Unified School District 410 Board of Education at its July 9 meeting approved fees and other agenda items in preparation for the 2012-13 school year.
The board voted to increase by 5 cents prices for all school meals with the exception of visitor lunches, which will remain the past year’s amount.
“The cost of providing meals continues to increase for USD 410 due to new federal nutrition requirements,” said Superintendent Steve Noble about the rationale for raising prices.
Noble recommended assessing a “consumables materials fee” for the upcoming year, thus eliminating issuing textbook fees required in previous years.
“Textbooks are going the way of eight-tracks and video cassettes,” Noble said.
Rationale for the change, he said, is to cover cost of items that students in kindergarten through grade five eventually take home, such as worksheets and art projects.
The board approved the fees for kindergarten through grade five as recommended. Consumable materials for middle and high school students are covered by course fees and activity fees, which the board also approved.
The majority of course and activity fees will remain the same, although several items are now categorized as optional, such as middle school T-shirts and high school PE shirts and shorts. Students in band will no longer pay a course fee unless they are renting an instrument.
Noble said the district will provide specialty instruments such as drums and tuba, but others such as flute, saxophone and trumpets, will be available to rent and take home.
Band instrument rental fees will be $50; those with reduced-priced meals, $25; and those with free meals, $10.
The board also approved a fee change that will require students to purchase a laptop accidental insurance fee. In the past, students have paid a user fee for the 1-1 laptop initiative.
Insurance will provide coverage for accidental damage and liquid spills, although it will not cover intentional damage to computers or damage resulting from neglect. Students will not have to pay a deductible.
The coverage will be provided by Safeware Inc., based in Ohio.
Board president Eddie Weber presented Kansas Sen. Jeff Longbine with a certificate of appreciation for his service and support of education.
At the meeting, Longbine addressed the state’s redistricting, which has changed the constituents he will represent if re-elected in fall, and encouraged the board to monitor the recently passed tax plan and its potential implications on education. He also commended the board for the quality of education in USD 410.
Noble said Rep. Bob Brookens was unable to attend the meeting to also be recognized.
Technology instructor Creigh Bell reviewed results from recent national competition in Nashville, Tenn., by members of the Student Association chapter of Hillsboro High School. Eighty-five teams participated and HHS teams placed among the top 10 in three events.
In other business, the board members:
• agreed to continue serving in positions they held for 2011-12 including Eddie Weber as board president, Gary Andrews as vice president, Deb Geis as representative to Marion County Special Education Cooperative, Mark Rooker as representative to Technology Excellence in Education Network, Rod Koons as chief negotiator, Chad Nowak as representative to Professional Development Council.
Additional continuing appointments include Andrews as MCSEC alternate representative, assistant negotiator and USD 410 Technology Committee representative; Joe Sechrist as TEEN alternate representative; and Weber as Kansas Association of School Boards governmental relations representative.
• approved the classified employee information manual, athletic handbook, transportation handbook and building handbooks for 2012-13 as presented at last month’s meeting.
• listened to a presentation by Brett Miller of Trane Total Solutions regarding energy efficiency issues. Miller recommended the board consider installing a variable refrigerant flow system to save on utility costs. Also, he discouraged the district from entering a performance contract agreement because that would take away control in decision making.
“You’re paying for the savings no matter what, so do it yourself,” Miller said.
• approved contracts for Nathan Hiebert as fall weight room supervisor, Autumn Reece as head middle school volleyball coach, Phil Oelke as winter weight room supervisor and Jordan Allen as assistant coach for middle school boys basketball.
• honored Ken Pankratz, who has retired after serving 19 years with the district.
• approved renewing membership with Kansas Association of School Boards at a cost of $7,006.
• approved participation with the KASB Legal Assistance Fund at a cost of $1,400.
Noble said he finds that service valuable as the districts uses it three or four times a month.
• approved pay rates for temporary employees as recommended. Hourly rates range from $7.75 to $15 per hour.
• approved increasing substitute teacher rates to $90 for a full day and $45 for a half day.
• approved facility use policy as presented.
• discussed emphasizing Parents as Teachers as priority for the Early Childhood Fund from Hillsboro Community Foundation.
• agreed to meet at 6 p.m., Oct. 3 for annual review and setting of goals.
• approved annual agenda for board meetings.
• heard from business manager Jerry Hinerman and Noble about end of year transfers to close out the 2011-2012 budget.
Noble asked the board for its input for direction in final determination as to expenses incurred in capital outlay and operational funds. Consensus of the board was to recommend moving some spending now listed in LOB to operations.
• agreed to have the 2012-13 budget published with maximum authority. Noble reminded the board that they cannot exceed the amount published but can submit a lower budget.
Board member Chad Nowak was absent from the July 9 meeting.
A special board meeting was held at noon July 11 to take action on monthly financial matters.