Great Bend High School has taken bowling teams to state championships, and now volunteers will bring instructional bowling to Great Bend Middle School.
The program received approval for one year at Monday’s Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education meeting.
Superintendent Khris Thexton said the high school has had trouble recruiting bowlers.
“When they do get them at the high school a lot of them don’t have any experience,” he said. He described this as “another opportunity for girls that may not make the basketball team but still want to be involved.” The program will also be open to boys.
GBMS science teacher Mike Perry, who also coaches high school bowling, said the bowling coaches will volunteer their time. They will offer instruction two days a week for four weeks as an after-school activity. That will be followed by two weeks of competition.
The cost to the students will be $15, which includes a T-shirt. Walnut Bowl will donate the bowling and shoe rental.
The school district will provide bus transportation to Walnut Bowl twice a week after school. Practice will end a little after 5 p.m. and parents can pick their students up.
Perry said they hope to have at least 20 participants. They will try to get things started in the next week, right after girls basketball cuts are made.
In a couple of years, the Western Athletic Conference may add bowling as a middle school sport, Perry said.
The extent of middle school sports is something the school board must decide, Thexton said.
“We always know the more kids are involved, the better off they’re going to be in school,” he said. “We have middle school tennis ... and I have heard that middle school golf is looking to start back up.” If Great Bend approves middle school bowling, “the WAC will go as Great Bend goes,” he predicted.
The school board also approved the purchase of six automated external defibrillators (AEDs) that will travel with students and coaches to out-of-town events, at a cost of $8,273. Thexton said GBHS sports medicine instructor Ryan Zink will keep the AEDs ready to go. Each coach will be assigned an AED. Learning to use the equipment is part of their cardiopulmonary resuscitation training.
“The coaches would have them on the sidelines, right there at the events,” Thexton said. “We would have one available at all times.”
Board members asked if AEDs could also be available for other activities, such as band trips. Thexton said it is a good idea; he will find out if the instructors have the CPR training.
In other business Monday, the school board:
• Heard from GBHS yearbook sponsor Andy Negaard. The yearbook staff of 2016-2017 earned the Jostens National Yearbook Program of Excellence award. Such recognition is given to schools having met or surpassed criteria in the following categories: creating an inclusive yearbook, generating school engagement and successfully managing the yearbook creation process. Returning yearbook student Skylar Burkes joined Negaard for his presentation.
• Andrea Stalcup presented information on GBHS Student Council Community Service Day and received board approval to schedule the next one for April 26, 2018. It will be the sixth year for this all-student event.
• The Kansas Association of School Boards’ annual convention is set for December 1-3 in Wichita. Board President Chris Umphres was chosen as USD 428’s official delegate who will vote on behalf of the board. Lori Reneau was chosen as the alternate if Umphres is unable to attend.
• The public must be notified of the Title VI B and Early Childhood Flow-Through Budget, which covers salaries for licensed special education staff salaries. The 2017-2018 application amounts to $975,257 for Title VI B pass-through funds ($6,770 lower than the prior year) and $40,705 for ECH ($39 lower than the prior year). The budget application will be available for public review at the Barton County Cooperative of Special Education, 2535 Lakin Ave., for the next 30 days.
• The school board approved donations to Jefferson Elementary which were designated for Jefferson Math Night. This includes $25 each from McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, Frosty Coupons from Wendy’s and the loan of climbing blocks from the Great Bend Recreation Commission.