USD 410 enrollment may stay steady, board hears

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BRENDA CONYERS
USD 410 administration said Monday the decline of students may not decline as first thought.


While final numbers are not in, current statistics indicate enrollment will be close to last year’s figures.


Pat Call, principal of Hillsboro Elementary School, said having the enrollment at one place seemed to be a success with parents but he missed seeing parents and students.


“Although, I was in my office hoping someone might come by, no one ever did,” he told school board members at their monthly meeting.


Call said he expected there would be a decrease in student enrollment, but other families have moved into Hillsboro and increased students.


Dale Honeck, principal of Hillsboro High School, said the number of high school students also was close to last year.


“We had 11 students leave the district,” Honeck said. “But we have already had nine come in.”


Superintendent Gordon Mohn said he had hoped to have figures ready for Monday’s meeting, but will not have them available until next month.


Activities Director Max Heinrichs said 18 girls had signed up for the high school tennis team, which is an “unusually large number.”


Other sports teams figures are: high school football, 43; volleyball, 35; cross-country, 12; middle school football, 42; middle school volleyball, 34.


Board members discussed the possibility of hiring additional assistant coaches due to the number of students athletes, an item which had been taken off of the original budget.


Heinrichs told the board about a policy change regarding transportation to and from practices.


The new policy allows students who are over the age of 16 with a valid Kansas driver’s license to drive to and from practices.


Students under the age of 16 may use school transportation, or, with parental permission, ride with an older student.


“With softball, baseball, golf and track, we have a lot of different practices times and places,” Heinrich said. “Having this new policy is an asset for us.”


Board member Brenda Enns said she thought such a policy should be carefully monitored.


Heinrich agreed and said: “This is the law, and we just want people to be aware of the law. We don’t want to be the police, we just want a policy in place.”


Mohn said technically the school is no longer responsible for a student as soon as classes have ended.


“But in reality,” Mohn said, “parents think school is over when practice is over.”


In his report to the board, Honeck said a new Internet filter that blocks any questionable sites students may try to access has been put on all systems in TEEN schools.


“I know there is some question about this kind of thing,” Honeck said. “but it looks like a solid program when everyone gets used to it.”


He also reported attendance for last year was 94.5 percent, which is close to what it has been the past three years.


Honeck said the boys had a better rate of attendance than the girls this past year.


The board voted to approve the 2001-02 budget without discussion.


The total cost per student for this year is $6,028.97 compared to total student cost in 1991-02 of $4,937.47.


Mohn said one thing he thought the general public might be unaware of is the fact that just because the mill levy stays the same doesn’t mean taxes won’t change. The two are unrelated.


Several new contracts were approved for the new school year: Hilarey Dechant as HMS cheerleading coach; Kara Chisholm: assistant HHS volleyball coach; Tina King, assistant HHS volleyball coach; Mike Jilka, head HMS girls’ basketball coach; Lynn Wiebe, head girls’ tennis coach; Dale Winter, bus driver; Roberta Isaac, HES assistant cook; Eileen Rader, Wiebe Media Center evening aide; Karla Kunantaev, band assistant.


Corey Burton will be teaching an independent class, which is in addition to his other business classes. His contract was adjusted to accommodate for the additional class.

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