Archive for Monday, December 12, 2011

Basehor-Linwood school board planning to appoint new member in February

The Basehor-Linwood school district's administrative offices, and the school board meeting room, are located at 2008 N. 155th St.

The Basehor-Linwood school district's administrative offices, and the school board meeting room, are located at 2008 N. 155th St.

December 12, 2011, 11:00 p.m.

Updated: December 14, 2011, 5:39 p.m.

The Basehor-Linwood school board will likely appoint a new member at its February meeting after putting out a public call for candidates in early January, current board members said Monday.

At the suggestion of superintendent David Howard, board members agreed to wait until after the end of the year to formally begin the process of appointing a new member to replace Wynne Coleman, who resigned from the board in November because of a job-related move.

Howard said he wanted to make sure that as many residents as possible took notice of the vacancy.

“I'm just afraid if you post it right now that a lot of people are caught up in the holidays,” Howard said.

The board voted, 5-0, to publish a notice of the vacancy Jan. 3 in the district's official newspaper, the Leavenworth Times (member Jeané Redmond was absent). Howard said he'd already heard from two prospective candidates for the seat, which must be filled by a district resident who lives north of Parallel Road.

Board president Dayna Miller said the board should then wait until its Feb. 13 meeting to make an appointment.

Board members said they’d like for residents interested in the seat to turn in some application materials, with member Eric Dove saying they should submit a resume and cover letter and board president Dayna Miller suggesting a questionnaire.

Member Lori Van Fleet said she'd like to hear from the candidates in some form or another before appointing a new member, whether in a written questionnaire or in person.

“I'd probably like to see them present at least a little bit to the board,” Van Fleet said.

Howard said he would try to put together an application form for interested residents, and he reminded the board members that all discussion regarding filling the vacancy must take place in open session under Kansas open-meetings laws, as it concerns an elected position.

Anyone interested in filling the vacant board position can contact Howard by calling the district offices at (913) 724-1396 or sending email to dhoward@usd458.org.

Also on the subject of school board seats, Howard said their representative areas could change soon, as the district would soon need to make sure that its three areas are still roughly equal in population according to numbers from the 2010 Census. Howard noted that another option would be to do away with the representative areas altogether and elect all members on an at-large basis, as some Kansas districts do.

Member Richard Zamora, though, said he preferred the current system, which divides the district into southern, central and northern thirds.

“I like the idea of the districts and having representation from Linwood and Basehor,” Zamora said.

Other board members said they agreed.

Also at Monday's board meeting:

• Howard told board members he’d heard from the Kansas Department of Transportation that the planned installation of a traffic signal at U.S. Highway 24-40 and 158th Street would not likely be finished by August 2012, as KDOT officials said last year.

Because of delays in collecting contractor bids for the project, the stoplight will probably not be installed until about November of next year, Howard said. He said he hoped for the project to finish as soon as possible.

“It worries me, because it's a deep breath at the beginning of every year as kids begin crossing there,” Howard said.

KDOT announced plans to install a signal at the intersection one year ago this month.

• The school district accepted a $1,500 Archery in the Schools grant from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and the National Wild Turkey Federation, which will provide equipment and training for physical education teachers to provide archery lessons in class.

Howard said the grant came about through the efforts of Tim Fritts, a member of the local Tri-County Gobblers chapter of the Wild Turkey Federation who appeared at the board meeting to award the grant. Fritts came to Howard to let him know about the possibility of the grant, Howard said.

Fritts said the archery education program was usually popular with students, and he said the turkey federation hoped that it would help train students not only in the sport of archery but also in obtaining permits for bow-hunting, such as those offered by the city of Basehor.

Howard said the archery lessons could begin at Basehor-Linwood High School in the spring.

• The board approved, 4-1, the addition of new courses at BLHS for 2012-13, including a new elective English class looking at graphic novels, an upper-level health course, and courses for three new elective career pathways: audio/video communications, visual arts, and teaching and training. Dove voted against the motion. Also approved, by a 5-0 vote, was a BLHS course description book for 2012-13.

• The board renewed, 5-0, the employment contracts of Howard and assistant superintendent Mike Boyd through the end of the 2013-14 school year.

• The board approved requests for two school-related trips for BLHS students, both 5-0: a weekend trip to Memphis, Tenn., for choir students and a 10-day trip to Europe for Spanish and French students.

• And the board approved, 5-0, the hirings of Christy Gibson as a building technology coordinator for Basehor Elementary School and Basehor Intermediate School and Kelly Otterman as a part-time food-service worker; accepted, 5-0, the resignation of Devon Hale, Glenwood Ridge Elementary School building technology coordinator; and approved, 5-0, the termination of Brenda Liechti, custodian.

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