Board of Education Highlights for Tuesday, August 28

During the August 28 Board of Education meeting, the board approved and/or heard reports on the following items:

  • The school district received a $223,500 Safe and Secure Grant from the state of Kansas to improve the safety of children and staff in school buildings. As part of the grant, the district matched the requested funds with money from the 2016 no-tax increase bond initiative. The funds were used for the following security features:
    • Perimeter door sensors for doors around all schools - $250,000
    • Avigilon Software for 1,603 cameras for surveillance and door access at buildings - $115,000
    • Camera updates to 720 resolution or better for schools in need of updates - $82,000
  • The board also heard an update on the outstanding progress underway with the bond projects, especially during the summer. About $1.0 to $1.2 million dollars of work was completed each week during the summer. A great deal of credit is given to the custodial workers, shop employees and staff at buildings and throughout the district who helped ready buildings for the start of school. A special recognition was given to Mark Stubbolo for leading the bond work at the district.
    Here are some of the updates:
    • Welborn Elementary School has a new elementary school under construction that will be completed for 2019-20 school year. The school will be 68,000 square feet and will have space for 550 students.
    • Wyandotte High School’s construction projects will be underway through September. This work includes new pipes, secure entry and Academy Spaces.
    • Claude Huyck Elementary added six new classrooms, a security entry and the addition of bathrooms in the kindergarten classrooms.
    • Stony Point North Elementary added new classrooms and ADA compliant bathrooms.
    • Arrowhead Middle received significant upgrades which includes the reconfiguration of the office, a new ceiling in the library, new floors and a new heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling unit.
    • Grant Elementary improvements underway include a new addition, security entry and new kitchen.
    • Gloria Willis Middle School is a new middle school under construction that will be approximately 127,000 square feet and will have space for about 750 students. The school will be completed for the 2019-20 school year.
    • Sumner Academy, Washington High, Schlagle High and Harmon High have all had significant upgrades to classroom spaces throughout their schools, too. Washington, Schlagle, and Harmon each have new Academy Spaces.

See all the construction updates at bond.kckps.org.

  • Human Resources Department has made significant headway in reducing the amount of vacancies at the school district – cutting them in half. Recruitment acknowledging that there is still work to be done continues to collaborate with a number of groups to fill vacancies. The Human Resources team also presented a flow chart of the hiring process at the district. Click here to see the chart.
  • The District Continuous Improvement Plan Year-End Report was presented by staff to the board. This information provided an overview of where the work is at in classrooms and opportunities for the future.

Click here to view the meeting.

Board of Education Highlights for Tuesday, September 11

In an effort to experience the learning taking place in our classrooms, the Board of Education held their meeting at John F. Kennedy Elementary School (JFK). JFK, which has about 456 students in grades K-5, strives to create a culture of success with clear goals, effective communication and collaboration. During the board’s visit, they saw an example of the “Morning Meeting” concept in which students share special interests with their classmates and teacher in an effort to build effective relationships. The board members, Superintendent Dr. Charles Foust and district staff visited several classrooms to see learning taking place during a 30-minute tour of the building.  See pictures below.

School Board Meeting Observation of Classes

School Board Meeting Observation of Classes

School Board Meeting Observation of Classes

Other actions taken by the board:

  • Accepted an update on the Kansas Education Accreditation System (KESA). In January, 2016, the Kansas State Board of Education announced a new vision and five outcomes for determining the effectiveness of education - the accreditation system. Five outcomes have been established for districts to focus on which result in graduating students that are successful in postsecondary education, in the attainment of an industry recognized certification, or in the workforce. Our school district is working on an Action Plan that will connect the district’s work to these efforts. 
  • Approved a contract with Capital Strategies, LLC to provide lobbying work for the school district. Capitol Strategies will provide monitoring and reporting on critical legislative issues that would directly impact the school district during the regular or special session of the Legislature and throughout the interim period between sessions. They will act as the liaison among Legislative leaders, the administration and the Wyandotte County Delegation. Capitol Strategies will assist with the submission of testimony and relevant content for various issues and provide monthly updates to the Board of Education throughout the Legislative session.

Click here to view the meeting.

 

Board of Education Highlights for Monday, August 6

During the August 6 special Board of Education meeting, the board approved the hiring of employees in keeping with their strategic priorities of a high performing workforce in the school district.

Click here to view the meeting.

Board of Education Highlights for Tuesday, August 14

During the August 14 Board of Education meeting, the board approved the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools’ 2018-19 budget on Tuesday, August 14. The approved budget has a General Fund of $160.2 million and the supplemental general fund (Local Option Budget) of $51.3 million. A Local Option Budget is money raised through locally approved taxes to go to a local school district where those taxes are collected.

The board unanimously approved the 2018-19 budget, which will cover all of the school district’s costs for this fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2018 and will end on June 30, 2019. The board also voted not to increase the mill levy for the citizens of the community.

Here are highlights of this year’s budget:

  • A 2% raise for District 500 classified staff, including the public library staff. The board also approved aligning and integrating salary schedules, job descriptions and public library policy with the district’s.
  • A 5% increase for health insurance costs was also a factor in the budget. The increase to insurance costs will be about $1.5 million.
  • The addition of 41 social workers to address bettering the lives and conditions of our students. Ten of these positions are being funded by the Mental Health Program Pilot which was part of Kansas Senate Bill 423. The school district will have to prepare for the possibility that the Mental Health Pilot may not be continued in future years. This would mean that the district would need to determine a permanent way of funding 10 social workers and a coordinator positions in the future, approximately $840,000. The $1,890,000 used this year to pay for 31 of the total number of positions is a one-time transfer from the Contingency Fund.
  • The addition of the internal management of a substitute program. The board decided not to renew the school district’s contract with Morgan Hunter for substitute services. The contract with Morgan Hunter expired on June 30, 2018.
  • The expansion of the Fairfax Learning Center to provide for improved educational opportunities for the students served at the building.

Other important budget dates:

  • August 25 – Submit Approved Budget to the County Clerk and Kansas State Department of Education

Click here to view the meeting.

Board of Education Highlights for Tuesday, July 31

During the July 31 Board of Education meeting, the board reviewed the Notice of Hearing and approved resolutions for the 2018-19 budget – another step further in approving the new budget. As you may recall on July 24, the board approved publishing the notice of hearing for 10 days in the district approved newspaper, The Record. This document will be in the paper from August 2 – 12.

Other important budget dates:

  • August 14 – Public Hearing of the Budget – Approve the Budget
  • August 25 – Submit Approved Budget to the County Clerk and Kansas State Department of Education

Click here to view the meeting.