USD 410 board designates $55,000 for playground

USD 410 Board of Educa?tion members authorized $55,000 from the capital outlay fund at its Nov. 10 regular meeting toward the playground renovation project at Hillsboro Elementary School.

The board also approved Athco of Lenexa as the builder and a project budget of $185,000.

Superintendent Steve Noble said money from the capital outlay fund can be used only for equipment and facilities. The recent sale of land owned by the district north of town for $55,000 provided additional capital outlay revenue.

The board?s vote followed a project update and budget review by Erin Beavers, chair of the playground committee.

The proposal, Beaver said, addressed three primary concerns about the current playground: cosmetics, drainage and safety.

The budget presented by Beaver designated $108,000 for equipment and pour-in-place surfacing for the north area, which would make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other project expenses include $25,740 for concrete and $7,550 for dirt work.

The playground committee is working to raise money through grants and requests, Beavers said. Even if the state approves a matching grant for the money gathered so far, $30,000 will still be needed to reach the budget goal.

Noble said he thought some people will want to help ?close the deal? once major funds have been secured.

The board, Noble added, will still need to give final administrative approval before the project will begin.

Noble reviewed highlights of the Kansas Association of School Board Legislative Committee report.

Among the policies to be discussed at the delegate meeting Dec. 7 in Overland Park, Noble said, will be that each high school student must have an individual plan for post-secondary preparation.

Also, he said, educators will be evaluated on how well their students are performing, which he said is controversial for those teachers who are working with students who have learning challenges.

Other business

In other business, the board:

? approved a new form for annual evaluations of bus drivers. Noble said the new form is more appropriate for bus drivers rather than a general staff evaluation used previously.

All employee evaluation instruments need to be approved by the board, he added.

? approved a fuel contract with Cooperative Grain and Supply at a net price of $2.5260 per gallon at the pump and $2.880 for diesel.

With $3.265 for gasoline allocated in the 2014-15 budget, Noble estimated a cost savings of $10,000.

? approved a request from Allison Weber, Student Council vice president at Hillsboro High School, to cancel afternoon classes Tuesday, Nov. 25, to allow all students to participate in a service project to rake leaves in the community.

? appointed board members Chad Nowak as USD 410 delegate and Joe Sechrist as alternate for the KASB meeting Dec. 7.

? heard a report from Families and Communities Together director Ashlee Gann.

?Beer, wine or hard liquor is the drug of choice of Marion County,? Gann said based on results of a Communities That Care survey by students grades six to 12.

Even though substance use is lower locally than the Kansas average, efforts are needed to address the issue with youth in Marion County, she said.

? approved resignations submitted by Ronda Wiens as custodian at Hillsboro Middle/High School and Lance Sawyer as HHS assistant boys? basketball coach.

? approved a work agreement for Sara Bennet as HMS/HHS custodian.

? approved supplemental contracts for Sawyer as HMS assistant boys? basketball coach and Nick Talbott as HHS assistant and HMS head coach for wrestling.

? reviewed board positions that expire in 2015 held by Deb Geis, Eddie Weber, Chad Nowak, Kim Klein and Rod Koons. All new positions will be at-large positions and voted by the public, Noble said, following approval of the ballot item on the Nov. 4 election ballot.

? heard reports from board members Mark Rooker about Technology Excellence in Education Network and Joe Sechrist about Marion County Special Education Cooperative.

Board member Chad Nowak was absent from the meeting.