Archive for Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Tonganoxie High graduation ceremony could take place in late June

If this were a normal school year, Tonganoxie High seniors would be preparing for commencement exercises later this month. This year, graduation celebrations will be done differntly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This banner, installed this past week, can be seen as people drive by Tonganoxie High School's east campus building.

If this were a normal school year, Tonganoxie High seniors would be preparing for commencement exercises later this month. This year, graduation celebrations will be done differntly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This banner, installed this past week, can be seen as people drive by Tonganoxie High School's east campus building.

May 13, 2020

Many families have a day in May circled with a thick stroke of Tonganoxie red in the USD 464 school district.

The THS gymnasium is packed and the campus is busiest one of the final times in the school year with commencement exercises, which were supposed to take place this Saturday for the THS Class of 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has all but erased that important mark, but local school officials are looking to move that special day to a time in late June.

The THS Class of 2020, like prospective graduates nationwide, will have to celebrate its big day differently this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

THS principal Mark Farrar told the USD 464 school board at Monday’s regular board meeting that the school wants to have a graduation ceremony with proper social distancing at 11 a.m. June 27 with the location to be announced at a later date.

“That’s Plan A,” Farrar said. “We believe we’ve found a spot. But we’re not able to release that information yet.”

Farrar said administration was trying to secure a venue “where we can safely have a graduation.

Families can social distance and follow guidelines and still have room.”

If the June 27 option does not come to fruition, Plan B is a drive-through event July 1 that potentially would take place in front of the THS campus.

But Farrar quickly pointed out that a drive-through could include additional routing and that staff would be coordinating with city officials with any Plan B decisions.

“Plan B is Plan b for a reason,” Farrar said. “We don’t want to rely on it, but there’s going to be a time when families and the seniors are going to want to turn the page.”

Board approves personnel recommendations

The school approved contract/work agreements, resignations, a transfer and a non renewal at Monday’s meeting.

The board approved contract/work agreements for Kennady Wallace, Tonganoxie Elementary School third-grade teacher; and Kaelyn Thierolf, Tonganoxie High School social studies teacher and THS assistant volleyball coach.

Board members approved resignations for Melissa Miller, TES third-grade teacher; Rita Costello, THS social studies teacher; Matthew Christensen, FBLA, STUCO and concessions manager; Autumn Bullock, STUCO; Michelle Herder, TES special education teacher; and Paige Shomin, TES second-grade teacher

The board approved a transfer of Mary Bartels from Tonganoxie Middle School sixth-grade literature to TMS sixth-grade technology. It’s a correction from the April board meeting.

The board also approved non-renewal for David Yantz as special education teacher at THS.

District office moves to West Haven

The board office officially has moved to West Haven Baptist Church.

District offices will be at the church, likely for the next two years, as construction begins in the coming weeks on the Tonganoxie High School campus.

The current board office on the campus will be taken down as part of the renovations.

The church offered its space for free, but the board is looking to provide compensation in some manner.

“We couldn’t ask for a better situation,” Feldkamp said.

The district office phone number, 913-416-1400, remains the same at the church, 1000 West St.

Branding, construction discussed

Farrar spoke to the board about proposals for branding across the district with uniforms, colors, fonts and other aspects.

Farrar referenced a tentative handbook for the branding plan that would provide some uniformity across the district with logos and more. The board will look to make a decision on the branding next month.

Board members also heard from construction representatives regarding updates on the upcoming THS project.

The Mirror will have more on these items in the coming weeks.

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