USD 410 Board of Education decided to waive rental fees for band instruments for the 2016-17 school year at its July 11 regular meeting.
The idea was introduced by board member Rod Koons as a “good faith effort” to encourage more students to participate in the band program.
In the past, the district has charged $25 to rent brass and woodwind instruments and $15 for percussion and other instruments. Those qualifying for reduced and free meals were charged less.
“If it would get kids in the band program, I’d be all for it,” said Superintendent Max Heinrichs during the board’s discussion about student fees.
The board approved other fees as proposed, which remained the same as last year, except no fees for consumable materials for grades one through five for those on free lunches.
Heinrichs reported the Hillsboro Middle/High School bells and intercom are working.
In other business, the board took the following actions for 2016-17:
• re-elected Mark Rooker as president and Rod Koons as vice president.
• approved meal prices for that reflected a 5-cent increase for all student meals and an extra milk and a 10-cent increase for adults.
Heinrichs said the meal increases were necessary to meet the minimum to qualify for federal funding.
• approved temporary employee pay rates, which included the addition of an after-school program assistant and interpreter.
Responding to Koons’ suggestion that hourly rates be reviewed, Heinrichs said, “We’ll take a look going forward at making them more uniform.”
• approved continuing pay rate for substitute teachers at $90 for a full day and $45 for a half day.
“I still see this as being pretty competitive,” Heinrichs said about the rate.
• approved the Classified Employee Benefit Manual.
• approved temporary employee health insurance benefit policy “equivalent to 80 percent of the premium for a $2,000 deductible single coverage per temporary employee that elects to participate in the ESSDACK consortium health insurance plan.”
• approved the transportation handbook.
Heinrichs said the manual underscores the necessity that “anyone not riding the bus on any given day inform the transportation office at 620-877-0502” and not text or call drivers during their routes.
“We’re really working to not have (parents or guardians) text the driver, but rather call the office,” Heinrichs said.
Drivers will be notified via radio about messages.
• approved board policy revisions introduced at last month’s meeting.
• approved appointments of board officers as representatives for the following positions: Jim Paulus for Marion County Special Education Cooperative and Joe Sechrist as MCSEC alternate; Mark Rooker for Technology Excellence in Education Network and Tim Kaufman as TEEN alternate; Rod Koons as chief negotiator and Rooker as assistant negotiator; Kim Klein for Professional Development Council; Rooker for Kansas Association of School Boards Governmental Relations; and Jared Jost for USD 410 Technology Committee.
• after meeting in executive session for personnel, approved Sara Bennett’s transfer from HMHS custodian to north bus route driver, Julia Jost as HMHS accompanist at a rate of $10 per hour, Kalee Cross as middle HMS girls’ basketball assistant coach, a contract for Joy Mark as director for Families and Communities and Together at $35,000, plus a monthly health insurance benefit contribution of $475 through September and $499 after September.
• reviewed maintenance and facility upkeep for the summer, which includes installing carpet, tile and a bottle-fill drinking fountain and installation of cable in the district office.
• heard from Heinrichs that the proposed budget for next year will be distributed Aug. 3.
The board will meet in a special session at 6 p.m. Aug. 18 for a citizen open forum regarding the budget, after which the board will vote on the budget. Board members and Gary Sechrist of the Kansas Association of School Boards will then have a supper meeting to set short-term goals for USD 410.