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USD 464 calls for November bond election

I've looked for research that supports the success of elementary schools that house up to 1200 students and couldn't find any. Anyone? I'd love to read it.

July 10, 2012 at 7:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

USD 464 board looking at bond issue for $30 million elementary school

Why are you proposing a building for 1200 elementary students? Yes, you can claim efficiency, but is this a good educational decision? Elementary schools are not high schools. With 1200 kids, how will lunch be served? Will there be multiple lunchrooms or are we going to have to cycle through 300 kids at a time in one massive room? How will recess be managed? Will there be multiple gyms? A library for 1200 kids? How will traffic flow operate for 1200 students (plus the middle school)? Is there research that supports the idea of housing 1200 elementary students in one building as being successful? Personally, I have never heard of such a building. I'm just trying to understand the logistics here. I fully support a new school, and I know the population of Tongie is a hard sell, but let's be real. Let's not short the kids.

June 15, 2012 at 9:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board approves hires, holds off on others

Actually, I do see it as a lack of leadership but I think that it is a lack of leadership on all levels from staff, to administration, to board. Good people in the right positions are critical. Unfortunately, there are few options for coaching candidates because no one wants the job. Who wants to be underpaid and overcriticized by perpetually dissatisfied parents and fans. Fewer and fewer people are willing to step into this leadership role. Much of the same can be said about school administrators who are also undervalued and underappreciated.

The statement about "looking at off season work of the staff and dedication they have to the growth of the program" is ludicrous. Most coaches work with athletes 12 months a year. They voluteer their time all summer trying to make kids better. If you don't believe it go to the weight room, gymnasium, football field, or track almost any day during the summer between 6-10am.

My biggest point to make is this--administrators are paid to screen, interview, select, and recommend personnel to the board. The board's job is to either vote for or against the recommendation brought to them. You don't get to pick and choose who gets pulled off the list, you just vote, even if it goes 4-3. Why is it that issues like this only occur when they are hiring coaches. What about the SpEd bus para--where was board on that one? Remember, the one who had been previously fired? How does that happen? I see this as a significant leadership problem.

November 18, 2011 at 10:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board approves hires, holds off on others

The community has had opportunities to change the face of this school board and has failed to act. Two of the biggest problems on the board (Leslie and Baragary) ran unopposed last spring so Tonganoxie will get to live with this for 4 years. It is too bad some other folks didn't step up and at least provide patrons with a choice. You add Smith with those two and you get a party of agenda driven self interest.

November 16, 2011 at 6:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board approves hires, holds off on others

This post relates to the entire board meeting minutes, and there is a common theme--poor board leadership.

1. "Roof work at Tonganoxie High School will be needed in the near future, USD 464 maintenance director Larry Easter told the Tonganoxie school board Monday. Portions of the Tonganoxie High School east campus need repair, Easter said. One section, about 10,000 square feet, had an estimated cost of repair of $120,000 as of 2009. The other, covering about 16,280 square feet, carried a 2009 estimated price tag of $294,000."

Too bad the superintendent and board decided to reduce the capital outlay mill levy in August. That would have come in handy in trying to complete this project.

2. "Approved the hires of Jon Snapp, THS assistant boys basketball coach; Jenna Meyer, color guard coach; and Melinda Gee, special education bus para."

Why would the district choose to rehire a former employee that was terminated for unprofessional conduct?

3. "Recommendations also had been made to the board to hire Ryan Scott and Brad Shelton as assistant THS baseball coaches. No action was taken for those positions. Leslie said after the meeting the board wanted to ensure the opportunity to fill the positions was made available to all district staff."

So, an individual board member did not like the two options presented to her and wants administration to keep looking until she is presented with something she prefers. This would be typical board micro-management of building administration.

I hope folks in Tonganoxie start paying closer attention to the leadership decisions being made for their schools. Most of what I am reading in this article is far from impressive and warrants some public questioning

November 16, 2011 at 6:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

High school roof repairs to cost more than $400,000

1. "Roof work at Tonganoxie High School will be needed in the near future, USD 464 maintenance director Larry Easter told the Tonganoxie school board Monday. Portions of the Tonganoxie High School east campus need repair, Easter said. One section, about 10,000 square feet, had an estimated cost of repair of $120,000 as of 2009. The other, covering about 16,280 square feet, carried a 2009 estimated price tag of $294,000."

Too bad the superintendent and board decided to reduce the capital outlay mill levy in August. That would have come in handy in trying to complete this project.

2. "Approved the hires of Jon Snapp, THS assistant boys basketball coach; Jenna Meyer, color guard coach; and Melinda Gee, special education bus para."

Why would the district choose to rehire a former employee that was terminated for unprofessional conduct?

3. "Recommendations also had been made to the board to hire Ryan Scott and Brad Shelton as assistant THS baseball coaches. No action was taken for those positions. Leslie said after the meeting the board wanted to ensure the opportunity to fill the positions was made available to all district staff."

So, an individual board member did not like the two options presented to her and wants administration to keep looking until she is presented with something she prefers. This would be typical board micro-management of building administration.

I hope folks in Tonganoxie start paying closer attention to the leadership decisions being made for their schools. Most of what I am reading in this article is far from impressive and warrants some public questioning.

November 16, 2011 at 6:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

High school roof repairs to cost more than $400,000

1. "Roof work at Tonganoxie High School will be needed in the near future, USD 464 maintenance director Larry Easter told the Tonganoxie school board Monday. Portions of the Tonganoxie High School east campus need repair, Easter said. One section, about 10,000 square feet, had an estimated cost of repair of $120,000 as of 2009. The other, covering about 16,280 square feet, carried a 2009 estimated price tag of $294,000."

Too bad the superintendent and board decided to reduce the capital outlay mill levy in August. That would have come in handy in trying to complete this project.

2. "Approved the hires of Jon Snapp, THS assistant boys basketball coach; Jenna Meyer, color guard coach; and Melinda Gee, special education bus para."

Why would the district choose to rehire a former employee that was terminated for unprofessional conduct?

3. "Recommendations also had been made to the board to hire Ryan Scott and Brad Shelton as assistant THS baseball coaches. No action was taken for those positions. Leslie said after the meeting the board wanted to ensure the opportunity to fill the positions was made available to all district staff."

So, an individual board member did not like the two options presented to her and wants administration to keep looking until she is presented with something she prefers. This would be typical board micro-management of building administration.

I hope folks in Tonganoxie start paying closer attention to the leadership decisions being made for their schools. Most of what I am reading in this article is far from impressive and warrants some public questioning.

November 15, 2011 at 11:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

USD 464 board approves budget, hires, resignations

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.

August 21, 2011 at 9:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

TES, MMS don't meet AYP

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.

August 21, 2011 at 9 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letters to the editor: Community must work together in preparing for next bond issue; LAWS applauded for pet spay/neuter coupons

Got you fired up!
I don't think this should be brought up again any time soon. I do think it would fail. You are right.
As far as Mildred "stumping", I didn't see any of the board members taking that active of a roll in this election, including Mr. Hopkins. Perhaps they shouldn't have approved it to begin with, instead of backpedaling once it failed.
I think this community just needs some time to heal, and then it will be ready to address what is needed. I don't think it's helpful to insult committee members in the process, however. Insinuating that they are mindless followers is not productive.

April 14, 2011 at 8:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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