The USD 346 school board met in regular session on Monday, Aug. 14, and began their meeting with the approval of the consent agenda, including the agenda for the meeting, the minutes of the previous meeting, payment of bills and payroll, and out of district requests for enrollment.
The board heard from Mark Proffitt, principal at the elementary, that enrollment is nearly at 100 percent completion with the first day of classes set for Wednesday, Aug. 16. Proffitt did note that the online enrollment process seems to be a bit difficult for some parents and guardians.
He added that it is typical for the school to lose approximately 30 kids over the course of a summer with families moving, etc., but stated they have a good sized pre-school class coming in this year.
Junior High and High School Principal Bob Beckham told the board he has 32 students currently enrolled in the STARS programs but is excited to bring Mark Allen on board as the new Ag instructor and FFA sponsor.
Genea Bruner, Student Improvement Services, reported that 2023-2024 academic year will be a learning year for the district and a time to refine their expectations for students and educators. Bruner stated they will continue to collect data and conduct testing until directives are given to the district in late October, which she will report on in November.
Superintendent Shawn Thomas thanked Wes Cox and his crew for all of their hard work over the summer on the new tech space and the work at the library in the junior high and high school building. He also thanked the custodial staff for their hard work in readying the buildings for the beginning of the year.
Thomas reported that work on the track has been pushed back due to a hold up for the company doing the work, but the new wrestling space is done and is much safer. He added that the work on new playground equipment, as well as, work on the auditorium has culminated in some great things being accomplished over the summer break.
Thomas told the board the district had received a $2,800 donation from the Blue Mound United Methodist Women with $1,000 of the donation earmarked to pay off back lunch debt for students and the remainder to be used for teacher supplies.
A second donation of $1,500 from an anonymous source was earmarked for the football program.
The board gave approval for Thomas to work with a local business owner on the purchase of surplus windows the district has.
The board approved the classified handbook and the licensed handbook as presented.
Thomas updated the board on a new law that, as of January 2024, will allow students to enroll in any district. He noted that the district will need to determine and set their capacities, based on student to teacher ratios and more, prior to that time. Thomas then spoke to the board regarding a new KSHSAA policy that goes hand-in-hand with the new law.
The board entered into a 20-minute executive session to discuss personnel matters.
Following the executive session, the board approved the hiring of Brittany Prattis as JES custodian.
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