Archive for Thursday, April 13, 2006

Board approves addition of 7 staffers

April 13, 2006

Lansing school district is growing.

Lansing School Board has approved the addition of seven new positions in the district, about half of them aimed at increasing the focus on addressing the needs of at-risk students.

Board vice president Shelly Gowdy said the board asked school principals what they needed to better help the students, and they answered that at-risk students needed more attention.

The district will expand its teacher base at all four schools next year, hiring a remedial reading teacher and a remedial math teacher at the middle school, a reading specialist at the intermediate school, a first-grade teacher and a half-day kindergarten teacher at the elementary school and a social sciences teacher at the high school.

The first-grade teacher may take on a "transitional" class, the board said, and with the addition of a half-day kindergarten teacher, the district, which now has one half-day kindergarten teacher, will be able to create a section of full-day kindergarten.

Superintendent Randal Bagby said the positions would be funded with money earmarked for at-risk students.

The board also added the position of director of maintenance and capital improvement and a secretary for the director.

The director will serve as the district's construction manager on the new elementary school and high school auditorium, Bagby said. The district at one time had hired a construction manager from JE Dunn Construction Company, Babgy said, but it has "ceased services" with Dunn.

The director of maintenance and capital improvement also will take over the custodial and maintenance departments, which are now supervised by the director of building and grounds, Bagby said.

The board also heard an update from Wilson and Company, Engineers and Architects, on the timeline for the bond projects. Bruce Mortimer said the company would begin to advertise the projects May 1 and invite contractors to bid. On July 10, Wilson and Company would update the board on the final bidding documents, and by July 20, those documents will be "100 percent in place," Mortimer said. Bid opening would be Aug. 17, and Wilson and Company would bring evaluations and recommendations to the board at its Aug. 21 meeting. Once the documents are approved, he said, work on the site could begin almost immediately.

The plan would still allow the new elementary school and high school auditorium to open in December 2007 or January 2008, Mortimer said.

In other action, the board:

¢ Adopted the agenda with the addition of a Future Business Leaders of America presentation and approved the consent agenda.

¢ Heard a presentation from Rich O'Donnell, who runs a Northeast Kansas Youth Basketball program for boys and girls in third through eighth grades. O'Donnell said he had a "quick idea" to borrow a school gym during the summer. "We just need a place for them," he said. Bode asked O'Donnell to formalize a plan and come back. Another parent also spoke to the board and requested they consider starting a bowling team at Lansing High School. He said several Lansing students had the opportunity to go to Wichita State University, which has the top bowling collegiate team in Kansas, but it would help them to have the exposure of playing on a high school team.

¢ Heard acknowledgements from LHS principal Steve Dike about the success of the math team at the Kaw Valley League tournament, FBLA at the state tournament and the Late Night for Leukemia, staged last weekend by members of the school's Leadership Council. Lansing Middle School principal Kerry Brungardt acknowledged the seventh- and eighth-grade choirs for receiving superior ratings at the KVL choir festival last week. Lansing Intermediate School principal Jan Jorgensen recognized the winners of the Leavenworth County Conservation Poster contest. Gowdy thanked members of the Lansing Educational Foundation Fund for putting on Friday's breakfast and the building crews for an "outstanding job" setting and cleaning up for the event. Bode acknowledged the LHS softball team and coach Terry Cornett for taking care of the gyms used for their weekend fundraiser.

¢ Unanimously approved the high school's FBLA to attend the national competition in Nashville, Tenn., and approved 5-1, with Craig Gephart opposed and Karalin Alsdurf absent, FBLA's request for a loan to pay for registration and room fees for the trip to Nashville. FBLA sponsor Sue Lednicky said the money was due May 10 but the club, in its second year, did not have enough to cover it. She promised the club would repay the board by the end of June.

¢ Reviewed the construction fund report.

¢ Approved notice of a hearing at 7 p.m. May 8 to republish the school district's 2005-06 budget. The district's audited full-time enrollment increased by 61.2, which increases the district's state funding. Schools superintendent Randal Bagby said the district had to amend the budget or it could not spend the extra money it will receive.

¢ Discussed a draft of a revised facilities and equipment use policy. Bode had asked Bagby at the past two board meetings to bring the board a draft of a revised policy because an increasing number of groups were coming before the board to ask that the fees be waived to use the district's facilities such as gyms.

¢ Reviewed administrative reports.

¢ Approved the increased 2006-07 Kansas Association of School Board dues of $10,382 with an additional $1,100 for the Legal Assistance Fund.

¢ Approved increasing district meal prices for 2006-07. Breakfast prices will increase 10 cents to 85 cents at the elementary, intermediate and middle schools and to $1.50 for adults. Lunch prices will increase 25 cents to $1.75 at the elementary and intermediate schools, to $2 at the middle and high schools and to $2.75 for adults. Bagby said the increase was necessary because district prices were almost lower than the amount reimbursed by the state.

¢ Approved the wellness policy for kindergarten through fifth grade to reflect new state requirements.

¢ Accepted a $550 contribution to the Lansing High School activity fund from Armed Forces Insurance.

¢ Approved a high school summer school proposal at the estimated cost of $13,125.08 and approved a recommendation of charging Lansing students a $100 fee refundable upon the student's passing of the summer school course. Out-of-district students will be charged $200 per course.

¢ Approved the reinstatement of an assistant Kayettes sponsor at LHS. Kayettes sponsor Debra Hutton had asked that the position, which had not been filled for several years, be filled again to help manage the group of 143 students.

¢ Met in executive session for one hour to discuss personnel and negotiations.

¢ Approved the resignation of LHS math teacher Sarah Wise. Wise said she has accepted a position at Saint Marys High School.

¢ Approved appointments of summer school teachers for kindergarten through eighth grade and Felicia Yoakam as assistant Kayettes sponsor.

¢ Approved the substitute teacher list.

¢ Tabled until next month's meeting a Parents As Teachers salary proposal.

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