Board considers widening bus service offerings
Before- and after-school traffic congestion around schools may be relieved next year, if Lansing school board follows through on a proposal it received this week.
The board on Monday, May 8, heard a plan from schools superintendent Randal Bagby and Scott Bruegge and Judy Bettis of Durham School Services bus company to add three to four bus routes for the 2006-07 school year. The routes would include students who live outside of a one-mile radius of the schools and those who would have to cross Kansas Highway 7 to get to school.
Currently, the district buses students who live outside of a 2.5-mile radius of the schools. The cost for the transportation is picked up by the state. The cost of busing students who live closer than 2.5 miles would come out of the district taxpayers' pockets.
After the presentation of how the district could add routes and save costs by doubling up on some routes, board president Brian Bode said the board would consider the plan during the budgeting process for next year.
New school plans
The board heard from Wilson and Co., Engineers and Architects, about the progress of the school bond projects. Jon Plumer, a chief architect with Wilson and Co., said designs for the elementary school were 65 to 70 percent complete, and the high school auditorium designs were about 55 percent complete.
Plumer also said he hoped to shorten the design phase and have the designs approved by July 15 rather than late July, as earlier projected. He said the firm would invite companies to bid on the project by next week.
"There's already been a tremendous amount of interest in your project," he said.
J.R. and Mike Reilly of Reilly & Sons, an insurance and real estate business in Leavenworth, presented a $5,000 check to the board.
J.R. Reilly said the firm had celebrated its 80th anniversary in October 2005 and wanted to thank the district for helping to make Reilly & Sons successful. The district brings in many families who buy homes from the company, he said.
Bode said the money would be used for playground equipment.
The board also authorized Bode to sign an agreement with the city of Lansing to pay for half of the Bittersweet Street bridge and extension.
The district will pay $42,500 the first year and $85,000 each year for 15 years through benefit district financing.
In other action, the board:
¢ Heard acknowledgements from school principals. Steve Dike, Lansing High School, acknowledged the forensics team for its performance at the state tournament and students who received 1 ratings at the state music festival. He also said LHS ranked second in the Kansas City metro area for ACT scores. Kerry Brungardt, Lansing Middle School, told the board that his students would be receiving a day off on Monday, May 15, for meeting the school's expectations on the state assessments. He also thanked Rachel Elkins and Connie Evans for their work on the Fine Arts Fair and Joan Padgett for organizing the eighth-grade celebration barbecue. Jan Jorgensen, Lansing Intermediate School, thanked the Lansing Parent-Teacher Association for donating $2,500 for 12 LIS staff members to attend a Practitioners' Conference this summer. At LIS, students also reached the state assessment scores set by the school and will have a movie day, Jorgensen said. Tim Newton, Lansing Elementary School, congratulated Elizabeth Moreno and Amelia Barkley for receiving Awards of Merit from the Kansas PTA Reflections contest. He also thanked those involved with the Lansing Fun Run, which raised about $1,200 for playground equipment.
¢ Heard a recap of the trip to China from LHS senior Lindsey Piper .
¢ Approved a list of returning out-of-district students.
¢ Approved the 2006-07 student handbook.
¢ Accepted bids for bread from Sarah Lee Bakery, milk from Roberts Dairy and pizza from Gambino's Pizza.
¢ Accepted two $100 gift certificates for LES from American Heart Association.
¢ Approved new textbooks for various classes.
¢ Approved wellness policies for LMS and LHS.
¢ Approved a districtwide Safe & Drug-Free plan.
¢ Approved band instrument and equipment inspection by "The One-Man Band" and trading instruments identified by LHS band director Luke Johnson as unusable.
¢ Approved a high school class fee chart. Fees remained the same as in the past two years with the addition of fees for in-house training computer classes, video production, "From School to Work," life skills and jazz band.
¢ Heard information about the Class of 2006 graduation on Saturday, May 20.
¢ Accepted the early retirement of third-grade teacher Sue Kersten.
¢ Approved, 4-1, with Rob Nichols opposing and Shelly Gowdy and Karalin Alsdurf absent, appointments of LHS summer school teachers, Katie Smith as LHS social worker, Dale Bohannon as director of maintenance and capital improvement and Carolyn Jaqua as secretary to the director of maintenance and capital improvement.
¢ Approved a proposal to continue the Parents As Teachers program through a continuation grant.
¢ Discussed studying the state's new science standards and the possibility of adopting different standards, such as those accepted by schools in the Manhattan-Ogden school district.