Board gets lesson on China from students
Lansing School Board member Craig Gephart said he was skeptical of the Lansing High School exchange program with Kaifeng in China.
He said he thought the students were more or less just taking a vacation.
But after hearing from students and teachers about their extended spring break trip at the board's Monday meeting, he changed his mind.
"After your hard work and presentations, I'm thoroughly impressed and even I learned something," he said.
Eight students presented what they learned from the exchange to the board, in part to encourage the board to continue supporting future trips.
Senior Aaron Heintzelman made a calendar of photos he said would be used as a fundraiser. Senior Jerrica Lock asked the board to write a letter to China's embassy to aid students trying to receive their visa to come to Lansing.
Senior Michael Brooks created a Web site through Moodle, a course management system LHS already uses. He said the site would serve as a "bridge between two cultures." The site is accessible from the Lansing High School Web site. It allows students to post photographs and messages.
Other students who went on the trip and made presentations Monday were freshmen Anisha Patel, Talhah Siraj and Jennifer Smisek and sophomores Dana Piper and Beth Edmonds.
Nancy Hope, executive director for education at The University of Kansas Confucius Institute, said Lansing, Shawnee Mission and Olathe are the only Kansas school districts with an exchange program.
She said Kansas has half a billion dollars' worth of exports to China each year.
In other action Monday, the board:
¢ Approved April 9 minutes.
¢ Approved payment of bills.
¢ Heard the clerk's financial report, treasurer's report and investment securities report.
¢ Accepted the resignations of: Mike Bogard, Lansing High School assistant principal; Troy Andrews, intermediate physical education teacher and LHS head baseball coach; Tracy Andrews, LHS math; Jean Volk, LHS math; Doug Faught, Lansing Middle School football and baseball coach; Melissa Cappel, high school cheerleading sponsor.
¢ Approved the retirement of LHS science teacher Larry Fullerton.
¢ Appointed the following personnel: Kathryn Manthe, first grade; Caress Pacione, third grade; Cynthia Cioppa, third grade; Brian Malm, LHS science; Harley Douglas, intermediate physical education; Rob Elkins, LHS math; Perry Boyd, LHS math; Karen Averill, LMS media specialist, and Konstance Jacob, LMS literature and language arts.
¢ Mary Alice Schroeger, grant writer for the district, gave a Kansas Safe Routes to Schools report. She said a development plan for the phase two grant is in progress. The grant is a 100 percent reimbursement program that is part of a city partnership. She said she will be asking the Kansas Department of Transportation for $250,000 to pay for traffic features like sidewalks and signs.
¢ Accepted a notice of hearing for a $369,000 increase in their general fund after a state audit showed their grading increased.
¢ Authorized a resolution to refinance the district's 1997 bonds for Lansing Middle School. Refinancing on the $6.255 million in bonds is expected to save the district nearly $165,600 in interest.
¢ Received a construction fund report and noted the report was posted online at usd469.net/boe/facilities/info.html
¢ Heard Dale Bohannon, director of maintenance and capital improvement, give a report on construction of the new elementary school and high school auditorium.
¢ Lansing Elementary School principal Tim Newton presented the school's preliminary state assessment scores for third graders. In reading, 90 percent are proficient and 10 percent are not, he said. Newton said performance levels in math were similar to last year, but were significantly lower in two target areas.
¢ Approved an Armed Forces Insurance $500 contribution to the district.
¢ Accepted a Wal-Mart Foundation $1,000 Teacher of the Year Award. Lansing Elementary School first-grade teacher Linda Rumney was named the Leavenworth Wal-Mart's Teacher of the Year Award recipient earlier this month.
¢ Approved 2007-08 student handbooks
¢ Approved 2007-08 bread-milk-pizza bids.
¢ Accepted two $100 gift certificates for the intermediate and elementary schools physical education programs from Jump Rope for Heart U.S.
¢ Approved textbooks for adoption.
¢ Heard LHS principal Steve Dike announce the commencement would be at 10 a.m. Saturday on the football field. In case of rain or inclement weather, he said the alternate site would be at McGilley Field House at University of St. Mary.
¢ Approved the addition of a Distributive Education Club of America (DECA) club at Lansing High School.
¢ Approved substitute teacher list.
¢ Approved returning out of district students for 2006-07 and 2007-08