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Members of the Pleasanton USD 344 school board met on Monday, Nov. 14, for their regular monthly meeting. The board heard from representatives of the senior class. The students were there to ask the board for permission to have their senior trip at the Dells in Wisconsin. The trip would be from April 27 through May 1. The seniors asked the school to provide a bus and school car, as well as fuel. The board voted and approved the use of school vehicles for the trip.

The board discussed the Wednesday/Sunday activity policy. The main purpose was to clear-up wordage within the existing policy. The policy states there were to be no school-sanctioned activities on Sundays and no activities after 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. Exceptions to this policy are for KSHSAA-sanctioned activities such as play-offs and tournaments, or rescheduling due to weather. School sanctioned events are any activities held on school property and/or an activity where a school employee was present. The board will revise the wording and act on the policy at the next board meeting.

Discussion was had over the curriculum for grades third-fifth for the next school year. Those grade levels will be changing to the Amplify series, already in place in Preschool through second grade. The board voted and approved the early purchase in the amount of $33,442.

Up for discussion was food service and nutrition handbook updates. The section concerning outside beverages in the cafeteria had somehow been omitted from the most recent handbooks. The policy includes the presence of sodas, energy drinks, coffee, etc., at lunch within the cafeteria. The policy is already enforced, the policy needs the original wordage added back in. After much discussion, the board agreed to table the matter until the December meeting. 

Elementary Principal Nathan Meik thanked the board for their support in the Veteran’s Day program. In his monthly report, Meik provided updates on the Character Ambassadors at the elementary. Of note, the ambassadors recently donated money for the upcoming food drive, and the sixth-grade ambassadors will be shopping for the Angel Tree on Dec. 2. He also reminded the board of the elementary Christmas program and art show on Dec. 1 at 6:30. 

Meik updated the board on recent staff training in English Language Arts and Math. Additionally, the staff from both elementary and high school participated in team building activities and a review in school safety protocol.  

High School Principal Sarah Conley presented the board with updates concerning the NWEA MAP testing results. The MAP testing is a national system for testing students in math and reading. All students in grades 7-11 are tested on the MAP test two to three times per school year. The data compiled from the testing shows administration if students are performing at grade level, and if they are ready for state assessments. Conley discussed upcoming ACT testing for juniors and seniors, and available study sessions for the test.  

Also within her report, Conley shared with the board feedback from teacher teams after the inservice held on Nov. 1. These teams are divided into Academic Achievement Team, Needs Assessment Team; Attendance; and Student Behavior/PBIS System. 

Following the principal reports, Superintendent Travis Laver gave a brief update for the school board. He informed them that he is getting quotes for the football field lights; while they won’t be needed for some time, the school will be switching the field lights to LED. 

Laver also shared with the board about a recent donation from 3-M in Nevada, Mo. Any regional school can apply for the donation, which is a pallet of supplies for teachers.

In other business, the board approved the following: agenda for the evening’s meeting; minutes of the previous meeting; approval of monthly bills. The board also approved the hiring of Kent Fletcher as assistant high school boys’ basketball coach and as a bus driver. The board accepted the resignation from Seth Gabbert as open gym supervisor; resignation from junior high cheer coach Melissa Shroyer effective at the end of the season. The board also accepted the retirement letter from Travis Laver as presented.

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