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Members of Pleasanton USD-344 school board met on Monday, July 10, for their regular monthly meeting. 

In his first meeting as superintendent for the district, Superintendent Don Epps provided board members with his monthly report. Epps stated summer school went well, with an average of 55-60 students attending each day. He noted the students who attended were excited to be there, and he hopes to make it even better next summer.

Epps then gave an update on the ground reclamation of the Boy Scout land. The boat ramp has been finished, grass laid down, and a better road have been created to make the land more accessible. Epps shared that this will create many opportunities within the district. 

Also within his report, Epps told the board that Southeast Kansas Mental Health (SEKMH) would like to work with the district in providing services within the schools for students in need. This would be at no-cost to the district, and most districts within the area SEKMH covers already have their services in place. SEKMH provides therapists and case workers for students in need.

Allowing SEKMH to meet with students at the school would result in students missing fewer classes. Currently, students serviced by SEKMH must be picked up from the school and taken to SEKMH offices. With SEKMH visiting the students at the schools, the school only needs to provide a discrete room for students to use for these meetings. The board agreed that Epps could move forward with SEKMH in these services. 

Board members discussed Negotiations with KNEA representatives. The board voted and approved the negotiations that would include, among other items, an increase in monetary compensation for health insurance coverage for employees; change of payroll date to be the tenth day of each month; changes in sponsorship coverage, and resignation policy updates. 

The board then voted and approved with amendment the resolution to have payday for employees be the tenth day of each month, or the Friday before, if that date falls on a weekend.

Epps informed the board that the revenue neutral rate would need to increase due to salary raises, funding, etc. He was currently working with the county clerk on the budget. The board voted and approved the request.

Board member Jay Allen provided an update on the STARS building. Currently, there is remodeling being conducted on the front of the building. One bid on this project was received, from Roy Wade Construction. The board voted and approved the bid. 

Allen also noted STARS representatives were working on a CDBG grant with the city of Pleasanton for a storm shelter on the campus. If this grant was awarded, then the future shelter could be used as a community storm shelter.

Discussion followed on the expansion of the STARS program, with over 80 students from four school districts enrolled for the fall semester. 

The board voted and approved for STARS students to build a new fence on the parking lot on the east side of the football field. 

In other business, board members approved the following items: the agenda for the evening’s meeting; minutes of the previous meeting; monthly bills.

In matters of personnel, the board approved the following hires: Mindy Schuler as elementary teacher and Jacob Crahan as high school assistant football coach.

In matters of personnel, the board approved the following resignations: Taylor Dodson as music/band teacher and Jesse Secrest as math teacher. 


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