USD 239 Board Meets

June 18, 2014

The USD 239 Board of Education met June 9, 2014 in the MJSHS library. Members present were Brad Kiser, Les Johns, Alicia Schmidt, Angie Ruble, Dr. Bruce Labes and David Pounds. Prior to approving the minutes of the May meeting, Dr. Labes suggested a correction of “County Attorney Jason Parks addressed the board with regard to open meetings” rather than referring to Parks as a “patron.” The board approved the correction and then approved the minutes, the bills as presented and the treasurer’s report.
MJSHS Principal Jay Macy reported that the 53 students in driver’s education were completing their classroom training and will begin driving in the next few days. He also stated that summer school is in progress. Classes meet from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday though Thursday, and are attended mainly by high school students seeking recovery credit. Basic summer custodial improvements are also in progress.
According to Pat Anderson, MGS Principal, summer school started June 2 with an emphasis on math and reading. She shared the projected enrollment for MGS as follows: Kindergarten 45, First Grade 55, Second Grade 53, Third Grade 45, Fourth Grade 35, Fifth Grade 55, and Sixth Grade 43. Classroom teaching assignments for the 2014-15 school year are: Kindergarten, Jennifer Freeman, Sharon Noon, Kat Shaft; First Grade, Janet Johnson, Beth Mortimer, Ruthie Sanders; Second Grade, Shayla Boyer, Tarin Hauck, Amber Worlock; Third Grade, Julie Pieschl, Cheryl Plummer, Janna Rash; Fourth Grade, Deb Brubaker, Cosette Marsh; Fifth Grade, Dena Allison, Alex Hutchins, Teresa Logan; Sixth Grade, Ann Frack, Mallory Hosler.
During the meeting Dr. Ken Wedel, representing the Ottawa County Community Foundation, presented MGS Title I Math instructor Janette Wedel with a grant for $1200 to purchase Chromebooks for her classroom. Dr. Ken and Darda Wedel donated an additional $1,000 for the project.
Conducting his final meeting as superintendent of USD 239, Dr. Larry Combs thanked the current board members and all those who have served on the board during his 17-year tenure. He reported on attending a KASB workshop in Topeka. While there he also attended a portion of the Kansas State FFA convention. “It’s an amazing event and an amazing organization,” he commented. Daryl Simmons, a graduate of MHS and state FFA reporter, gave his final report during the convention. Combs also watched the MHS girls compete in their first trip to the 3A state softball tournament held at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka.
Combs reported a meeting was held June 3 to form a District Facility Committee, stating there are needs in the district that need to be addressed. He also discussed the town hall meeting regarding the 31 percent Local Option Budget mail ballot election. The few who attended were assured the option to increase the LOB by 1 percent (from 30 to 31 percent) would not raise their local taxes. Ballots have been mailed to registered voters and need to be returned by June 24.
Discussion was held regarding updating the MJSHS track and football sound system. Pounds agreed it needed some work, and Labes asked if it could be repaired. Terry Moeckel, MJSHS assistant principal, said the system has been repaired. He was expecting a quote prior to the meeting but had not received it.
Following the resignation of Susan Helmer as part-time vocal teacher at MGS, and the need to provide space for an additional classroom, MGS Principal Anderson presented four options to address the problem: 1) Maintain the current schedule; 2) Music and PE every other day with all day kindergarten; 3) Music and PE every other day with only two sections of Third Grade; 4) Music and PE every other day with half-day kindergarten. Her preference was to continue with the current schedule, adding “It’s a guess to know how many new kids may enroll and which grades they will be in. We are doing a better job than we have ever done in meeting special needs of kids.”
Labes noted that the decision was being driven by the fact the district is out of space at MGS. Pounds moved to go with option 1 and look into what can be done in the next 300 days to come up with a solution to the problem. The motion passed 6-0.
Regarding end-of-year funds, Dr. Combs suggested transferring less than the $90,000 projected to be transferred to Capital Outlay and assigning some of that money to accounts that would provide more flexibility in how the dollars are spent. On a 6-0 vote, the board approved a motion authorizing the superintendent to expend the 2013-14 general fund and local option budget funds and to transfer money to the appropriate funds and make necessary purchases for the 2014-15 school year with the funds that are available.
The current school lunch price at MGS is $2.10, and at MJSHS it is $2.25. Dr. Combs reminded the board that during the past few years school districts had to go up at least 10 cents per student meal or pass a federal motion that the district would supplement the Food Service Fund from the General Fund. For the coming year prices would have to increase by 35 cents at MGS and 20 cents at MJSHS if the federal motion is not passed. Dr. Combs recommended no change in the current prices for breakfast and lunch. The board agreed and passed a motion on a 6-0 vote to transfer $14,257.88 to the Food Service Fund. The board also approved maintaining the current enrollment fee of $35 at MGS.
The resignations of board member Chad Young and MHS assistant volleyball coach Brenda Fraser were approved 6-0.
At the close of the meeting the board presented Dr. Combs with a plaque in appreciation for his years of service to USD 239.
The board then went into executive session to discuss acquisition of real property and returned to regular session with no action taken. They then held two executive sessions to discuss personnel matters of nonelected personnel, returning to regular session with no action taken.

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