Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education 6.11.18

The Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education met at 6 p.m. Monday, June 11. Board members present include Ed Reznicek, Kathy Lippert, Kent Saylor, Jim Scoby, Leslie Scoby, Ann Shaughnessy and Jeff DeMint.

The board adopted the agenda as amended.

The board approved the consent agenda, including the following: minutes from the May 14 meeting; payment of June bills of $318,929.50; May payroll of $691,588.59; bid for Bus 99 from Tom Smith for $1,250; termination of Kimberly Swanson’s employment with USD No. 113; a request from the Axtell Knights of Columbus to use a bus to transport Axtell youth to Seneca for swimming lessons; participation in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program for Fiscal Year 2019; acceptance of eligible classes taught by Highland Community College; destruction of financial records from Fiscal Year 2011 and previous; a bid of $209,228.84 for US Foods for the 2018-19 Food Service; and a number of resignations and contracts.

Resignations including the following: Alice Sperfslage, Sabetha Middle School part-time secretary; Steve Buser, SMS football assistant coach; Jason Claycamp, Wetmore Middle School girls’ basketball coach; Jacob Frey, SMS assistant baseball coach; and Richard Tynon, Axtell Junior High boys’ basketball coach. Contracts included the following: Larry Samano, Wetmore bus driver; Jane Bauerle, Sabetha Elementary School 1/2 time instructional support staff; Tiffany Menold, SES 1/2 time ISS; Bruce Gunter, Axtell Athletic Director; Martha Pearson, SES ISS; and Bruce Gunter, AJH boys’ basketball coach.

The board received written administrative reports from principals Sheri Harmer, Matt Garber, Sara Toedman, Rick Schnacker and Jayson Tynon, and Director of Student Learning Jennifer Gatz.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Todd Evans reported on a number of items to the board.

Evans presented the expense comparison from July 1, 2017, through June 11, 2018. During this timeframe, the district has spent $875,280.59 more than the same time frame last year. Taking out transfers, Evans said, the figure is closer to $550,000 more than last year. Capital outlay has spent $233,635.05 more than last year. From special education, the district has spent $188,170.66 less than last year.

Evans updated the board on the KEIT Trust issue. At the board’s May meeting, the board had approved legal fees to pursue a redefined agreement for KEIT Trust through Blue Cross Blue Shield. Evans provided an update, saying most of the other districts’ school boards also had approved the expenditure for the legal assistance to look into redefining the agreement.

Evans updated the board on a few big summer projects.

The Sabetha High School old press box has been removed, and new floor poured. Work on the SHS track is scheduled for the end of June.

The Wetmore gymnasium floor has been repaired, repainted and re-waxed and was used for the first time.

The Wetmore roof work is not completed, as the closure strips were not included on the original request for proposals. This will be an added $1,000 cost.

Evans said he and Tynon met with one set of architects, and they plan to meet with another set to look into work that needs to be done at Axtell. In order to make any changes to the building, they will have to do what is called a “code footprint,” Evans said. This is something that would have to be done by an architect, and would be an added expense to the project.

Student Fees

The board considered changes to the fee schedule.

Breakfast prices all will increase 15 cents, while lunch prices all will increase 10 cents. Athletic gate prices also will be increased from $2 to $3 for students at Wetmore and Axtell. Adults still will be charged $5.

The board approved the fee scheduled.

Capital Outlay Procedures

Evans provided board members with information about capital outlay expenditure procedures at the building level, and how the district could handle these differently. This was briefly discussed at the board’s May meeting.

Evans said he would like to see the district have set allocations for each building, so that each building administrator can do some planning of their own regarding needs. This would eliminate the list of requested projects coming to the board at the end of the school year. All expenditures still would need to be approved by the superintendent.

Each building would be allocated a base of $20,000, in addition to per pupil spending — $24 per pupil in grades kindergarten through fifth, $30 for sixth through eighth, and $42 for ninth through 12th.

This would allow principals to take care of painting, playground repairs, bathroom repairs, and many of the other items they request for capital outlay without coming before the board. The money could carry forward, so if a principal was planning for a larger expense they could plan for it.

Reznicek asked if the board would get an annual summary of capital outlay expenditures made by each building. Evans said this would make sense, and they would do that.

Saylor said he thinks this would give more flexibility to the principals, since they are in charge of keeping their building running smoothly.

J. Scoby asked whether the board would consider any capital outlay expenditures to be considered toward a building for viability. Saylor said that has not been part of the viability formula, so no.

Lippert said she sees a lot of “What ifs” in the event that funding for the schools decreases. She asked if there would be an understanding that the school board could at any time retract this decision, even if money had been “saved” over a number of years. Board members agreed that it is understood the money allocation procedure could be discontinued at any time.

Evans said it is his suggestion that the board goes with this capital outlay procedure next year and sees how it works. Board members agreed with this procedural change.

SHS Band and Vocal Trip

The board received a request from Sabetha High School band instructor Katie Topp and vocal instructor Adam Aadalen for an April 2019 trip to St. Louis. The board approved the trip request.

Crisis Plan

Superintendent Evans presented a new Crisis Plan to the board for approval, but he said it will likely undergo quite a few more changes in the coming months.

He wants this plan to be approved, because it is much more thorough than the previous plan. However, Evans said, he is planning a number of upcoming meetings with various groups to continue working on it.

The board approved the new Crisis Plan.

Also at the meeting:

The board approved out-of-district student requests. The board also authorized Superintendent Evans to approve out-of-district student requests for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2019.

The board received policy updates from the Kansas Association of School Boards for a first read. Evans pointed out to the board one policy that he would not like to see the board adopt, because it could possibly send the district’s banking business out of the district. These policy updates will be considered for approval at the board’s July meeting.

The board authorized Evans to close on the Fiscal Year 2018 budget.

In the legislative update, Lippert said the Supreme Court has not made any decision yet regarding the school finance case.

In the foundation update, DeMint said most of the requests had come in for scholarship dispersals. A few still have not come in yet. The board appointed DeMint and L. Scoby to serve on the USD 113 Foundation Board for the 2018-19 school year.

The board entered into executive session to discuss employee performance. No binding action was taken following the executive session.

The board’s next regular meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, July 9, at the district office in Sabetha.

Amber Deters125 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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