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Board members of Pleasanton USD-344 met on Monday, Sept. 12, for their regular monthly meeting.

Elementary principal Nathan Meik provided his monthly update to the board for review. He noted on Sept. 2, students in grades 4-7 met with their former teachers at the Olathe Community Center pool to celebrate accomplishments in state testing from the preceding year. Meik also shared that the PTO had raised money to purchase t-shirts for every student and staff member in the elementary building. They also purchased water bottles for each child, and are raising money to fund spring field trips for each grade.

High school principal Sarah Conley’s monthly report was also submitted to the board. She informed the board that the school had applied and received the Dollar General Grant for Literacy, allowing $4,000 for new books for the library.

Conley provided WIN Time Seminar information. WIN (what I need) is a time for students to receive additional support, if needed. Those not needing extra support are allowed to select an enrichment activity during seminar time. WIN has a rotating schedule for teachers, and is four days a week.

Conley included updates on school safety. She stated that the district is working on the process of a single entry. In addition, every junior high and high school student’s backpack gets checked in the morning, as well as many of the elementary students. Conley is also working on improving safety by locking locker rooms when not in use, and keeping bathroom doors open at all times.

Other high school updates included information on the Athletic Summit to be held on Sept. 21, hosted by the Three Rivers League. Four students and Tara Carpenter will be attending. The summit will have guest speakers and classes to encourage sportsmanship on teams and schools.

Superintendent Travis Laver discussed with the board the possibility of the district switching to a four-day school week in the future. A preliminary survey was recently conducted, with the majority of parents having a positive opinion on the matter, and staff nearly being 100 percent in favor of it. Laver explained that studies have shown districts with four-day weeks have better attendance from students, and higher staff retention. If Pleasanton were to switch to four-day weeks, the school year would run longer, and the daily school hours would be extended. Laver did note that one major concern among parents was childcare. More information will need to be gathered before any decisions are made. 

The board approved the hiring of the following: Corey Zacarello, high school history teacher; Mike Holsman, special education driver; Cathy Sherman, special education driver; Kara Cana, substitute special education driver; Jesse Secrest, substitute driver; Taylor Dodson, Music Teacher; JoVoli Clark, elementary teacher; Sharon Adams, teacher aide; and Connie Krull, continuing assistance as needed in the offices.

The board accepted the resignation from Dan Saulsberry as driver education instructor.

In other business, the board approved the following: agenda for the evening’s meeting; minutes of the previous meeting; payment of monthly bills; and all out of district student requests.

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