Archive for Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tonganoxie school board briefs

June 14, 2006

Here's action from Monday night's school board meeting.

District saving ahead for future growth

At Monday night's school board meeting, Tonganoxie school Supt. Richard Erickson told board members the district was close to accumulating $1 million in its capital outlay fund.

"By pushing our capital outlay balance hopefully over $1 million, if we need some additional building space in the very near future ... let's say we have an explosion of students ... we can use the capital outlay to make additions to our facilities," Erickson said.

He noted the new middle school, for students in fifth grade through eighth grade, was built so that a fourth-grade wing could be added.

THS principal reports on staff accreditation

THS principal Tatia Shelton said she had asked Kansas Department of Education officials about the accreditation of a THS physics teacher.

Shelton's research followed a district patron's complaint that the school had two teachers who were teaching courses for which they did not have primary certification to teach.

One of the teachers has since resigned.

The other, a science teacher, has obtained a waiver that allows her to continue to teach in that area as she works on becoming fully licensed, Shelton said.

The state allows a three-year waiver, and during that time, a teacher under a waiver or a provisional license is considered to be fully certified or licensed to meet QPA guidelines.

Board member Ron Moore noted, "The preferred method is still to have teachers fully accredited."

Shelton replied, "That is always the goal."

New telephones on line for district

At the recommendation of Tonganoxie school district's technology coordinator Carl Robison, board members Monday approved 7-0 a $106,979 bid from BTS LLC for Nortel telephones.

The bid will pay for purchase and installation of telephones in every classroom and every office in the district. Voice mail was included in the package.

The phone system comes with a 3-year-maintenance contract for parts, and a 90-day period for programming changes. The firm will train Tonganoxie district employees how to run the system in house.

Board approves bid for new furniture

Tonganoxie's construction manager, Kris Roberts, updated the school board members of the district's $25.3 million construction project. The work includes a middle school for students in fifth grade through eighth grade, renovation and new construction to convert the existing junior high and high school into a four-year high school, and renovation at TES to convert the facility into a kindergarten through fourth-grade facility.

"We are progressing, we are on schedule," Roberts said. "The middle school is ahead of schedule, the high school is right on schedule."

Roberts asked board members to decide on a bid for new furniture to go along with the new construction.

She noted some furniture from the grade school, that sized for older students, would be used at the new middle school.

The board approved in a 7-0 vote a bid from School Specialty. The furniture bid package includes $21,382 for the high school vocational building, $28,860 for the high school, and $237,855 for the new middle school. Roberts noted the total bid package is about $75,000 less than the district had budgeted for.

Board accepts bid for student insurance

In a 7-0 vote, Tonganoxie school board members approved Summit America's low bid of $16,562 for the district's student accident insurance policy for the 2006-2007 school year.

Erickson, who recommended the board select Summit, said the insurance company had been the district's carrier for the past few years.

"We've had a good relationship with them," Erickson said.

Board opts to re-bid for security cameras

When discussing bids for the district's security camera system, board members were unable to make a decision. There were five bidders.

Though a Missouri firm, Global Technologies, came in with a low bid of $87,049, that firm didn't follow the bid specifications.

A Tonganoxie firm, Wirenuts Security, followed the bid specifications, and came up with a slightly higher bid, at $88,399.

Board president Liana Leslie said the board is required to select the lowest bidder, unless the lowest two bids are within 1 percent of each other. She noted the bid from Wirenuts was 2 percent higher than that of Global Technologies.

Board members Ron Moore and Liana Leslie said they'd like to select the local bidder. Board member Richard Dean added, "This isn't a huge disparity."

School superintendent Richard Erickson recommended, that since Global Technologies didn't follow the bid specifications, the security package should be re-bid.

Board members voted 7-0 to reject the bids and ask the companies for new bids.

Parents as Teachers to expand locally

Kim Young, director of the Tonganoxie school district's Parents as Teachers program, requested additional funding. Currently, the district spends about $10,000 on the program. Young requested another $2,600, which she said would help her and her staff serve additional families. Young said her program works with families from the time before their children are born until the youngest child reaches the age of 3 years.

She said studies show that Parents as Teachers, which visits families in their homes, pays off in that children who participated in the program tend to do better in school.

Young noted that for every dollar the district puts into the program, the state contributes 65 cents.

The board approved Young's request 7-0.

Other board actions taken Monday night include:

  • The board approved recommended changes to the junior high and high school student manuals.
  • Voted 7-0 to approve the payment of an assessment from the Kansas Association of School Boards Workers Compensation Fund.
  • By a 7-0 vote, Tonganoxie school board members Monday accepted Lindsey Graf's wellness program.

Personnel changes

After meeting in executive session for 40 minutes, citing personnel and attorney client privilege, board members:

  • Accepted the resignations of Sue Mann as paraeducator and of Craig Lohman from softball and basketball coaching positions.
  • Hired Pam Jeannin as grade school paraeducator, Patricia Yunker as vocal music teacher and Audra Boone for board clerk.
  • Board members tabled the classified and administrative salaries and the supplemental duty sponsors.
  • The board members scheduled two special June meetings, for 5:30 p.m. Monday and 5:30 p.m. June 29.

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