USD 410 Board – Sept. 14 meeting

Unified School District 410 Board of Education approved four out-of-state trips for Hillsboro High School organizations and groups at its regular meeting Monday, Sept. 14.

Students and advisers representing Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, Technology Student Association and FFA requested permission and funding for transportation and sponsor expenses to attend national conferences during the upcoming year.

On behalf of the HHS Concert Choir, Lynn Just requested a vehicle and administrator to follow the bus with the choir on its trip in the spring semester.

?I support out-of-state trips as an educational experience?they?re valuable,? Superinten?dent Steve Noble told board members before they voted on the requests.

He said as a trip criterion, he expected student to perform in some way while on the trip to demonstrate learning as well as represent and promote USD 410.

Nobel said he anticipated $6,000 would be needed to fund these trips in addition to those funds raised by the groups. That funding would come from the district budget?s trip line of $3,000 and Perkins money, as well as professional development funds for the faculty members.

The following out-of-state trips were approved: FFA to Indianapolis, Ind., in October; FCCLA to Louisville, Ky., in November? choir to Branson, Mo., in May 2010; and TSA to Baltimore, Md., in July 2010.

Two individuals?Brent Barkman and Evan Yoder were acknowledged at Monday?s meeting. Barkman recently finished eight years of service as a USD 410 board member. Joe Sechrist now serves in that position.

Yoder was recognized as recipient of Teacher of the Year for 2008 in Region 4 of the Kansas Hunter Education program. Monica Bickerstaff, the program?s assistant coordinator, presented him with a plaque and a Henry 22-level rifle at Monday?s meeting.

The program is part of Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

Yoder, principal at Hillsboro Elementary School, has volunteered and taught hunter safety to nearly 400 children at Hills?boro Middle School since September 1994.

Linda Ogden, director of Community in Schools in Marion County, spoke to the board members about CIS programs, including the Early Childhood Task Force and the Comprehensive Early Childhood Health Initiative, which provides wages and scholarships for providers to attend classes about childcare.

CIS facilitates ?connecting community resources with schools to help young people successfully learn, stay in school and prepare for life,? according to the organization?s Web site. USD 410 provides office space for Ogden, and CIS pays a nominal charge that space.

?I have a long history with USD 410,? Ogden said about her nine years with CIS. ?I appreciate this district very much.?

Ogden also reviewed data from a ?Communities that Care Survey? that identifies risk indicators for children and teenagers statewide.

Based on the survey, Ogden said, children in Hillsboro have high protective factors as well as at-risk concerns, including inhalant use for grades 8 to 12, a spike in risky behaviors in grade 12, bullying in school and indications of a decreasing connection/satisfaction with school.

Also, the survey data indicate that most USD 410 parents do not talk to their children about the dangers of substance use.

About Ogden, Noble said, ?She spends a great deal of time searching for dollars that are out there. She is a tremendous resource.?

In his HES building report, Evan Yoder reviewed a job description for an English-for-Speakers-of-Other Languages-aide. He said 12 or 13 preschool through fifth-grade students would benefit from an ESOL aid who can focus on their English-language skills.

The aide would provide interpretative services for non-English proficient students in core subject areas and help in translating written communication for non-English speaking parents.

Later, the board approved issuing a contract to Gita Noble for the ESOL aid position at HES.

Curriculum director Greg Brown reported on state assessments and the continuing pressure to make annual yearly progress as required by the state.

?We don?t have the luxury ignoring state assessment standards,? Brown said, adding that at this point all three buildings are making AYP.

By 2014, 100 percent of students must be at the proficiency level.

?One hundred percent is every kid,? said Brown, principal at Hillsboro Middle School. He added that USD 410 teachers are becoming more aware of individual student performances and setting target marks for them.

Nobel reviewed a summary of the USD 410 Strategic Plan for the areas of collaboration, facilities, finances/budget, personnel and technology, adding that he plans to update the board regularly.

As superintendent, Nobel said his mantra is ?improve learning for all,? which includes achieving AYP.

In other business, the board:

— approved licensing for Microsoft Window and Office at a cost of $26,244, which Nobel said was in the budget.

— added time to Parents as Teachers educator Karen Elliott?s position, which will enable service to four to five families in Marion County. A grant will subsidize her salary.

— approved sale of the pole vault pit to Berean Academy.

— approved purchase of pole vault and high jump mats and covers, not to exceed $20,000. A higher coast will require a bid process and additional board approval to purchase.

— approved resignation of Jane Long as district office secretary, effective Oct. 16; adjustment to the contract for Jeff Haslett, physical education teacher, and issuance of contracts to Amy Plett as district office secretary and administrative assistant and to Liz Gottsch as assistant HHS volleyball coach. These actions followed an executive session on personnel.

— listened to board member Mark Rooker regarding the value of purchasing air conditioning for the server and testing fiber for the TEEN.

— listened to a report about Marion County Special Education Cooperative by Deb Geis, board member. An open house for MCSEC at its new facilities in Marion was planned for 5 p.m. Sept. 21.

— gave feedback regarding the plans by USD 410 to dedicate the new athletic facilities jointly owned with Tabor College Sept. 25.

— met in executive session for negotiations. No action was taken.

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