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September School Board Reports — Week 3

Photo Credit: JoLynne Walz Martinez

Both state boards of education and eight local school boards met last week.

Kansas

State Board of Education

Highlights:

  • Discussed educational issues state board members might like to recommend to the 2013 state legislature.
  • Considered establishing a joint council with the Kansas Board of Regents that would meet annually to coordinate action on interests that elementary and secondary educators have in common with those who teach in higher education.
  • Heard an update on Kansas’ participation in development of the national Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Considered waiving an accreditation requirement for the Kansas City, Kansas School District this year. Administrators with the Kansas State Department of Education expressed reservations about granting this request, because the U.S. Department of Education requires the science assessment the district would like to have waived. The district received a waiver last year because permission to use an alternative form of testing was expected. However, the federal government denied permission for the change so late in the year that the district did not have time to comply.

Bonner Springs

Highlights:

  • Routine responsibilities of governance.

Turner

Highlights:

  • Considered revising the district policy relating to foreign exchange students.

Missouri

State Board of Education

Highlights:

  • Voted unanimously to approve publication of a proposed Rule 5, “Resource and Process Standards and Indicators” in support of the state’s new public school district accreditation standards. The rule governs what students learn and outlines the responsibilities of all professionals involved with overseeing their education, from teachers to school board members. The rule would take effect two years after approval, if the state board votes in favor of it. According to the state board’s agenda: “Anyone may file a statement in the support of or in opposition to this proposed rule with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Attention: Margie Vandeven, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Quality Schools, PO Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480 or by email at: msip@dese.mo.gov. To be considered, comments must be received within thirty (30) days after publication of this notice in the Missouri Register. No public hearing is scheduled.”
  • Unanimously approved adoption of the fiscal year 2014 budget request.
  • Announced the accreditation status of various public schools across the state, including reclassification of the Hickman Mills School District in the Kansas City metropolitan area from accredited to provisionally accredited.

Grandview

Highlights:

  • Held a public property tax-rate hearing.
  • Voted to set a property tax rate for the 2012-13 school year.
  • Heard an enrollment update. State funding is based on district enrollment.
  • Considered revising district policies.

Hickman Mills

Highlights:

  • Received a report on metal detector log sheets and police activity in district schools.
  • Received an enrollment report. State funding is based on district enrollment.

Lee’s Summit

Highlights:

  • Held a public property tax-rate hearing.
  • Superintendent David McGehee reported district enrollment is down 88 students since last September. State funding is based on enrollment.
  • The superintendent also provided information about the proposed Missouri tobacco-tax increase that will be on the November ballot. If approved, half of the revenues will help fund public education in the state.
  • Unanimously approved a slight property tax decrease for the 2012-13 school year.
  • Voted unanimously to amend the tuition rate for students who do not reside in the district.

Liberty

Highlights:

  • Considered a proposed change to the district policy regarding gifts from vendors to staff members. Charlene Armitage made the following motion: “The board of education authorizes the administration to give gifts, which have been donated to the district, to staff members. Executive level administrators, due to their decision making positions, will be exempt from this authorization.” However, none of the other board members seconded her motion, so it did not receive a vote.
  • Superintendent Mike Brewer reported district enrollment has increased by 331 students since last September. State funding for the district will be based on the number of students enrolled.

Platte County

Highlights:

  • Discussed development of the district’s platform for the 2012-13 session of the state legislature.

Raymore-Peculiar

Highlights:

  • Heard a report about development of an International Baccalaureate (IB) program. If the district’s proposal for participation in this program is approved, the first IB classes in the district will start in the 2015-16 school year. According to the report: “The International Baccalaureate Program is a comprehensive and balanced 2 year curriculum and assessment system that allows students to study courses across all disciplines. Through careful subject selection, students may tailor their course of studies to meet their needs. Students who choose to pursue the IB Diploma will explore the connections between six major subject areas through an international perspective. They will also pursue one subject in great detail through independent research and will have an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in community outreach. It is designed for highly motivated students who seek the challenge of a well-rounded international curriculum. The program equips students with the skills and attitudes necessary for success in higher education and employment.”
  • Superintendent Jeff Kyle provided the board with a proposed platform for the 2012-13 session of the state legislature.
  • The superintendent also provided information about the proposed Missouri tobacco-tax increase that will be on the November ballot. If approved, half of the revenues will help fund public education in the state.

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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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