BY TRIBUNE STAFF
The Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education approved five contributions to the district when it met Monday. They are:
• Great Bend Middle School Booster Club wishes to donate a tennis ball machine valued at $1,099 to GBMS for their spring tennis program. With approximately 50 athletes per season, the use of a ball machine for one court would help greatly in providing optimal tennis practice with the number of athletes per court. Many drills can be accomplished with a ball machine, freeing up the two coaches to lead two other drills on the existing courts.
• Within Jefferson Summer School’s Kansas Reading Roadmap program enrichment units are presented, with topics including Healthy Eating, Community Service, and Water and Heat Safety. Walmart wishes to donate a $100 Walmart gift card which may be used by Jefferson KRR to buy materials relating to the enrichment units.
• Dillons wishes to donate 48 bags of licorice for use by the district’s summer KRR program.
• Lifetouch National School Studios wishes to present commission checks to five schools relating to spring-pictures participation. Checks are to Eisenhower Elementary School, $593.58; Park Elementary School, $510.27; Jefferson Elementary School, $806.43; GBMS, $703.28; and Lincoln Elementary School, $911.77
• Following an application submitted by Technology Coach Casey Gatton, Cox Communications has selected Riley Elementary School as one of 11 Kansas schools to receive a $3,000 grant for the Dash and Dot (robots and iPads to operate them).
Great Bend USD 428 school board members have received drafts of proposed policy revisions and two new policies. These polices were included in board materials for a “first reading” at the June 13 meeting, and will be voted on at the July meeting.
Assistant Superintendent Kris Thexton said the changes were recommended by the Kansas Association of School Boards. Most are grammatical or are updates that reflect changes in state law.
One item of note is a change to the weapons policy that allows air guns. In March, Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill requiring public schools to make their facilities available to supervised air rifle clubs in the same manner they accommodate other clubs and activities.
USD 428’s proposed wording states:
“Possession of an air gun at school, on school property, or at a school sponsored activity will not be prohibited for students participating in an air gun-related activity sponsored by an organization held at school or when in transit to or from such activities being held off district property.”
The two new policies were suggested:
This proposed policy states that vision and hearing screenings will be conducted in the district as part of the overall health services program. Free dental screenings and other screening procedures that may be deemed beneficial to students will also be offered.
Each year vision and hearing screening procedures will be conducted for students new to the district, including kindergartners.
This proposed policy prohibits the surreptitious recording of students, employees and/or school board members. Exceptions to the prohibition include use of video surveillance in district buildings or vehicles, and the recording of meetings subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Act. Recordings are also allowed of school-sponsored activities, programs or events which are open to the public.
Here are some action items from Monday’s school board meeting:
• Insurance policies were renewed. The fee for property and liability insurance coverage fee is $164,740, an increase of $38,683 over last year. “The increase is mainly due to the claims we’ve had this year,” Thexton said.
• Purchase of 125 HP Probook laptop computers was approved at the State of Kansas rate of $602 each for a total of $75,250. This is part of the money budgeted for the five-year rotation of computer replacement. Teachers are able to buy used computers.
Thexton said the laptops will be in computer carts at elementary schools and the middle school. Unlike the Chromebook wireless devices issued to students, laptops can be used to download programs needed in the school, such as Microsoft Office for a business class.