Archive for Wednesday, April 16, 2008

School Board Briefs

Board approves student fee hikes

April 16, 2008

Patrons in the Tonganoxie School District will be paying more in student fees next school year.

At Monday's school board meeting, the board approved Superintendent Richard Erickson's recommendation to increase various fees.

For instance, milk prices, which have skyrocketed across the nation, will increase 100 percent, from 25 cents this school year to 50 cents for 2008-09.

Food prices for meals will increase as well, with breakfast increasing from 80 cents to $1 for K-8, from 85 cents to $1.05 for 9-12 and from $1.35 to $1.55 for adults. Lunch prices will rise as follows: from $1.50 to $1.80 for K-4; $1.75 to $2.05 for 5-8; $1.80 to $2.10 for 9-12 and $2.80 to $3.10 for adults.

Board member Mildred McMillon said she was concerned the increased prices would put a strain on families and asked whether it would increase the number of families who would qualify for free and reduced-price meals.

Tonganoxie Elementary School principal Tammie George said the prices wouldn't affect the qualifications, as they are still based on standards such as income, etc.

Board member Kay Smith said more students qualifying for the reduced and free lunches would increase state aid to the district.

Erickson cited the addition of a third full-time kitchen in the district as a factor. The new Tonganoxie Middle School made the addition necessary.

Board members also discussed using the high school's west campus kitchen, which previously was the junior high kitchen, once again as a satellite kitchen, but no action was taken.

As for other prices, textbook and technology fees for kindergarten doubled, from $30 to $60. Kindergarten will go to all day, every day classes in the fall. Those rates in other grades, however, increase by just $5, from $55 to $60. Other fees, such as athletic fees and cheerleading/drill team fees, increased $5 as well.

In addition, out-of-district kindergarten students will be assessed a tuition charge of $2,217, which may be paid in 10 monthly installments.

The family athletics pass remained the same at $50, as did driver's education ($150).

Change in testing program passes

Board members, by a 6-1 vote, with McMillon casting the dissenting vote, approved George's request to switch from the Stanford testing program to the Measures of Academic Progress. George said MAP cost $15,000, compared to Stanford's $23,000.

George also noted that MAP testing is used by more than 170 Kansas school districts in 2007-08 and that, in the fall of 2006, more than 200,000 tests were given in Kansas. MAP scores also align to state assessments and are considered a good predictor of proficiency.

Interim director reduces costs

Larry Easter, interim maintenance director, updated the board on his department.

Member Kathy Baragary noted that Easter has reduced cleaning supply costs, from $9,800 in November to $4,800 in March.

High school teachers to receive two planning periods

With block scheduling set to begin for the upcoming school year at THS, members approved changes calling for high school teachers to have two planning periods worked into their schedules.

Superintendent recognizes student achievement

Erickson had plenty of student information in his monthly good news report.

Erickson opened his presentation by announcing that 155 students in 10th through 12th grades were recognized at the annual Tonganoxie High School Education Excellence banquet March 25 at the Kansas University Union in Lawrence. Erickson said that next year's banquet would also include freshmen.

In other student news:

¢ THS had six forensics and debate students qualify for national competition. Coached by instructor Steve Harrell, the students competed at the Forensics National Qualifying Tournament on April 5 at Olathe North High School. The team next will compete in the National Debate and Forensics Tournament in May in Appleton, Wis.

Students who qualified were: Jake Bontrager, Ann Erickson and Matt Williams in oration; Ben Field and Nic Irick in oral interpretation; and Jon Lane in Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

¢ The THS Future Business Leaders of America chapter competed at the Kansas State FBLA competition in Topeka and has qualified for a trip to the national competition June 26-30 in Atlanta. Qualifying were: Joe Cronemeyer, Steve Davis and Tommy Heskett in business plan; Jon Lane in desktop application programming; Josh Hendrix and Jon Lane in E-business; and Emily Jeffries, Emily Schenk and Austin Smith in management decision-making. Students placing at state FBLA were Josh Hendrix in cyber security and help desk and Alicia Osborne in public speaking.

¢ Tonganoxie High School FCCLA students also competed at state competitions. Kristen Titterington and Cally Owsley earned first place in the entrepreneurship competition at the Kansas State FCCLA competition April 3 in Wichita.

In addition, Melissa Hughes will serve as state vice president of membership and public relations and Mallorie Wetta will serve as the state vice president of peer education and individual programs during the 2008-09 school year.

Rachel Krivjansky and Jamie Hicks were selected to the Career Connections Peer Education Team for next year, while Maggie Franiuk will serve as District EE FCCLA president for 2008-09. She will preside over more than 30 FCCLA organizations in the region.

¢ Tonganoxie Middle School students placed at the state Science Olympiad Competition on April 5 in Wichita. Marcus Titterington and Dane Erickson placed first in Write It Do It, Colton Young and Sidney Grinter second in Simple Machines, Anthony Baker and Colton Young fifth in Oceanography competition and Wes Williams and Dane Erickson seventh in Meteorology.

Hires made after executive session

After a total of 1 hour, 40 minutes in executive session to discuss personnel matters and later student privacy matters, the board approved these hirings:

¢ Tonganoxie High School, Shawn Phillips, as physics teacher and boys head basketball coach; Bradley Kempf, Drew Thomas, Kenneth Church and Maureen LaCasse as instructors.

¢ Tonganoxie Middle School, Jennifer Johnson and Kyle Stadalman, instructors.

¢ Tonganoxie Elementary School, Christina Breedlove, Tiffany Parker and Katherine Wiles, kindergarten; Ashley Weller, second grade; Nina Pierce, third grade; and Amy Jones, music.

The board also accepted a retirement letter from Louise Athon, kitchen manager at THS.

Resignations also were accepted for: Stacy McGinley, paraprofessional at TES; Susan Richardson, food service; Phyllis Wright, custodian; and Jacob Gontesky, ninth-grade science teacher.

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