Nov. 2, 2011
Kathy Dzewaltowski, observer
Dr. Bob Shannon, Superintendent, reported that 38 new students with a connection to the military have enrolled in USD 383 since the official count date on Sept. 20.
The board was presented with a report on middle school football, which had allowed 7th graders to participate this year on the same team with 8th graders. Originally, the plan for adding 7th graders to the program had called for keeping the program revenue neutral and for not cutting any players, with the goal of having 55 players on the team. Approximately 80 students at each middle school tried out for football this year, which meant around 25 students were cut from the program at each school. The middle school athletic directors reported that the 7th graders were able to compete skill and size wise with 8th graders. There were also positive side benefits, including improved student academics in order to stay eligible, reduction in behavior issues, and increased parental involvement in the booster clubs. Board members Curt Herrman and Walt Pesaresi expressed concerns about players' being cut from the teams, particularly 8th graders, because cutting players had not been part of the original plan.
Board members were presented with a report on the district's partnerships with Ft. Riley. Approximately 21% of the district's students have a connection to the military. The partnerships help the district provide communication and support for military families. One example of a partnership program is the "adopt-a-school" program, which involves a military unit adopting one of the district's schools. Soldiers in the unit then participate in activities with the students at the school.