George noted grades would not be raised by summer school remediation, but that students' transcripts would note a passing or failing grade during the summer session.

And George noted busing is an issue.

"I think if we make summer school mandatory, we need to make that transportation available," George said.

Another proposed change dealt with students who must repeat a grade level.

"It used to be the parents' discretion on retention," George said.

But she said state laws have changed and school districts now have more say in whether a student repeats a grade level.

George proposed the district use these factors when deciding whether a student moves to the next grade level:

  • Academic achievement in core classes.
  • Individual ability.
  • Social and intellectual maturity and readiness.
  • Satisfactory attendance.
  • Prior retentions.

The board took no action.

Board agrees to hire staff members

At Monday night's Tonganoxie school board meeting, five of the district's seven board members met in executive session for nearly four hours. Board member Darlyn Hansen was absent, and board member Kay Smith stayed out of most of the executive session, citing a conflict of interest.

After reconvening in open session, board members voted 6-0 to hire: Lezlie Martin, high school math teacher; Gayla Greer, high school Spanish teacher; Sue Walker, transfer to high school vocational counselor; Thomas Gifford, high school and junior high vocal music teacher. Board members also hired Suzie Snapp as transportation director for the 2007-2008 school year, and Rose Williams in grade school food service.

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