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GBHS to get new lighting, audio systems
USD 428 2-10-20 meeting- social studies maps
Audra Nuckolls, the eighth-grade Social Studies teacher, talks about a recommendation for the next Social Studies curriculum purchase. The school board got its first look at materials Monday and will be asked to approve the next Social Studies curriculum for grades K-12 in March. - photo by Susan Thacker

The purchase of new LED lighting and a new audio system for the Great Bend High School Auditorium were approved at Monday’s Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education meeting. Here’s a brief look at Monday’s action and reports.

• The board recognized the contributions of volunteers in USD 428 learning centers. Volunteers provide an estimated 96.30 hours each week across the district, with many additional hours relating to special events. 

• The meeting set for noon on Thursday, Feb. 27 at Riley Elementary School was rescheduled to Tuesday, Feb. 25. It was also noted that the meeting that would normally fall on March 9 will be at 5 p.m. Monday, March 16, at the District Education Center. Spring Break is March 9-13.

• The board approved a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow USD 428 to continue to offer two sections of JAG-K next year at a cost of $22,000 ($11,000 per program), the same as this year.

• The board saw a draft of the proposed 2021-2022 school calendar. It was similar to the 2020-2021 calendar which has already been approved. It schedules Spring Break at the same time as Barton Community College’s break. The board was interested in moving a teacher in-service day or finding another way to make the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday a no-school day. The final calendar will be approved in March.

• Two community member vacancies were filled on the USD 428 Education Foundation Board of Trustees. Susan Holste will fulfill a vacancy from Paul Snapp and Anna Faye Hensley will fulfill a position vacated by Mary Hoisington.

• The purchase of Chromebooks and iPads was approved, using a state contract bid. The purchase of 800 Chromebooks for $195,200 and 160 iPads for $50,040 comes to a total of $245,240. The Chromebook price includes cases and Google Admin Console at the state contract rate. 

• The board approved the purchase of a new audio system for the GBHS Auditorium. There was one bid, from Parr Sound and Lighting, for a total of $15,140. The board also approved the purchase of LED lights for the Auditorium. Again, the company owned by Gary Parr, Great Bend, submitted the only bid, for a total of $18,620. Superintendent Khris Thexton said capital outlay funds will be used to provide modern audio and lights for the Auditorium.

• Assistant Superintendent John Popp said the USD 428 Emergency Committee has reviewed and updated Emergency Procedures for the district. This document summarizes specific actions regarding planning and preparedness for school emergencies. Topics include Student Runaway/Abduction, Child Abuse/Neglect, Suicide Intervention, Unwanted Intruder, School Safety and Evacuation Procedures for Fire, Tornado, and Bomb Threats.

• The personnel report was approved. The board will hire Traci Lang as a licensed elementary teacher and Denise Zink as a school psychologist for Barton County Special Services.

• Upcoming dates include:

- Feb. 17 - Board work session at 5 p.m. at the District Educations Center

- Feb. 17, 18 and 20 - Parent-teacher conferences.

- Feb. 21 and Feb. 24 - No School days. The 24th will be a teacher in-service day.