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October School Board Reports — Week 2

15 local school boards met last week.

Kansas

Basehor Linwood

Highlight:

  • Heard financial audit report for fiscal year that ended last summer

Blue Valley

Highlight:

  • Received a report on the district’s annual financial audit

De Soto

Highlights:

  • Considered adopting a district policy governing “Energy Conservation”
  • Heard an enrollment report, which showed an increase of 89 students (which is important, because state funding is based on enrollment)
  • Heard an update on the state’s waiver of requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. As a result of the waiver, all districts must change the way they evaluate the performance of teachers and other certified staff. The district is considering developing its own plan or adopting a new program under development by the State Board of Education. A decision must be made this year and piloted next year, and any new plan must be approved through negotiations with teachers’ unions.

Kansas City

Highlights:

  • Heard a report on the partnership with community police
  • Heard a report on the district’s new school buses powered by compressed natural gas
  • Heard a report on the district’s energy education program, which shows that the district has saved at least $1.4 million through energy conservation

Lansing

Highlight:

  • Heard an update on the $73 million school bond election that the Kansas State Board of Education approved in August. In addition to approving the sale of these bonds, the state board granted approval for the district to exceed its debt limit. If voters approve the bond sales, property taxes in the district will increase.

Piper

Highlights:

  • Discussed short-term and long-term plans for adding classroom space to accommodate increasing student enrollment
  • Heard an update on the state’s waiver of requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. As a result of the waiver, all districts must change the way they evaluate the performance of teachers and other certified staff. The board must select a new teacher evaluation program this year and pilot it next year. One option under consideration is a performance plan available from  the U.S. Department of Education’s new Regional Educational Laboratory serving the Midwestern region.

Shawnee Mission

Highlight:

  • Unanimously approved revision of the district policy governing “Child Abuse/Child Protection”

Spring Hill

Highlights:

  • Held a discussion of proposed elementary school boundary changes
  • Unanimously approved a resolution authorizing administrators to refinance existing school bond debt in order to take advantage of lower interest rates, thus saving more than $656,000 for the district
  • Heard an enrollment report, which showed an increase of about 80 students (which is important, because state funding is based on enrollment)
  • Heard an update about the district’s voluntary participation in the state’s pilot program for a proposed new teacher and administrator evaluation system

Missouri

Belton

Highlights:

  • Considered revising district policies
  • Heard a report on the district’s Concussion Management Policy and Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT), “the first, most-widely used, and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system,” according to the test marketing materials
  • Heard a report from Superintendent Andrew Underwood on One to One Computing (in which every student and teacher would have electronic devices such as computers or tablets) and Bring Your Own Tablet (in which students and staff could bring their personal electronic devices to use in school)

Excelsior Springs School District

Highlight:

Fort Osage

Highlights:

  • Considered revising the district policy governing “Internet Safety”
  • Heard a report on projects funded by the sale of $7.8 million in school bond debt approved by voters
  • Heard the official enrollment count for this fall, which is important, because the state bases funding on district enrollment

Independence

Highlights:

  • Considered revising district policies
  • Heard a report on projects funded by the sale of $85 million in school bond debt approved by voters

Kansas City

Highlights:

Park Hill

Highlight:

  • Routine responsibilities of governance

Raytown

Highlight:

  • Routine responsibilities of governance

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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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