Governing Body: Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education 11.11.19

The Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education met at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at the Wetmore Academic Center. Board members present were Ed Reznicek, Kathy Lippert, Leslie Scoby, Ann Shaughnessy and Jeff DeMint. Not present were board members Jim Scoby and Kent Saylor.

The board adopted the agenda as amended.

The board approved the consent agenda, including the following: November bills in the amount of $98,128.64; October payroll in the amount of $743,396.15; permission for Superintendent Todd Evans to get bids and sell a 2000 Chevrolet Astro van with more than 210,000 miles; hiring of Kickhaefer and Buessing, P.A. for fiscal year 20 audit; resignations of Melissa Bradbury as Sabetha Middle School secretary and Brian Cole as Sabetha High School assistant volleyball coach; contracts with Mary Sander as district accounts payable, Hannah Dettwyler as Sabetha Elementary School head secretary, Lynn Hartter as SMS head secretary, Jason Meyer as SHS assistant softball coach and Bud Spaulding as Sabetha bus driver; and a personal day request for Wilma Tyler.

The board received written reports from building administrators David Glynn, Sara Toedman, Matt Garber, Rick Schnacker and Jayson Tynon; and Director of Student Learning Jennifer Gatz.

Gatz also reported to the board regarding the ACT. The most recent report for the district showed USD No. 113 students scoring slightly above state average, but not meeting the college readiness benchmarks for all areas, particularly math and science.

Gatz informed board members that the ACT will begin using “super scoring” in the fall of 2020, and that the State of Kansas is considering using the ACT in place of its normal assessment for juniors.

L. Scoby reported for the USD 113 Foundation that 15 grants totaling more than $24,000 were awarded from the Appleseed Innovation Fund.



Superintendent Evans reported on the year-to-date expenses, as well as other topics.

Preliminary Legal Max: For the 2019-20 school year, the preliminary computed legal max for the general fund budget is $7,889,870 and the supplemental general fund budget is $2,754,393.

Expense Comparison: The expense comparison from July 1 through Nov. 10, compared with the same time frame last year, showed the district has spent $152,618.54 more in the general, supplemental general, 4-year-old at-risk, K-12 at-risk, food service, professional development and vocational funds. During the same timeframe, the district has spent $12,020.50 less from the capital outlay fund, and $9,034.73 less from the special education fund.

USD No. 113 School Board Election: Evans indicated that unofficial results from the Nemaha County Clerk indicated that Jim Scoby was elected for Position No. 1, defeating challenger Ken Cannon. Other board members were re-elected in uncontested races.

Wheat Test Plot: The SHS plant and soil science class is working with Meadowlark Extension District Agronomist David Hallauer on the Nemaha County wheat test plot. The class hopes to plant 1.5 acres of different wheat varieties on the farm ground south of the SHS football field. This will give the SHS students the opportunity to apply real world skills necessary to manage crop growth and development, and also provide northeast Kansas wheat producers with up-to-date genetic research to aid in their crop development. Evans reported that the weather might make this project not happen this year.

District Farm: Evans reported that the district’s beans harvested 268.17 bushels, generating approximately $2,240.

Board of Education (BOE) Office: Evans also reported that a new voip phone system has been added in the BOE office.

District Audit

Robert Toole and Kent Buessing, representing the district auditors Kickhaefer and Buessing, reported on the Kickhaefer and Buessing fiscal year 2019 audit. Toole stated that it was a clean opinion, with just one deficiency found with the SMS activities fund. Board members approved the audit.


The document for audited campus expenditures and revenues, prepared by Kickhaefer and Buessing, was reviewed. For the 2018-19 school year, the Sabetha campus had a positive ending balance of $11,095.83 and the Wetmore Academic Center campus had a positive ending balance of $48,196.85, while the Axtell campus had a negative ending balance of $111,654.93. However, Evans noted the Axtell campus still was within the standards of solvency and viability set by the board.

Some board members were confused on parts of the Kickhaefer document. Evans will find the explanations to these questions and bring the answers back to the board in December. The board will review the document again in December.

Superintendent Evans presented additional revisions to the standards of solvency and viability as proposed by board member Saylor. However, since Saylor was not present, board members will review proposed revisions at the next board meeting in December.

Architect School


Hansen Architect Designs recently completed a walk-through at each building in the district, and made recommendations for four of the five buildings.

1. Wetmore: focus on the office heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) controls, safety and security, energy efficiency and general recommendations.

2. Axtell: focus on safety and security, energy efficiency and general recommendations.

3. SES: focus on the parking lot, HVAC, general purpose room (improving gym/cafeteria) and relocation of the office for security.

4. SHS: focus on solving the problem of wrestling having a dedicated space, and increasing supervision and space for the weight program. Evans suggested they try using the existing space to solve the problems.

No concrete decisions have been made regarding improvements to pursue.

Bus disposal and


Board members approved the agreement between the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and USD No. 113 for the Kansas Clean Diesel Program Award issued by EPA, for reducing diesel emissions from school bus fleets in Kansas.

The agreement states that USD 113 shall be awarded up to $21,136.25 to purchase a new school bus to replace an eligible diesel-powered bus in the district’s fleet. Specific conditions must be met before the award is given.

Board members approved the purchase of a 71-passenger Thomas bus from Midwest Bus Sales for $84,545. They will use the EPA grant funds toward the new bus cost.

Fiscal Year 2021


Evans reviewed the process for determining the fiscal year 2021 calendar. Evans told the board that a calendar committee would be formed that included one individual from each building, as well as a principal representative. The committee will consider turning the two half-day inservices into one full day of inservice if possible. Options for the calendar will be presented to the board in January.

Also at the meeting:

Board members brought Evans and Tynon into executive session to discuss confidential student information pursuant to the KOMA exception relating to actions adversely or favorably affecting a student. Following the executive session, no binding action was taken.

Board members brought Evans into executive session to discuss non-elected personnel job performance pursuant to the KOMA exception relating to non-elected personnel. Following the executive session, no binding action was taken.

Board members were reminded that the superintendent evaluation is due to Board Clerk Deb Damman by Dec. 2.

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

Erin Herrmann5 Posts

Erin Herrmann is a reporter at The Sabetha Herald.


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