Friday, May 27, 2011

USD 383 Board of Education

May 18, 2011
Kathy Dzewaltowski, observer

Dr. Bob Shannon, Superintendent, reported that the state per pupil funding will be reduced to $3,780 for next school year.

The board approved to award the construction project for Bluemont Elementary to Ron Fowles Construction. The board also approved a change order to improve the soil at Roosevelt Elementary to provide a more sturdy base for the new addition.

Board members discussed student fees and textbook rental fees for next school year. Administration recommended increasing fees by 3%. The board discussed increasing driver's education fees and the cost for a parking permit at MHS even more. Doug Messer was concerned about raising the driver's education fee too much such that students would seek out private driver's education courses. Walt Pesaresi and Susan Marshall also didn't want to raise the driver's education fees higher. The board approved 5-2 the proposed student fees, with Nancy Knopp and Pete Paukstelis dissenting. The board also approved 7-0 to raise lunch meal prices by 10 cents to account for inflation and other rising costs.

Board members approved 7-0 to transition from offering traditional film-based photography classes to offering digital photography and editing. The change will involve investing in digital cameras and computers, but other operational costs previously spent on film and maintaining a darkroom would be reduced.

The board approved 7-0 a new program called Project Search, which prepares students who have mental challenges for competitive jobs. The program is geared for students aged 18-21 who have met graduation requirements and are transitioning from school into jobs. The nationwide program has an 80% success rate of getting students competitively employed upon completion of the program. The Project Search program will be a partnership between USD 383 and USD 320 (Wamego) and USD 475 (Junction City).

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