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July School Board Reports — Week 2

Photo Credit: 123rf stock image

If it’s the second week of July, it must be … time for Kansas school board reorganization meetings. This is the time of year they generally select new officers and start planning for the new school year. Missouri school boards — on the other hand — hold their reorganization meetings in the spring.

The Kansas State Board of Education and twelve local school boards — including seven in Kansas — met last week.

Probably the most significant new business this week was the Lansing school board’s decision to ask voters to approve the sale of $52 million in bond debt to build a new high school.

Kansas
State Board of Education

Highlights:

  • Renewal of U. S. Department of Education School Improvement Grants for Northwest Middle and Emerson Elementary Schools, both in the Kansas City, Kansas School District
  • New School Improvement Grants for Douglass and New Stanley Elementary Schools in the same district.
  • The federal government issues these grants “turn around its persistently lowest-achieving schools.”
  • Request from the Kansas City, Kansas School District for a waiver allowing them to use ACE and Explore assessments for eighth-grade students rather than the annual state standardized test in mathematics, reading and science.
  • Budgeting for the 2012-13 school year.

Basehor-Linwood School District

Highlight: Reorganization

De Soto School District

Highlights:

  • Reorganization
  • Proposal to save money through energy conservation. Utilities are often one of a district’s greatest expenses, second only to staff salaries.
  • Hiring a firm to conduct a boundary and enrollment study.
  • Update on construction funded by the sale of bonds approved by voters. A storm shelter under construction at the high school is part of improvements funded both by bonds and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. (On a side note, thieves broke in and stole copper from the construction site, so the district has increased security.)

Lansing School District
Highlights:

  • Reorganization
  • Update on design plans for proposed new high school
  • Board decided to ask community members for a vote to approve $52 million in school bond sales to build the proposed new high school. According to district administrators, a new school is necessary to accommodate a growing number of students.

Piper School District
Highlights:

  • Reorganization
  • Enrollment projection showing district schools will not have enough room for all students expected to enroll in the 2014-15 school year.
  • Notice of public hearing to review budget for 2012-13 school year scheduled for next month.
  • Consider changing nine district policies, including a change to put the district in compliance with the new federal Children’s Internet Protection Act. The deadline for approval was July 1, 2012.

Shawnee Mission School District
Highlight: Consideration of district policy revisions, including one governing “Public Concerns/Complaints About Instructional and Library Resources.”

Spring Hill School District
Highlights:

Turner School District
Highlight: Reorganization

Missouri

Excelsior Springs School District
Highlight: Scheduling tax rate hearing for next month.

Fort Osage School District
Highlights:

  • Consideration of district policy changes
  • Update on construction funded by school bonds approved by voters

Independence School District
Highlight: Update on construction funded by school bonds approved by voters

Kansas City Public Schools
Highlight: Meeting focused on routine but necessary responsibilities of governance

Raytown Quality Schools
Highlights:

  • Proposal to save money through energy conservation. Usually utilities are one of a district’s largest expenses, second only to staff salaries.
  • Consider changing two district policies.

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Art Credit: KC Education Enterprise | Photo Credit: Dreamstime

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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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