Archive for Tuesday, August 16, 2011

USD 464 board approves budget, hires, resignations

August 16, 2011

USD 464’s 2011-12 budget has been approved.

A budget hearing took place before Monday’s Tonganoxie school board meeting, but no patrons voiced opinion during the hearing period.

The board later approved the budget, 7-0, which calls for a mill levy of 54.796, a slight decrease from the 2010-11 actual tax rate of 54.815.

Hires, resignations approved

The school board approved the hires of personnel for six positions and accepted resignations of three others.

Contracts for 2011-12 were approved for: Heidi Andre, elementary art; Heidi Fletcher, high school food service; Julie Jellison, transportation para; Brian Masoner, high school math; and Andrea Putthoff, regular route bus driver. A supplemental contract was approved for Drew Thomas as Future Business Leaders of America sponsor.

Resignations were accepted for Jennifer Bottom, high school math; Dana Edmonds, regular route bus driver; and Ken Lott, high school auto mechanics.

The board had voted to not extend Lott’s contract for the 2011-12 school year earlier this year because he had failed to have certain certification. Those requirements were then met and his contract later was approved. Lott had been the boys and girls high school soccer coach, but the board opted to not renew his contract before the 2010-11 school year for those sports.

Superintendent Randy Weseman said teachers were interviewed for the auto mechanics position, but already were under contract at other schools at this point in the school year.

He said the position would be filled in-house in the interim.

Transportation report

Bus drivers have been in the process of renewing first aid and CPR certification and have been taking defensive driving courses with Department of Education officials, Weseman told the board.

He also discussed the “Stuff the Bus” drive and the offering of bus safety tips with a school bus being parked at the Leavenworth County Fair one night this past week at the fairgrounds.

School supplies were accepted during open enrollment earlier this month for “Stuff the Bus.” A small bus was filled with donated school supplies to help district families in need.

Weseman said donations have allowed for 35 full sets of school supplies for families.

“I have a lot of great things to say about our transportation department,” Weseman said, “who did these things on their own time.”

He said 15 of 17 routes are filled to capacity for the 2011-12 school year. Board member Kathy Baragary asked whether there were any waiting lists, to which Weseman said there were some but he didn’t have a specific number for Monday’s meeting.

Maintenance work

Some concrete work on the sidewalk at the northeast corner of the THS west campus building was done to help with drainage and other issues, while an entrance to the middle school has been widened, Weseman said.

The east entrance to the middle school was widened by about 25 feet, Weseman reported.

Seating configuration

Some board members asked Weseman to present possibilities for a new configuration of board member seating for board meetings.

At Monday’s meeting, Weseman had a plan that the board will implement.

The board has been seated in a U-shape in the high school library, with some members’ backs facing the main entrance to the library and some with their backs to patron seating.

With the new configuration, the board will be seated in an L-shape and all will face patrons. A projector screen facing south will be installed for any presentations. The screen currently faces west, but the projector swivels.

The configuration will be implemented starting with the September meeting.

In other business, the board:

• Heard from Weseman about the board policy revision process. The board will start revisions on board policy beginning with September’s meeting.

• Heard from Tonya Phillips, director of educational programs, about the beginning of the 2011-12 academic year. Phillips reported that Tonganoxie Elementary School did not make AYP in fourth-grade reading, but Tonganoxie made AYP district-wide.

She also noted the school year begins Tuesday.


gotongie 6 years, 8 months ago

Reading this articles one would think that our school board and administrators are more concerned about the arrangement of the tables and chairs at board meetings then how our students are performing. Hopefully, they will take some time in the very near future to hear what TES is going to do to meet AYP this year. Oh, and hopefully everyone can refrain from glossing it over like the TES principal did in the other article. That would be a nice demonstration of leadership. To tie this together, I copied my post from the other article.

So TES is one of the 213 schools that did not make AYP. Let's give everyone a bigger picture of how bad this really is..................84% of all schools in the state of KS met the target........1,148 other schools made the minimum standard established by the state but Tonganoxie Elementary School did not. This should be concerning to us all.

What is even more concerning is the statements from the principal, Tammie George. Mrs. George says that the tests are important, but “we also feel strongly we shouldn’t just teach that test, but also the essential skills.” It is my understanding that the state assessments measure the essential skills students are supposed to know at each grade level. If students aren't performing well then our school is failing.

I would have preferred to hear Mrs. George say something like, "This is an important measure of the success of our school and we need to do better". This is not a time for her to side-step the issue. As the leader of this school she needs to accept responsiblity for this and tell us what she is going to do to correct it.


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