FULL REPORT: Aug. 11 USD 410 board meeting

Unified School District 410 Board of Education voted last Monday evening to appoint Joe Sechrist to serve as board member in Position 2 through June 30, 2011.

Because no patron ran for the position in the past election, and all write-in candidates declined to serve, the board had advertized to fill the opening.

Both Sechrist and Kimberly Jost applied and met the requirements to serve: that they live in the area represented and are not employed by the school district.

?It?s a breath of fresh air to have two quality candidates apply to serve on the board,? said board member Rod Koons before the board voted. ?It will be a good decision no matter who is chosen.?

Sechrist and Jost were interviewed individually by board members in public session.

The board voted unanimously for Sechrist, who is in his 10th year as a counselor at Allison Magnet Middle School in Wichita. He and wife Brenda have four children, who attend USD 410 schools.

Following the vote, Sechrist was invited to sit at the table and participate in the discussion of issues. He will be a voting member after being officially sworn in by Jerry Hinerman, clerk.

In an open hearing, Superintendent Steve Noble reviewed the proposed 2009-10 budget. The board approved the published budget of $7.427 million, with a total mill levy of 58.94. The budget is based on a full-time equivalency of 593.3 students.

Greg Brown, middle school principal, presented the proposed laptop-computer care contract to be signed by high school students and their parents. The contract addresses responsibilities regarding the computers that will be issued to each student for this school year.

Brown also presented the computer-use policies, including security, safety, fees and replacement costs. These policies can be accessed on the USD 410 Web site.

After a time of questions and discussion, the board approved the contract and technology-use policies.

?This district has been prepared for this day (to have individual computers),? Brown said about the progressive steps implemented in preparation for this venture.

The board also discussed the proposed lease agreement with Midway Motors for $4,500 per month to use of the facility on North D Street that will become the USD 410 central office.

Midway plans to rent the facility until it moves into its new building that will be under construction.

Koons asked how building maintenance and repairs would be handled, which was not addressed in the contract.

Noble agreed to add verbiage that articulated the renter?s responsibility for routine custodial work, maintenance and upkeep of the grounds. Major renovations or significant repairs will be the responsibility of the district.

The board approved the lease with those amendments.

Noble presented the job description for the district office secretary to be filled after Jane Long retires in mid-October. The position will involve five areas of responsibility: receptionist, personnel, food service, treasurer and technology applications.

By consensus, the board authorized Noble to advertise for the position immediately.

Noble informed the board about criteria he plans to use regarding athletic teams and size of coaching staff, based on its effect of having teachable moments with students and potential of supervision issues.

One such matter under discussion, he said, is whether to add an assistant coach for volleyball. That decision, he said, will be based on his criteria.

Eagle Communications Inc. plans to broadcast the football, girls? and boys? basketball and some volleyball games this year, Noble said, adding he thought it was important for the district to purchase some advertising, even though Eagle was not requiring the district to pay for this service.

?I want to see this coverage for the kids,? he said.

The board agreed to his proposal to pay $500 for ads that will promote the school district.

Noble also updated the board briefly about progress regarding a change in league affiliation for USD 410 starting in 2010-11. He said an important consideration will be the distance for district teams to commute to out-of-town games.

In other business the board:

— approved the current facility-use policy.

— approved the student-teacher handbooks, including changes presented at an earlier meeting.

— approved the current transportation handbook.

— accepted resignations by C.J. Hill as at-risk aide and Phil Oelke as head baseball coach.

— approved supplemental contracts for Donya Anderson and Jordan Allen to serve as HMS head and assistant girls basketball coaches, respectively, for the 2009-10 season.

— heard Evan Yoder, elementary school principal, report that he anticipates a higher number of English language learners this school year.

— heard Keith Goossen review and explain the district?s transportation purchasing plan.

— heard board member Mark Rooker report on the last TEEN meeting.

— heard board member Deb Geis report on Marion County Special Education Cooperative. She said while the last teacher has been hired, no one has applied for the speech therapist position.

— discussed community use of the new weight-room facility. Noble said Hillsboro Recreation Commis?sion has been charged with drafting the policies for it.

The board members agreed the goal is to have the facility open to the public as soon as possible. Noble said he will follow up on the matter.

— met in executive session to discuss matters of personnel. No action was taken in pubic session.

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