Board to meet today for building bond refinancing
The Tonganoxie School Board will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. today in the Tonganoxie Middle School library to discuss and approve refinancing building bonds.
Roger Edgar of George K. Baum and Company, spoke to the board Monday at its regular meeting asking for authorization for preliminary work refinancing building bonds.
The board unanimously approved the measure. The bonds are being refinanced in an effort to refund district taxpayers, along with interest, who paid additional taxes because of a tax filing error Superintendent Richard Erickson made last year when filing budget information with the county.
For more on this story, see the March 19 edition of The Mirror.
Block schedule makes step forward
Block scheduling at Tonganoxie High School will be a reality for the 2008-09 school year - if it's approved during teacher negotiations.
THS principal Jamie Carlisle told the board he's received favorable feedback from teachers about switching to a block schedule.
The board unanimously approved the move, contingent upon its approval as part of teacher negotiations.
Good news report
During Erickson's Good News Report for March, he recognized fourth-grader Monica Maurer for Outstanding Reading Achievement. Erickson presented Monica with a trophy to recognize her accomplishments in reading. Third-grade teacher Merrilee Cooper, who had Monica as a student last year, indicated to Erickson "that Monica is one of the most dedicated and talented readers that I have ever taught during my teaching career at Tonganoxie Elementary School."
¢ Erickson also noted that third-grade teacher Karen Stockman was recognized at the Master Teacher of the Year banquet Feb. 27 at Emporia State University. Stockman was the USD 464 nominee for the statewide program.
¢ Barb Bahm, TMS librarian and district library coordinator, was elected president of the Kansas Association of School Librarians.
¢ In other news, Erickson thanked Jared Jackson's class for maintaining the district's Web site. He also mentioned the THS wrestling team's accomplishments at the state tournament. THS made history by having three wrestlers place at one state meet.
Tonganoxie Middle School adds cross country
TMS will have another sport in 2008-09. The board unanimously approved cross country at the middle school.
TMS activities director Phil Jeannin said adding the sport would help reach students who might want to do something different than football or volleyball.
"I'm not trying to take kids away from volleyball and football," Jeannin said. "This is something they might want to do. I thought this might be a good time to reach some of these kids before high school."
With the addition of cross country at TMS, there is only one high school fall sport that is not also offered at the middle school level: soccer.
Jeannin said scheduling meets would not be difficult because other area schools also have or will have middle school cross country.
He also said expenses were minimal because track uniforms can be used in the spring and again in the fall for cross country.
"The difference in this sport is you just add another lane," Jeannin said. "It wouldn't be hard to get four to five meets."
The first day of school for the 2008-09 school year will be Aug. 18.
The board approved next school year's calendar. Winter vacation starts Dec. 22, with classes resuming Jan. 5, 2009. The last day of school will be May 22.
Board policy made regarding smoking
The board approved board policy to read: No smoking except in designated areas on school grounds with the district providing proper signage.
Patron speaks about drug prevention
Debbie Hatfield, who is a social worker in Topeka and is on a site council with the district, spoke to the board about the importance of tackling underage drinking.
She also left literature on the topic for members to review.
The board met in executive session for a total of 80 minutes. The first session was for 15 minutes to discuss student privacy matters. Erickson, TMS principal Jill Dickerson and assistant principal Mark Altman.
The board met for another 20 minutes for the same reason and included the same three administrators.
Members then met for a final 45 minutes to discuss personnel matters. Jeannin and Carlisle, as well as TES principal Tammie George and assistant principal Ty Poell met at various times during the session, while Erickson was in the session for the duration.
Resignations, hirings approved
The board approve the following resignations: LeAnn Bond, assistant middle school track; Heather DeMaranville, middle school cheerleading coach; David Walker, high school boys basketball coach; Patricia Montgomery, high school English; Lindsay Ramirez, TES music instructor; Merrilee Cooper, third-grade teacher; Debbie Wedel, kindergarten; and Kyle Stadalman, fifth-grade teacher.
The board also approved these hirings: Shelley Scates, assistant TMS track; Phil Jeannin, head TMS track coach; Crystal Robbins, TES art teacher; and Holly Woods, night custodian at TMS.
In addition, the board extended contracts to THS and TMS teachers as corrected and TES teachers as presented.