USD 410 board approves new goals for district

Receiving service awards during the May 9 school board meeting were (from left) Mike Moran for 23 years as counselor for Hills­boro Elementary School, Rita Loewen for 32 years teaching, and Lori Soo Hoo for 10 years with Parents as Teachers.
Receiving service awards during the May 9 school board meeting were (from left) Mike Moran for 23 years as counselor for Hills­boro Elementary School, Rita Loewen for 32 years teaching, and Lori Soo Hoo for 10 years with Parents as Teachers.
The USD 410 Board of Education approved goals at its May 9 regular meeting that will focus direction for the district through 2020.

Prior to board action, Superintendent Steve Noble highlighted revisions to the goals he had proposed last month in areas of teaching and learning, leadership, human resources and facilities.

At the April meeting, board members had reques­ted that community components should be included.

Noble said goals for collaborating with the community would involve engaging students in local internships, establishing criteria for service as a graduation requirement, holding annual community service days, scheduling events for students to share their skills and talents, and encouraging collaborative use of USD 410 facilities.

Hillsboro High School FFA officers Vance Klassen and Callyan Lacio presented a plaque to Noble in appreciation for his support of the organization during his tenure at USD 410.

“If we need something done, call the FFA,” Noble said as he accepted the plaque.

The board also presented service awards to employees leaving the district: Mike Moran for 23 years as counselor and after-school program coordinator for Hills­boro Elementary School, Rita Loewen for 32 years teaching, and Lori Soo Hoo for 10 years with Parents as Teachers.

Two other employees who were not present will also receive service awards: Stuart Holmes for 13 years teaching and Ronda Wiens for 10 years driving bus.

Board members discussed extensively the district’s participation in the middle school Central Kansas League. Noble had added the topic to the agenda after board member Rod Koons raised concerns about students losing a full day of school because of the May 9 track meet at the Joel Wiens Stadium.

“I sense the ideals for USD 410 are different than other districts (in the league),” Koons said at the board meeting.

Because of the distance between Hillsboro and other schools such as Hoisington, Kingman, Pratt and Larned, traveling to extra-curricular league events has a significant impact on loss of instructional time.

Other factors, such as facilities, also have an impact on how long it takes to complete events at some of the schools.

Board members identified several positive aspects for USD 410 being in the league, including participation and competition with other students. One option discussed was having a two-division track meet to address traveling distance.

Noble said he will get the league’s bylaws for the board to review prior to next month’s meeting. He also will invite Clint Corby, HM/HS principal, and Robert Rempel, HM/HS activities director/assistant to the principal, to share their thoughts with the board at its June meeting.

Technology director Brad Just updated the board on the three-year technology rotation the district has been following. As part of that plan, the board approved purchasing 140 laptops with three-year warranties for $59,500 for 2016-17.

Other business

In other business, the board:

• approved three students traveling to College Park, Md., June 12-16 to compete in National History Day. Jenna Hinerman of HHS and Jessica Saunders and Kyla Isaac of HMS qualified at the state competition at Washburn University. Although the trip doesn’t incur district expenses, the board is required to approve any school-sponsored sanctioned out-of-state trips.

• approved board policies for public relations, relations with organizations and relations with agencies.

• considered its first reading of revisions for HES and HM/HS building handbooks, which included matching attendance policy. Changes recommended for HM/HS include the dance policy; open lunch as a privilege; consequence levels for tardies, detention, suspension and expulsion; the dress code and possession of weapons on campus.

• met in executive session for 25 minutes, followed by approving the resignation of Ronda Wiens as bus driver and issuing contracts to Heather Corby for HES music, art and ESOL, as well as supplemental contracts for coaches and sponsors for the upcoming school term.

Noble said some vacancies for those positions still need to be filled.

• heard Noble announce graduation set at 4 p.m. May 14, at Joel Wiens Stadium, and the end-of-the-year celebration from 5:30-6:30 p.m. May 18 in the district’s bus barn.

Rod’s Tire and Ampride are two of the corporate sponsors that will provide the free food.

Noble added that a USD 410 appreciation day for staff and family is planned for June 1 at the Hillsboro Aquatic Center.