Henderson feted for school leadership in state

School board member Roger Hannaford recognized a recent award given at the Feb. 10 USD 408 Board of Education meeting.

Superintendent Gerry Henderson received the United School Administrator (USA) Outstanding Service Award for his school leadership in Kansas and outstanding service to the association.

Henderson remarked he was “most appreciative of the many phone calls, e-mails, and personal expressions for congratulations.”

Martin Tice, business manager, reminded the board that low kindergarten enrollment has already cost $60,000 in lost budget, and in the next three years has a potential budget-authority loss of $500,000.

Tice said the base state aid per pupil will be funded at $3,863 for 2003-2004, which is a $27 cut estimated from the August 2002 projection now allowed.

The supplemental state aid (local option budget) will remain fully funded.

Presently the in-service state aid has been reduced by $2 millon, which provides for a 35 percent proration. This will be eliminated in fiscal year 2004.

Special education funded at 85 percent of excess cost-or $19,485 per teacher-will also be cut in 2004 to 83.9 percent (estimated at $19,285 per teacher) of excess cost and incorporated into the general fund with weightings of the severely multiple handicapped, other students with individual education plans including gifted, infants and toddlers.

Tice’s report also pointed out catastrophic formulas were incorporated into the weighting, therefore eliminating these as separate distribution calculations. Tice said state aid will be less, “but you still have LOB authority left, which means raising taxes.”

Henderson announced Marion High School has been invited to join the Mid-Central Activities Association. Susan Robson inquired about the middle school’s acceptance. Henderson assured the board the middle school has also been asked to join but, “it’s just not official yet.”

The board approved a recommendation to accept the science guide. Missy Stubenhofer, district curriculum coordinator, and Linda Allison, fourth-grade teacher, reported the state’s benchmark remain the same for grades kindergarten through 5, but changes need to be made in the sixth-grade through high school.

Board member Gene Bowers asked about the high school portion, particularly the environmental prospective. Stubenhofer said there was a “shortcoming” in earth and space science teaching and presently there is no one certified at the high school level for these areas.

She added these areas are covered “somewhat” in biology, chemistry and agricultural science. Stubenhofer and Allison agreed it is an issue to be looked at in the future since this will be mandated in 2005.

Allison said in previewing new texts “all new biology text books have earth science covered.”

In other business:

Stubenhofer reported a proposal allowing students to obtain a credit in oral communication by taking forensics or debate. Currently, only speech covers the credit for the graduation requirement. The curriculum is to be recommended at the March meeting.

Board members voted to continue the agreement with the vocational educational program with Newton USD 373.

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