Students give presentations to USD 410 board

Students were on hand at the USD 410 Board of Educating Jan. 14 meeting to give their reports about their recent learning activities.

Emily Gilkey and Gracelyn Just, along with teacher Maura Wiebe, shared their reflections from the December visit to Kansas STARBASE Camp in Salina by the fifth grade class at Hillsboro Elementary School. Students had participated in a STEM curriculum designed to motivate the exploration of areas in science, technology, engineering and science.

Four students from Darlene Bartel’s eighth grade class – D’Myia Cox, Cole Moss, Katie Rempel and Alana Suderman – described their experience in completing a problem-based learning project. Their task was to design and build a leg brace to help keep a cerebral palsy patient’s heel to the ground when walking.

Board members asked questions and praised the students for their presentations at the meeting.

Evan Yoder, Hillsboro Elementary School principal, gave his quarterly building report, which included plans for the staff to begin a book study working compassionately with children who have suffered trauma in their lives.

He emphasized the importance of communicating with stakeholders and getting feedback from both staff and parents to facilitate understanding, such as the recent community meeting held to discuss project-based learning and ways to address social-emotional learning.

Also, Yoder said a HES team had been in Salina to gather data and pick up on principles they can use in developing strategies for the Gemini project.

“Each time we learn something new and share it with the rest of the staff,” Yoder said about such trips.

Yoder told the board that he had received questions regarding the amount of screen time students have during the school day. He assured the board that teachers are monitoring the time, and he doubted that students have much more time than they’ve had in the computer labs.

“We’ve got really watch that, and I think we’re aware of that,” he said.

The board heard a presentation by ISG Technology, a company with offices in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, about a design for the bells, clocks and intercom systems for the elementary and middle/high school buildings. Superintendent Max Heinrichs said such as system hopefully would be installed during the summer. The board took no action.

Heinrichs thanked board members for their faithful service, as January is Board Member Appreciation month.

In other business, the board:

◼ approved a three-year auditing contract with Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk and Loyd. The company will continue completing audits for USD 410 at the following cost: $11,450 for 2019, $11, 800 for 2020, and $12,150 for 2021. The company has completed USD 410 audits

◼ approved the softball cooperative agreement between HHS and Peabody-Burns High School as allowed under Rule 29 of the KSHSAA Handbook, which allows for such agreements between member schools. Heinrichs said the numbers for the softball programs at HHS and PHS are both expected to be low. The agreement will be effective for the 2019 and 2020 spring seasons.

◼ approved extending Heinrichs’ contract to serve as superintendent of USD 410 through June 20, 2021.

◼ approved the retirement of Vickie Huxman as HMHS custodian after 12 years of employment, which will be effective Feb. 1.

◼ approved changes to the driver education contract that will equal about $207 per student times the total students who complete the course.

◼ listened to Heinrichs’ report from the operations committee for the Joel H. Wiens Stadium at Tabor College.

◼ was invited by Heinrichs to attend the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce dinner on Feb. 27.