USD 410 – Hillsboro School Board gets update on Gemini redesign

USD 410 Board of Education received an update from building administrators and a faculty representative about the Gemini Redesign at its regular meeting Nov. 12.

“It’s great to see the positive energy,” said Clint Corby, Hillsboro Middle/High School principal about the teachers’ efforts to incorporate project-based learning, which is part of the emphasis with the redesign.

The stated outcomes for the Gemini project, according to the Kansas State Department of Education website, include the following: “a successful Kansas high school graduate has the academic preparation, cognitive preparation, technical skills, employability skills, and civic engagement to be successful in post-secondary education, in the attainment of an industry recognized certification or in the workforce, without need for remediation.”

Outcomes for measuring progress over time include “kindergarten readiness, individual plan of study focused on career interests, high school graduation rates, post-secondary completion/attendance and social/emotional growth measured locally,” as stated on the KSDE website.

Corby, along with middle school teacher Tamara Cassidy, and Evan Yoder of Hillsboro Elementary School principal reported on collaborative efforts across disciplines that are also part of the redesign project.

“There are some natural collaborations, like art and band,” Corby said.

Adopting a vision statement for the project—“We want our students to love learning and be excited about life”—has helped provide needed focus and direction in developing various aspects of the project, Corby told the board.

The goal is students experiencing personal success and contributing to the community, Cassidy added.

A next step will be scheduling some community gatherings to talk about ideas and information regarding the project, she said.

Scot Loyd, of Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk and Loyd, presented the district’s financial audit for the 2018 fiscal year.

“It looks like a great report to me,” Loyd said, adding commendations to Jerry Hinerman, USD 410 business manager, for successfully managing the financial reports for USD 410.

Following Loyd’s presentation, the board approved the report.

Superintendent Max Heinrichs reviewed the following goals that for the 2018-19 school year that were devised at the board’s Oct. 15 special meeting: Goal 1 – USD 410 will meet the social, emotional and mental health needs for each student. Developing empathy is a foundational approach to achieve our goals; Goal 2 – USD 410 will ensure the delivery method of teaching matches the personal learning style of each study.

Board member Rod Koons asked how these goals will help in making decisions for students. Heinrichs replied that the goals are aligned with those set for HES and HM/HS, which he’ll send to the board.

In his state of the district report, Heinrichs reviewed district goals for 2016-2020 and accomplishments, challenges and data regarding the percentage of students enrolled and persisting in college toward graduation.

After meeting in executive session for personnel, the board approved the following:

◼ classified hires of Rebecca Ryding from HMHS with four hours part-time to eight hours full-time with the rate of pay remaining the same and Cheryl Hagen as HMHS custodian for four hours part-time year round at $9.40 per hour.

◼ supplemental contracts for Tena Loewen as assistant HHS girls basketball coach, Tyson Reimer and Dauson Whiteley as assistant HHS wrestling coaches at .05 FTE each, and David Loewen Sr. as assistant HMS basketball coach.

Board member Kim Klein attended the meeting via phone, and board member Jim Paulus was absent from the meeting.