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Members of Pleasanton USD 344 school board met on Monday, Oct. 10, for their regular monthly meeting. Following the opening of the meeting, the board heard from Terry Sercer, CPA of Diehl Banwart & Bolton. Sercer, who performed the annual budget audit for the district, shared with the board his findings. Sercer noted that, while some bank requisitions were off the previous year, there was nothing this time. After hearing from Sercer, the board voted and approved to accept the audit and to renew their contract with the accounting firm.

The board reviewed the monthly update provided by elementary principal Nathan Meik. Meik shared how the elementary school is working on improving attendance. He noted that attendance has improved from last year. One incentive Meik shared on improving attendance is with awarding a monthly pizza party to the class with the best attendance record.

Meik also updated the board on the new three-year-old preschool class, offered in the afternoons and currently holds 12 students.

High school principal Sarah Conley was present to give her report to the board. Conley shared with them how the high school is working with the community to increase school spirit. This includes local businesses covering cost of admission to football games, providing prizes and school clothing. She also informed the board that Josh Baldwin of Dreamscapes is providing support to make repairs to the cross-country track, which has been damaged due to lack of rain.

Conley shared with the board updates on WIN time and preparing for Work Keys and Pre-ACT. She also provided information on an upcoming professional development day for teachers.

Superintendent Travis Laver followed the principals with his updates. Laver asked the board for their opinion on when the Christmas dinner for faculty and staff would be held, as well as what food should be served. It was decided to send out a poll to district employees, and let them choose between catered or potluck.

The board discussed briefly Laver’s proposal of moving the school to a four-day week. A recent poll sent to district employees showed only 60 percent were in favor of the switch. The board agreed to not further pursue a four-day week at this time.

Laver also shared with the board updates on the Boy Scout grounds. KDHE recently sent out a bid to reclaim the strip pits on the land, and work may begin within a few weeks. This will be at no cost to the district.

Board members heard updates on the STARS program, provided by board members Dr. Jay Allen and Tanner Ogden, in addition to Laver. Allen shared that the program has received more equipment donated by local businesses. Additionally, KanWorks recently toured the facility and offered to hire a custodian and secretary, as well as build a computer lab with 12 computers for students to use.

Allen and Ogden informed the board of some issues with students in the STARS program. Several Pleasanton students in the Criminal Justice class have been leaving class early, staying in their car for prolonged breaks, etc. Allen and Ogden both stated multiple students would be in one vehicle, presumably vaping, etc. Both stated they have addressed the issue with the students. Ogden now provides transportation to and from the STARS center to Pleasanton High School for those students who they have had issues with.

The board approved the following items: agenda for the evening’s meeting; minutes of the previous meeting; payment of monthly bills; and the hiring of Amanda Stahl as night custodian.


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