The search is on for next year’s teachers at Great Bend USD 428. When the school board met on Monday, Assistant Superintendent John Popp said he and other district representatives spent the last week in Michigan, recruiting educators.
“We talked to some good young teachers,” Popp said, adding several interviews have been scheduled. “It was a productive week.”
Many positions for next year are still open, as this is the time of year when teachers announce their retirements or resignations. There are also openings for special education teachers in Hoisington, Ellinwood and Great Bend, according to Christie Gerdes, director of the Barton County Special Education Cooperative.
On Monday, the school board approved four more teacher resignations for Great Bend: Erin Holste, technology coach at Jefferson Elementary; Conrad Montoya, fourth-grade teacher at Riley Elementary; Sharon Reed, physical education teacher at Great Bend Middle School; and Lacy Hammack, first-grade teacher at Riley Elementary.
The board approved the appointment of Darla Saindon to teach fifth-grade at Park Elementary School.
Superintendent Khris Thexton said the negotiation for next year’s teacher contracts will include an Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) meeting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, May 3, at the District Education Center.
Roofing and other projects
The board approved the bid for seven sections of roofing at Great Bend High School. The work will occur this summer. The only bid came from Washington Roofing and Insulation, for $286,522.
Thexton said that although the district only received one bid, the price was close to what he expected. The company also did last year’s project on other sections of the GBHS roof.
Potential bidders did ask if an alternate product from the bid specifications could be substituted, but since he isn’t a roofing expert that was not allowed. He suggested an architect might need to be more involved in the next roofing bids.
The board approved specifications to pave the Washington Early Education Center’s Parking lot. Architect Don Marrs worked on those specs, which will allow companies to bid on asphalt or concrete pavement.
The board approved a bid of $21,512 from B & R Insulation, Lenexa, for asbestos abatement at the Field House before the HVAC system is replaced. Three bids were received. The district plans to move the weight room to the wrestling room in the Panther Activity Center during the project, pending an OK from those removing the asbestos.
The bids on the new heating, ventilation and air conditioning at the Field House will be opened at 1 p.m. Thursday, and the board will be asked to approve a contract during its April 27 meeting at Lincoln Elementary.
In other business:
• The board had its first of two readings for 2017-18 teacher handbooks and student handbooks, with no major changes noted.
• Annual membership in the Kansas Association of School Boards was approved for $13,198, which includes $1,650 for the Legal Assistance Fund. It is unchanged from last year.
• Kristy Alvord, assistant director of Food Service, received approval to apply for a Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the 2017-2018 school year. A similar grant was approved this year, providing reimbursement for the cost of making free fresh fruits and vegetables available to students as a snack, two to five times a week.