District has Facebook page

USD 410 now has a Facebook presence.

That was the word from Superintendent Steve Noble at the regular Board of Education meeting, which convened at 5 p.m. Monday.

?This is the way of communication by the world,? Noble said as he projected the district?s Facebook page for board members to see.

The global social network Facebook connects individuals, businesses and organizations.

Noble and district secretary Amy Plett will administer the page and update it regularly, he said, and users can view pictures and read announcements, athletic updates and school news as well as comments left by others.

Earlier, just as the meeting had formally began, board president Eddie Weber extended the board?s congratulations to Noble for completing his doctorate from Wichita State University.

Weber presented Noble with a wooden desk nameplate, inscribed ?Dr. Steve Noble,? made by the Hillsboro High School?s Technical Student Association.

Noble thanked the board members for the gift and for attending his commencement, which was Sunday, Dec. 12.

Noble reported the Marion County Commission had voted to reduce its 10-year revitalization program to five years beginning Jan. 1. Because USD 410 is participating in the current program, it has a voice in deciding whether to continue, he said.

Following a brief discussion about the Marion County Revitalization Program, the board voted to approve the district?s participation in the revised revitalization plan.

Noble asked the board to consider enacting a policy regarding cell-phone usage for all USD 410 staff members while transporting students. Although state law prohibits texting while driving, there is no law prohibiting the use of cell phones.

?Safety is our No. 1 priority,? board member Joe Sechrist said.

The board will act on the proposal at next month?s meeting.

The Kansas Association of School Board State Delegate Assembly met Saturday, Dec. 4, in Wichita. Weber and Noble represented USD 410.

Noble reviewed the recommendations KASB will advocate at the 2011 legislative session, including those from the School Funding Committee. One recommends temporarily taking the state-limited lid off local option budgets so districts can increase mill levy beyond current limits.

While popular in large districts, Noble said that would be ?dangerous for Hillsboro? because of the impact on its taxpayers.

Noble also updated the board about progress for the virtual schools concept, which would enable students to earn school credit at home. The Bridgewater curriculum is slated for use.

?We?re quite certain it?s an undertaking the state will take,? he said.

Decisions such as management and initial and long-term operating costs would need to be determined if the district would decide to participate, he said.

?Virtual education isn?t a money maker, but we don?t want to lose money either,? Noble said, adding the potential of targeting three groups: the home-school and Holdeman student populations, and credit recovery/dropout prevention students.

In other business, the board:

? approved revised contract for salary increase that pays for maintenance work at the Joel Wiens Stadium, a cost to be shared equally by both USD 410 and Tabor College.

? granted permission for FCCLA members plus adviser Monica Leihy to attend the 2011 national ?Knowledge Bowl? during July at Anaheim, Calif. Out-of-state trips require board approval.

The cost is estimated to be about $1,000 per attendee. Fundraisers plus personal contributions will finance the trip.

The following five students plan to attend: Aslyn Simmons, Ashley Brandt, Alyssa Bettles, Aubry Meier and Emily Hoskinson.

? approved the official PDC points issued to licensed staff, an annual action by the board.

? approved a contract for Melanie Dick, who will work with PATHS for Adventure.

? met in executive session with the superintendent to discuss results of his evaluation.

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