Archive for Thursday, July 17, 2008

Parents’ donation of scoreboard to honor son’s memory

July 17, 2008

Monday night's Basehor-Linwood School Board meeting was filled with annual housekeeping appointments and a review of the 2008-2009 budget. And just for good measure, a surprise donation was thrown in.

Vera and Tim Gaffney, parents of Joshua Gaffney, a 14-year-old Basehor-Linwood Middle School student that lost his life in a vehicle accident earlier this year, spoke to the board about Josh's life in the Basehor-Linwood School District.

He participated in several sports, Vera Gaffney said, but was especially fond of baseball. The family asked that a baseball scoreboard bearing Josh's name and baseball number be donated to the school district.

"We would like to give back to the community that has given us so much," Vera said.

Tim Gaffney also read a letter of support for the donation from Basehor-Linwood High School baseball coach David Svoboda.

The board agreed to the donation and indicated it would be working with the district coaches and the family to make it happen.

School Board members review 2008-2009 budget

Conservative enrollment numbers and an increase in the mill levy were among the topics discussed regarding the district's budget.

Superintendent Bob Albers said the base state aid per pupil is now $4,433, up $59 from a year ago. Based on the number of inquiries, district officials are predicting an increase of about 20 to 30 students this year, putting enrollment around 1,830 residential students.

"In the past we included virtual school students," Albers said. "They now have a separate weighting."

The Basehor-Linwood Virtual School enrollment will remain at a steady 300 students instead of increasing because of the several other virtual schools that have popped up in the area or have begun heavy advertising campaigns, Albers said.

"We're working pretty aggressively to keep the students we have and recruit some new students," Albers added.

While the district's assessed valuation of $125.8 million is up about $4 million from last year, district officials are proposing a mill levy increase for the coming year, due to the recently passed bond issue. The increase of about 6.7 mills from 47.7 to 54.4 mills is a little more than expected, Albers said, because interest collected on unspent bond money is down.

A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in assessed valuation.

The budget hearing will be at the board's Aug. 11 meeting.

District construction projects coming along

According to construction supervisor Chris Claflin, the district's bond projects are more or less on track.

"The soccer field is essentially complete," Claflin told school board members.

A walk-through Friday with engineers and architects, he said, showed there were only small details to be worked out, such as teaching district employees how to operate the lighting system.

Claflin said he hoped grass now growing on the field would be able to withstand one game scheduled for the end of September.

"We have our fingers crossed," he said.

The new front office at Linwood Elementary School is taking shape, with a drop ceiling and the school's heating ventilation and air conditioning unit scheduled to arrive or be installed this week.

"Linwood Elementary is on track to be done for the start of school," Claflin said.

Curbs for Glenwood Ridge Elementary School's new parking lot were poured Monday, Claflin said. Workers are concentrating on getting as much completed as possible on the interior, including installing new sinks in the restrooms, before school starts.

"Once we start school, there's going to be very little that needs to be done within the building," Claflin said.

Bids for the new intermediate elementary school are supposed to go out this week, Claflin said. Construction was originally already supposed to be under way, but land development caused a delay. Albers said officials with the district, city of Basehor and Affinity Development were scheduled to meet this week to discuss the steps to be taken to launch the recently approved benefit district for Basehor Town Center, which is the location of the new school.

Completion date for the intermediate school has been pushed back to December 2009 unless the district can find an aggressive bidder to complete it by August of next year, Claflin said.

Plans for the new middle school are 60 percent complete, Claflin said. The project is set to go out to bid in September.

Board members will tour the facilities prior to the Aug. 11 meeting.

Action Items:

¢ Voted, 7-0, on nearly 30 annual housekeeping items, including to elect Randy Cunningham as board president and Dayna Miller as board vice president for 2008-200; designate the Leavenworth Times as the official newspaper and Community National Bank as the official depository; set board meeting dates and times; appoint Lathrop and Gage as legal counsel and John Vratil as representative; designate board members Jeane Redmond and Miller as representatives for Interest Based Bargaining, the group that negotiates with the district's teachers; establish employee travel, meal and lodging allowances at $.47 per mile, $50 per day for meals and $100 per person per night for lodging, and establish substitute teacher pay rate at $95 per day for the first five days in the same classroom, $100 for the next 10 days, $115 per day thereafter and $50 for half day.

¢ Met in executive session for 15 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel.

¢ Approved, 7-0, to add a receptionist position at BLHS.

¢ Approved, 7-0, the appointments of Erin Schwartz, BLHS English, and Emily Schoenfelder, Basehor Elementary School nurse, and the resignation of Clarence Felder, custodian.

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