Written by Aleen Ratzlaff Tuesday, 19 February 2013 13:53
Members of Unified School District 410 Board of Education endorsed a program Feb. 11 for middle school students designed to enhance community involvement through leadership opportunities and partnerships with the city.
The program—Youth Engagement Leadership Development—will target seventh- and eighth-grade students.
“Students will have a behind-the-scenes look at city departments and commissions,” said Clint Seibel, executive director of Hillsboro Development Corp. and Hillsboro Ventures Inc.
Seibel, Larry Paine, Hillsboro city administrator, and Ashlee Gann, director of Families and Communities Together Inc., reviewed plans for the program, scheduled to debut in summer to promote young people connecting to their hometown.
The program fits under the model of success adopted by the city by intentionally targeting youth regarding career opportunity aware through exposure to the local city government, Seibel added.
Ganns said the program is being modeled after Great Bend’s Youth Academy, which has been operating for 13 years with more than 1,100 alumni.
Youth are chosen to attend activities that introduce them to city departments, including police and fire, water treatment and municipal governance.
Plans are to offer two day-long sessions, each open to 15 to 20 students who qualify for the Hillsboro program, Gann said, adding that a presentation to recruit students is scheduled for March 28.
In response to Paine’s request, the board voted to give its endorsement ot the program.
David Sheppard, executive director for Marion County Special Education Cooperative, shared his annual update with the board.
He reported MCSEC serves 437 students, as of Dec. 1.
Sheppard also highlighted heating, ventilation and air conditioning challenges at the Marion facility and the recent feasibility study conducted regarding the significant cost to address those problems.
“We’re back looking at options,” he said.
Costs will affect what can be fixed, Sheppard said, adding he estimated that “somewhere around $625,000” would be an amount the cooperative could afford.
In other business, the board:
• approved an identification badge policy for all school employees and visitors, effective Feb. 12. The intent of the policy, Superintendent Steve Nobe said, is to provide identification for staff, students, visitors and emergency responders.
• approved the 2013-14 school calendar as presented. Fall classes will begin Aug. 22.
• were informed of a quote of $15,940 received to install four large ceiling fans in Robert C. Brown Gymnasium.
Noble said because cost is under $20,000, the purchase does not need board approval.
• voted to reject all bids for HVAC additions and replacements at this time.
• approved a contract for grant writing services by Linda Ogden. She will receive a flat $500 per grant of $25,000-plus. Noble added that any other additional funding would come through grant funding. Ogden’s contract was scheduled to begin Feb. 12.
“As state support for schools has declined, our challenges to fund our programs are ever increasing,” Noble said. “This plan to partner with Mrs. Ogden will allow us to have a person focus on obtaining non-traditional funding for programs we deem important for our students.
• met in executive session before approving the following: resignation of Brandi Hendrix as TEEN director; work agreement for Tim Isaac to be reassigned as a regular route bus driver; contracts for Eileen Butler and Doug Dick to serve as Walking School Bus co-coordinators; and extended contracts to June 2015 for Evan Yoder, Greg Brown and Max Heinrichs.