The Unified School District 410 Board of Education made decisions at its Monday, Jan. 14, meeting to help support the Parents As Teachers program of Marion County.
The board agreed 6-0 to authorize the county PAT program to request additional funding from the Kansas Department of Education, and to provide matching funds if for the current school year if the KDE request is granted.
“What better time to impact kids, than right there?” said Evan Yoder, Hillsboro Elementary School principal. “That’s what we’re in the business of—the education of kids.”
The board also approved unanimously the motion to authorize PAT to hire an educator for 30 hours per week.
“As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the biggest things we’ve done in a long time—(one) that we need to be very proud of,” said board president Rod Koons.
This chapter of PAT is a county-wide program, but is in large demand in the USD 410 district.
Currently, 31 families are on the waiting list in the Hillsboro district. The other four districts in the county—Centre, Goessel, Peabody-Burns and Marion-Florence—have a total of three families on the waiting list.
Asked what he thought the value of PAT carried for inbound elementary-school students, Yoder emphasized its importance.
“I know from hearing some of the kindergarten teachers who’ve had their own kids go through the program and have had kids (in the classroom) that have gone through the program say there is a big difference,” Yoder said.
Lori Soo Hoo of PAT updated the board about the program and explained that a 30-hour-per-week educator would have time to meet with up to 30 families, or 37 children—thus significantly reducing the USD 410 waiting list.
Yoder said, “I think that one important factor you (board members) know about, but needs to be emphasized, is that this program does not have to do with socio-economics. It covers everybody.
“So anybody who wants their kid in this program can have their child in this program.”
Although PAT works with with children through age 3, benefits of the program are long-term, Soo Hoo said.
“Connecting them with resources down the line is one of our big jobs,” she said, “as well as forwarding on records to preschools.
“We also have families that have been able to get early intervention services because they were able to qualify, which then helps them get into preschools as well.”
Soo Hoo also updated the board on new funding opportunities for the program.
PAT is applying for expansion funds from the Kansas Department of Education. If granted, the board agreed to match the approved amount.
PAT also applied for the Hillsboro Area Impact Fund Grant. If awarded, the program could receive $1,500.
In addition, PAT is applying for the 2007-08 Fatherhood Grant, which will award two grants of $50,000 to Kansas programs by March 1, 2008.
In other business covered, the board discussed administrative cell phones and Internet service for staff, construction projects, building and program reports, financial reports and the future of the superintendent’s position.
The board approved a contract with Coonrod and Associates Construction Co. Inc. for the elementary school and high school facility projects for a guaranteed maximum price of $3,590,476.
They approved the contract with EPM for $47,912 to revise and expand the climate-control system in the building.
Board members praised Doug Huxman on his job serving as superintendent of USD 410.
“We say thank you again,” Koons said. “We have appreciated what you’ve done for our district and we look forward to another year working together.”