Governing Body: Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education 7.10.17

The Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education met at 6 p.m. Monday, July 10, at the district office in Sabetha. Board members present included Ed Reznicek, Kathy Lippert, Kent Saylor, Jim Scoby, Leslie Scoby, Kent Kuckelman and Jeff DeMint.

The board adopted the agenda as amended.

The board elected Ed Reznicek as Board President, and Kathy Lippert as Board Vice President. Lippert was appointed governmental relation representative.

The board approved the final bills of $86,047.90, and final transfers of $1,150,734.20 from the Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

The board approved the consent agenda, including the following: minutes from the June 15 meeting, payment of July bills for $224,213.32, June payroll for $659,460.51, July lump sum payroll for $157,001.04, August lump sum payroll for $139,695.61, and a bid of $325 from Richard Beer for a district van.

Also within the consent agenda, the board designated the following: all district banks and savings and loan in district as depositories for district funds; Morrill and Janes Bank as district checking account; United Bank and Trust for activity and petty cash for district office and Sabetha schools; Wetmore National Bank for activity and petty cash for Wetmore Academic Center; State Bank of Bern/Axtell for activity and petty cash for Axtell Public School; The Sabetha Herald as official newspaper; Todd Evans, Sheri Harmer, Matt Garber, Sara Toedman, Rick Schnacker and Jayson Tynon as attendance and truancy officers; Carol Kuckelman as KPERs representative and hearing officer for federal lunch program; Todd Evans as Holton Special Education Cooperative representative, Freedom of Information officer and asbestos compliance officer; Martin Mishler as USD No. 113 Attorney; Jennifer Gatz as homeless coordinator and compliance coordinator for federal anti-discrimination laws; and Brook Brubeck as food service representative and determining official for federal lunch program.

Also within the consent agenda, the board rescinded all policy statements and adopted the policy manual as presented by the superintendent; adopted a 1,116-hour school term to be submitted to the Kansas State Department of Education; approved district mileage at $0.535 per mile; continued district office petty cash at $500 per month and building petty cash funds at $200 per month; continued Fidelity bonds of $10,000 for Clerk and Treasurer; approved district banking with Morrill and Janes Bank and United Bank and Trust and authorized district banking as stated; approved a resolution requesting a waiver from the statutory Generally Accepted Accounting Practices requirement for the preparation of financial statements and reports for the year ending June 30, 2018; reauthorized early payment request to avoid late fees; and updated Policy EE-R to reflect increased meal prices

Also in consent agenda, the board appointed Carol Kuckelman as Clerk of the Board, Elaine Mowder as Deputy Clerk, Bart White as Treasurer of the Board for a fee of $350 per year, and Kickhaefer and Buessing of Marysville as auditor. The board appointed Lynn Hartter to the at large member and Jo Grimes to be the position five member of the USD No. 113 Foundation.

Finally, within the consent agenda, the board accepted the resignation of Richard Beer as technical school driver; and contracts with Kayla Thayer for physical education at WAC, Leonard Burdick as evening custodian at Sabetha Middle School, Jennette Woltje as driver; and Heather Parton as driver.

Brad Lippert of Sabetha came before the board to discuss the student handbook, in regard to qualifications to attend the Academic Banquet and to receive the President’s Award for Educational Excellence.

SHS Principal Sheri Harmer said it has been adjusted in this year’s handbook. One adjustment, she said, is that the attendance at the Academic Banquet would now be based on whether a 3.5 GPA had been earned the previous semester.

B. Lippert said students can have a rough quarter or semester, but that he believes attendance should be allowed per cumulative GPA at the point of the banquet. He also encouraged the board to allow any student to earn the President’s Award if they have a cumulative 3.5 GPA.

Director of Student Learning Jennifer Gatz said it was a district level decision to no longer store quarterly grades. Teachers will send home progress reports, but honor rolls will no longer be awarded at the quarter.

The board received written reports from principals Harmer, Matt Garber, Sara Toedman, Rick Schnacker and Jayson Tynon, as well as Gatz.

Harmer recognized SHS student Shayna Strahm, who was awarded first place in the Kansas State Department of Education’s Annual Conference Art Contest.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Evans reported on the success of summer school offered in Sabetha this year. Nineteen students completed at least one summer school course.

Evans reported on the progress of the 1/1 program. He said Gatz has been working with other staff members, and that group will have a recommendation in February. K. Lippert asked if the group would be evaluating whether a different device would work better. Evans said the group would be considering different options, and he has asked them to “ignore price” and instead focus on the device that best meets the needs.

Negotiations are continuing, he said, but are stalled somewhat awaiting a decision on school finance. Evans said he is concerned with the budgeting timeline. The Kansas Supreme Court will not hear oral arguments until July 18, but KSDE will not be releasing budget worksheets until after the formula is or is not approved by the Court.

Evans reported to the board that a Lied Center performer — Paige Hernandez — will be coming Monday, Oct. 9.

Wetmore Preschool

Superintendent Evans said he felt after the last meeting that he failed to provide the board with comprehensive information. He said he felt he let the board down by not having the answers to questions they needed.

He invited Amy Haussler from the Holton Special Education Cooperative to share more information on the special education aspect of offering a preschool program at another location.

After considerable discussion, DeMint motioned that the request to approve a State Preschool program at Wetmore. The board approved the request 6-1, with Reznicek, K. Lippert, Saylor, L. Scoby, Kuckelman and DeMint in favor. J. Scoby abstained.

See discussion details here. (Board approves Wetmore preschool)

Classified and Supplemental Staff

The board approved the recommended classified staff list, and the recommended supplemental staff list.

The board approved the recommended classified staff handbook with pay scales. Total budget impact would be $117,679.75.

Student Handbooks

The board considered the building-level student handbooks for Sabetha High School, Sabetha Middle School, Sabetha Elementary School, Wetmore Academic Center and Axtell Public School.

The board discussed the possibility of allowing more time to determine best methods for recognizing student achievement. Harmer said she will have to determine whether a cumulative GPA would be feasible, as a change to the academic banquet invitation.

The board indicated that they would like the school administration and staff to consider making adjustments to achievement recognition protocols, but that they would encourage this decision to be made at the building level.

The board approved the handbooks.

Also at the meeting:

The board accepted a gift of $50,000 from the Greater Sabetha Community Foundation on behalf of Kent and Donna Saylor for the digital sign at SHS. This was approved at the June meeting.

The board heard information about junior achievement. K. Lippert brought up the idea of junior achievement, which is a structure to get people from the workforce into schools. She asked that Evans bring the board more information on the topic.

The board entered into executive sessions to discuss non-elected personnel, and to discuss negotiations.

The board approved out-of-district student requests, and authorized Superintendent Evans to approve or disapprove future out-of-district student requests.

The board appointed Reznicek, K. Lippert and Saylor to the 2017-18 Finance Committee.

Superintendent Evans recognized the USD No. 113 Transportation Department for earning a perfect score for the fourth consecutive year of the annual safety review.

The board received Kansas Association of School Boards Policy Updates for first read. The policy updates will be considered for approval at the August meeting.

The board is slated to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 20, for training on the Kansas Open Meetings Act and Boardsmanship.

The next regular meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, at the district office in Sabetha.

Amber Deters123 Posts

Amber Deters is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2005. She specializes in school board, election and legislative reporting, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Amber is a 2005 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in journalism and mass communications, print journalism sequence. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and three children.


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