Board of Education Highlights for Tuesday, October 9

The Board of Education met at Harmon High School, where they saw the new Academy spaces and students learning in their classrooms. The board also approved hearing more information regarding an active shooter policy at their October 23 meeting.

Click here  to view the board meeting.

Board of Education Highlights for Tuesday, September 25

The Board of Education received an update on  several of the projects associated with the 2016 zero-tax-increase bond initiative. Here are some of those construction updates:

  • Parker Elementary School and William Allen White School will merge into a new school that will open during the 2020-2021 school year. A naming committee for the new school has been selected and is underway. The school’s recommended new name is tentatively scheduled for approval at the October 23 Board of Education meeting.
  • Brune Elementary School named after Lowell Brune will begin construction in January 2019 at the site located at 88th and Waverly. This new school will be the result of the merging of White Church and Bethel Elementary schools.
  • Carl B. Bruce Middle School is expected to receive bid results in October and begin construction in November. The board voted to name the new building for Northwest Middle School as Carl B. Bruce Middle School. The board made the decision in May after hearing the survey results regarding the renaming of Northwest Middle School and information about the significance of each name being considered for the school.
  • J.C. Harmon High School’s secure entry and storefront redesign construction will begin in the summer of 2019.
  • John Fiske Elementary School’s room additions will begin construction in December.
  • Wyandotte High School’s kitchen space has been installed in their new academy space that focuses on the culinary arts.
  • The building of the Gloria Willis Middle School, Welborn Elementary School and the additions to Grant Elementary School are all progressing on time. See photos of these project and more at

During the meeting, the Human Resources Department shared their annual report with statistics and employment facts about the school district during the last school year.

Here are a few facts from the 2017-18 school year:

  • 84% of employees were retained
  • 2,069 is total number of certified employees
  • 1,455 is total number of classified employees
  • 145 is total number of administrators
  • 9,969 candidates completed an employment application
  • The largest number of applicants came from the following states
    • Kansas
    • Missouri
    • Texas
    • Florida
    • Oklahoma

To see more information, click 2017-2018 Annual Report Human Resources  to read the report.  

The meeting was also a time to welcome new staff to the campus Police Department. Those individuals who took the oath of office were Officer Jake Samuelson, Officer Mark Scheetz and Officer Jeffrey Johnson.

Dr. Foust swearing in three new officers at the Board meeting

Officers after being sworn in, posing with certificates

Click here to view the meeting.

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

  • 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 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.