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GB schools gain state recognition
usd 428 district office web

Great Bend school board members heard good news on Monday concerning USD 428’s progress in the state’s Multi-Tiered Support System program. Todd Wiedemann, assistant director of the State of Kansas MTSS Team, said Great Bend’s leadership in the program has earned statewide recognition.
Great Bend has been chosen to present a keynote speech this summer at the Kansas State Department of Education’s annual leadership conference, Wiedemann said. District employees will also do several presentations this fall at an annual symposium in Wichita.
“It’s a great honor for Great Bend,” he said. “They are so impressed with what’s happening here and how you do it.”
MTSS is a systemized framework for teaching reading, math and social behavior from pre-K through 12th grade, Wiedemann explained. Instructors use this system to collect data and then work as a team to raise the achievement standards of individual students. Data-driven insight was also used to select the new K-6 reading curriculum, which the board approved Monday.
“The leadership that takes place here is quite phenomenal,” Wiedemann said.
Board member Susan Young commented, “We are so proud of the leadership here, but it’s so empowering to have someone from outside the district affirm that.”

Action items
Earlier in the meeting, the board officially approved the English Language Arts curriculum, which was first presented in February. The Wonders Curriculum from McGraw Hill will cost $275,000 for seven years, Assistant Superintendent John Popp said. That is more expensive than the last curriculum adoption, for math, “but there is a complete, robust curriculum and we think it’s worth the cost.”
Board President Joyce Carter thanked the curriculum steering committee for its work in finding a program that will provide the K-6 learning centers with a curriculum that is the same at every school. “It will help our teachers tremendously,” she said.
In other action, the board accepted the low bid for new flooring at Riley Elementary and the Washington Early Childhood Center, from Four State Maintenance Supply Inc. in Coffeyville, for $163,430. The board also approved specifications for the HVAC project at the Great Bend High School Field House and for a portion of the GBHS roof, and gave approval to release bid requests to contractors for summer projects.

The board accepted resignations from Brenda Unrein, Special Education Teacher at Jefferson Elementary School, and Sadie Pile, Great Bend Middle School Social Studies teacher, as well as the retirement of Amy Kile, English as a Second Language teacher at Riley Elementary.

Gifts accepted
The board approved several donations, including a gift from a group of community members who will purchase 20 bicycles to be given away at the five elementary schools at the end of the school year. This tradition started about five years ago. Each school receives four bicycles and holds a drawing. Students must have perfect (or near perfect) attendance to be eligible.

Other gifts:
• $900 from the Barton County Pool Grant Fund with Golden Belt Community Foundation, so the GBHS Athletic department can buy a microphone, three lane modules and four backup buttons for use by the swim teams at the Barton Community College pool.
• $15,000 from the Booster Club for upcoming sports-related purchases by the GBHS Athletic Department.
• $900 from the GBHS Hall of Fame sponsors: Club 1 Fitness $100; Tatum Dunekack, DDS, LLC, $100; Farmers Bank and Trust, $250; Marmie Motors, $50; Marmie Ford, $50; Office Products Inc., $150; Spectrum CPA Partners LLC, $100; Stueder Contractors, $100.
• $100 from High Plains Farm Credit Agricultural Credit Association to the GBHS FFA Chapter, for student scholarships.