Superintendent reveals district growth and new programs
Growth is contagious in Basehor.
Basehor-Linwood School District Superintendent David Howard gave the Basehor Chamber of Commerce his annual report on Thursday, filling his audience in on the district’s rising number of students and the creation of new programs, including a several career guidance programs. The city’s rising number of building permits, up to 63 as of Sept. 16, signals the likelihood of more students.
“Over the last five years with the economic recession, our numbers sort of flattened out,” Howard said. “But we’re glad to see an increase this year.”
Enrollment throughout the district is up 78 students to 2,175, compared to 2012, Howard said. The district now has 119 certified teachers on staff, up six from 2012.
However, through refinancing of $19.2 million worth of bonds, the district was able to save $1.1 million in taxpayer money last year. Howard said he expects taxes to increase in coming years, so refinancing last year was crucial.
The chamber applauded Howard’s report and its conclusion and several members expressed their happiness with the growth.
Howard also told the chamber:
• Lunches provided by the district increased in 2013. Through a contract with OPAA! Food Management Inc., the district is serving 120 more meals per day at 1,073, staff and students included, compared to 2012. Basehor is one of the few districts in the state seeing a rise in meals served in school because of the quality of food being provided, Howard said. Students are offered three options per day, one of which is always a salad.
• All 6th and 7th graders have access to personal iPads through the district’s iPad initiative and the district will provide iPads to middle school students next year.
• New to the district this year is a Jobs for America’s Graduates, or JAG, program. New teacher Mary Guerra is teaching 35 students about interview skills, job searching and job shadowing opportunities. “These are students who may have struggled academically and may be flying under the radar in some ways,” Guerra said at the chamber meeting.