USD 410 board to consider program cuts next meeting

USD 410 Board of Educa?tion met May 11 for its regular meeting and tabled approval of the supplemental contracts for 2015-16.

The board chose that option to allow time for Superintendent Steve Noble to bring a recommendation for proposed program cuts to next month?s meeting.

Board member Mark Rooker spoke to the value of the programs USD 410 has offered its students.

?But we?re getting to where we?ll have to touch some hard areas,? Rooker said about challenges the board faces with the tightening budget.

Board member Rod Koons pointed to the district?s declining student numbers.

?We have to be realistic at what size of high school we?re becoming,? Koons said. ?We need to have a plan.?

Noble?s initial proposal for eliminating supplemental positions included: HHS assistant volleyball coach, HHS assistant boys? basketball coach, HMS assistant football coach, HHS/HMS assistant track coach, fall/winter/spring weight supervisors, and FCCLA sponsor.

He said some supplemental contracts are one-person programs that if cut would mean cutting programs.

Noble told the board to be prepared to make some kind of decision next month.

Regarding the recommendation he made last month, Noble withdrew his request that the district allocate funds for an activity sponsor?s travel to national conferences. The district will continue to provide a vehicle for ground transportation, he said, and approve out-of-state trips.

Max Heinrichs, Hillsboro High School principal, reviewed proposed building handbook changes, including a section on part-time enrollment, a policy for foreign exchange students participating in the graduation ceremony, and policies for eligibility for activities for students enrolled in TEEN Virtual Academy as well as their participation in graduate.

Heinrichs said he is going to create a cover and include HHS and Hillsboro Middle School materials in the same handbook.

Noble reviewed several editorial changes for the Hillsboro Elementary School handbook. The board will approve handbooks next month.

Noble told board members they would receive data about school lunches to review for the next 30 days and then vote on it in June.

Jerry Hinerman, USD 410 business manager, presented a budget update. The district will lose $56,530 with the block grant aid and operating reserves have dropped about $103,700. Next year, he said, presents the potential increase in local property taxes to make up for reduction in state aid.

Hinerman said total projected expenditures have increased by $110,523. He also reviewed possible reductions in staffing and budget lines totaling $230,000.

Noble reported Safe Routes to School sidewalk construction will begin June 1; a business has issued a challenge grant of $10,000 toward the HES playground project. But as of the meeting, the district had received no word on the Kansas Department of Education grant.

The local option budget voting results were 613 yes and 377 no.

?The media have been good to get our story out for telling the truth about the challenges facing schools,? Noble said. ?Patrons are beginning to understand that truth and the challenges we are facing. The vote is evidence that people care about their schools. This gives our board authority for 33 percent as cap.?

He also reported that Tim Kaufman and Jared Jost will take their board positions July 1 and join members Mark Rooker, Kim Klein, Rod Koons and Joe Sechrist, with one seat open.

Other business

In other business, the board:

? approved the preschool calendar for 2015-16.

? approved the resignation of Dawn Clark as Family and Consumer Science teacher and FCCLA adviser.

? presented service awards to three employees who have resigned their positions: Heinrichs, for 19 years with USD 410; Greg Brown, principal of Hillsboro Middle School and activities director, nine years with USD 410; and Janet Whisenhunt, Media Center director, 10 years with USD 410. Brown was not present.

? heard about safety and supervisory concerns from Dennis Boldt, HHS and HMS track and field coach, related to the possibility of losing a track coach position for next year.

?I believe that?s the minimum with which we can operate,? Boldt said about the current number of six. ?We do have a large area to cover.?

The end-of-the-year celebration for USD 410 employees and their families will be May 20 with swimming from 3:45-6 p.m. and food served from 5-7 p.m.

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