USD 410 board meets in new central office building

The first week of May, Unified School District 410 personnel, board members and volunteers moved office equipment, supplies and furniture from the temporary offices located in the basement of Emprise Bank to the newly renovated facility that formerly housed Midway Motors.

Thus, a new chapter for USD 410 had begun. The board of education held its first gathering Monday evening in the spacious meeting room of the remodeled central offices at South Date and West D streets.

The evening marked the culmination of a nearly four-year journey since voters approved the $6.625 million bond issue to complete the Joel H. Wiens Stadium and facilities improvement projects.

Superintendent Steve Noble, USD 410 board members and business manager Jerry Hinerman sat comfortably around the rectangular wooden table as they discussed items on the evening?s agenda, projected on the retractable screen mounted from the ceiling.

At the meeting, Noble announced an open house for the district?s central offices at 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. May 19. The community is invited.

Safe Routes to School

Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Paine presented the Safe Routes to School I Grant and invited the school district to be a partner in the project to develop safe routes for children and families to walk or bicycle to school.

Numerous sidewalks en route to schools, Paine said, are inadequate or nonexistent.

Paine said the city would take full ownership of Phase 1, which is researching and planning the project, and submitting the grant proposal.

?School districts are not eligible to apply for grants,? Paine said.

Phase 2 would involve the city and school district, he said, and would require an engineering fee of $40,000, with half paid by the city and half by the school district.

With budget cuts and reductions in the district?s work force, Noble said this year was not the time to commit funds toward the project.

Paine said the timing to implement Phase 2 is flexible. If district finances continue to be restricted over the next several years, USD 410 could opt out of the project.

?Safety (for school children) is important,? said Eddie Weber, board president.

The board approved USD 410 participate in Phase 1 of the project planned for Hillsboro.

Budget adjustments

Noble reviewed adjustments to the budget cuts presented at last month?s meeting. He recommended the adjustments because the district received word that its health costs would remain flat instead of increasing.

Among the revisions were some funding for a school nurse and building secretary substitutes as well as smaller reductions in building budgets.

The board also discussed changes in its insurance coverage for all students. Families will be responsible for accident insurance up to $25,000. Parents will have the option of buying it down to zero at a reasonable cost. Such information will be available on the district?s website when students are enrolled online.

Other business

In other business, the board:

? approved a recommendation to non-renew teaching contracts due to reduction in force for Doug Dick, Michele Melton and Gita Noble. The action followed an executive session to discuss personnel issues.

? approved the resignation of Jason Henry as technology director, effective May 27.

? approved contracts for Doug Dick as half-time kindergarten through grade five teacher for 2011-12 and Brad Just as technology director.? heard editorial changes for student handbooks from principals Greg Brown and Evan Yoder from the middle and elementary schools. The board will vote on the changes at next month?s meeting.

? recognized three retiring teachers, Shirley Baltzer, Charlene Driggers and Jim Robb.

? called a special meeting for noon Thursday to handle the month?s financial business. Because of the move to the new offices, the reports were not ready for Monday?s meeting.

? discussed proposed purchases of computer docking stations, desktop machines and laptops for $58,469. Board members asked questions about plans for rotating and using the machines and decided to table the vote for the purchase until the special meeting scheduled for Thursday.

? approved the installation of new high-definition equipment in 720 P (progressive) resolution for the individual distance learning studio with funds from the Kan-Ed grant and payment from Kansas Broadband Internet for the rights to the district?s broadband spectrum. Equipment, installation and three years of maintenance costs $39,940.

? heard from Noble that the Sextro Scholarship investment will be transferred to Hillsboro Community Foundation.

? heard the highlights from the Kansas Association of School Boards new-board workshop attended by Noble and Chad Nowak May 4. Nowak, who will assume the position held by Dale Klassen, attended Monday?s board meeting.

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