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December School Board Meetings — Week 1

Illustration Credit: KC Education Enterprise / Photo Credit: 123rf stock image

Illustration Credit: KC Education Enterprise / Photo Credit: 123rf stock image

Four local school boards met during the first week of December.

Kansas

Olathe

Highlights:

  • Received an update on projects funded by the sale of school bond debt approved by voters. Some funds will be spent on air filters, asphalt, concrete and installation of carpet and tile.
  • Received an update on plans to allow staff and students to access the internet at school using their own cell phones, computers, tablets and other electronic devices. According to the agenda:

    Over the past two years, network services staff have researched and tested many solutions that will allow us to move to a BYOD solution.  Our priority has always been, and will remain, to provide the best possible access for District purchased equipment.  With that, we understand the desire for staff and students to attach their personal devices to our wireless network for the purpose of accessing the internet for possible instructional use.  The management software we are bidding will allow us to provide staff and students secure access to our wireless network for the purpose of gaining access to the internet with their personal devices while maintaining the strength and security of the network for District owned devices.  Once we have purchased and installed the new access points and management software, we will work with the Tech Steering Committee and Teaching and Learning Division to establish a phase approach to bringing personal devices onto the network.

  • Received an update on plans to sell the last of the school bond debt approved by voters in 2009. According to the agenda:

    The District’s Financial Advisor (Piper Jaffray & Co.) has been working with District staff on the potential sale of the District’s remaining 2007 bond authority ($28.5MM) with the closing of the bond issues to occur March 1, 2013.

    It is expected that the District will fully utilize the $28,500,000 of remaining bond authority from the 2007 bond referendum to finance the construction of remaining projects including Elementary #35 and the Technology Support Building.  Series 2013A will be issued as General Obligation (GO) bonds in the amount of $11,000,000. Series 2013B will be the remaining $17.5MM of Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB) authority approved in March 2010 by the Kansas State Department of Education.

Turner

Highlights:

  • Voted unanimously to accept the district’s annual financial audit report. The auditor found no “material weaknesses” in the district’s accounting. However, a “significant deficiency” was identified. According to the report:

We noted separation of duties issues regarding activity fund internal controls at multiple schools. Bookkeepers at several schools issued receipts, posted amounts to the system, prepared the deposit and reconciled the bank account. In addition, we were informed that one school does not always issue receipts.

The recommendation for improvement was “that the District require a separation of duties in the area of activity fund receipting. An individual independent of the receipting process should prepare a reconciliation between the receipts issued and the amounts deposited into the bank account. In addition, we recommend that receipts be issued for all payments to the schools and each school should prepare purchase orders for all disbursements.

Missouri

Kansas City

Highlight:

  • Routine responsibilities of governance

Liberty

Highlights:

  • Discussed proposed nepotism policy
  • Discussed a stadium fundraiser
  • Voted unanimously to re-name Liberty Junior High School. The new name will be Heritage Middle School.
  • Voted unanimously to adopt the proposed Board Process Standards.

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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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