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UPDATE Jan. 26 8:56 PM – Park Hill Board of Education to Meet This Evening

Art Credit: KC Education Enterprise | Illustration Credit: 123rf stock image | Logo Credit: Park Hill School District

UPDATE Jan. 26, 2012 8:56 p.m. — The board voted, and the name of the new elementary school is Tiffany Ridge.

The Park Hill School District’s Board of Education will meet twice on Thursday, Jan. 26. This afternoon they will meet in a closed session starting at 3:30 p.m. And this evening at 7 p.m. they will hold a regular board meeting that is open to the public.

Because of confidential personnel issues, the district cannot release the agenda of the closed meeting. However, the board will most likely spend this time considering candidates who have applied for the position as Park Hill’s new superintendent. Superintendent Dennis Fisher is retiring at the end of this school year, and plans are to announce his successor next month. In addition to today’s closed session, board members have been meeting every day since last Friday (including Saturday and Sunday) to deal with personnel issues. Some of the meetings have been at the KCI Embassy Suites, suggesting they may be interviewing out-of-town candidates. This is a national search to find a successor for Fisher.

In addition to routine items on the agenda of tonight’s public meeting, such as approving personnel changes and the sale of surplus property, board members will have a full agenda. Several significant action items include holding a public hearing regarding next year’s proposed calendar, possibly approving new district policies and selecting a name for the elementary school that is under construction. Also, the board will hear a report about a proposed multi-tier bus program.

Although the proposed academic calendar has been posted since December for public review, no comments have been received.

Policies the board may approve tonight focus on selection of textbooks, curriculum and library materials as well as academic honesty for secondary students. Policies set by the board guide the administration of the school district. One policy of particular interest would govern how to handle requests to remove material from library shelves. According to the proposal, materials could be removed only through due process procedures, which would be handled “objectively” and “unemotionally.”

Last year, board members rejected a list of names suggested for the district’s newest elementary school. Tonight, the naming committee will submit more choices, including:

  • Tiffany Ridge
  • Gabel
  • Tiffany
  • Skyview
  • Tiffany Grove
  • Banneker Springs
  • Northeast
  • Walnut Grove.

Gabel would be a name memorializing Melody Gabel, a physical education teacher who died of cancer a few years ago. Most of the other names reference local history and landmarks. 

Later in the evening, the board will hear a presentation about multi-tier bus schedules. By rearranging school hours, buses might be used more efficiently, saving the district up to $400,000 a year. The earliest start time would be 7:10 a.m., and the latest end time would be 4:15 p.m. District staff will discuss pros and cons of the proposal. Some problems might be not enough sleep for high school students or elementary students having to get themselves to bus stops after parents have left for work. The primary positive argument for the proposal seems to be the projected cost savings.

Park Hill’s board will take place in the district’s Education Center; 7703 N.W. Barry Road; Kansas City, MO 64153.

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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