Other items of discussion and action taken included:
Reorganization of the board resulted in the following: Dean Stoskopf president and negotiations and candidate review committees; Don Fisher vice president and negotiations and candidate review committees; Becky Mooney and Sara Tarlton, finance;Tarlton scholarship committee. Tarlton and Kelly Urban sick leave bank committee, Shannon Donovan Education Foundation, Ben Brewer governmental relations committee.
Approved bills and minutes of previous meeting.
Approved a contract to provide Student Accident Insurance for 2016-17 at a cost to the district of $9,750.
Approved requests of 47 out of district students to attend school in USD 431. Two students have requested to attend school out of district.
Approved a change to the district’s policy concerning number of hours an employee must work to be eligible for health insurance. Current workers and those hired prior to Aug. 1, 2016, will be grandfathered and extended benefits if they work at least 20 hours a week. New certified and classified employees will need to work 30 hours a week to qualify. This will affect about five current employees, Lowry said.
Approved allowing the district to take sealed bids for the sale of two surplus busses that have been replaced with newer buses. Bids must be received for the 1996 and the 1997 Bluebird buses by Sept. 1 so they can be opened at the regular September BOE meeting.
Approved a consulting agreement between Education First, LLC, a company owned by Lowry, for $1,500 to be invoiced monthly. This is part of the arrangement the district has agreed to for sharing superintendent’s services with USD 403 Otis Bison. Ultimately, USD 431 will realize a savings of nearly $35,000 this year.
HOISINGTON — The USD 431 Board of Education reviewed the 2016-2017 proposed budget Monday night. Valuation this year is down from 2015 slightly, from $37,579,650 to $36,192,721. Superintendent Bill Lowry noted that recent adjustments made to the state education financing formula would not result in more money to the district, but instead would provide relief to taxpayers by dropping the mill levy in order to fund the budget.
The resulting proposed General budget will be $5,647,395, and the Supplemental General, or Local Option Budget will be $1,743,769.
The full budget will be available at the district office and will be published for the next two weeks in the Hoisington Dispatch. The BOE will hold the public hearing of the budget on Monday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. at the start of the regular meeting.
Next, the board approved an agreement with Providence Working Canines to canvas parking lots and inside the district buildings randomly during the upcoming school year. This has been something the district has allowed for several years now, Lowry noted, and has become something of a tradition. Hoisington High School Athletics Director Matthew Schultz was in agreement.
“This has been a great visual deterrent for our students, and has helped to encourage students to be drug free, safe and smart,” he said. “We’ve been doing it long enough now, it is just what we do.”
Lincoln build update
Nabholz Construction Rep. Mickey Starkey provided an update on progress with both the security upgrades being done throughout the district, as well as the construction of the new Lincoln Elementary School. He presented the construction schedule for the next six weeks, and the master schedule for Lincoln, with the estimated completion date of May 5, 2017.
Concrete work is continuing, and soon framing will begin at Lincoln he said. The roof will be going on by Oct. 1, Starkey said, and the outside skin, including brickwork will be done by Christmas.
“Scheduling in the construction world is a living, breathing thing,” he said. “We may have setbacks one day, and move along ahead of schedule another day.”
The only holdup, he said of the projects so far, is the delivery of materials needed to create the new lobby at the high school. A set of aluminum doors has yet to be delivered, so the company will not be able to completely meet its goal of having all security measures completed before school starts. The work is now scheduled to be completed over the Labor Day weekend, allowing workmen to be in the building when all students are away. This way, there will be no worries of out of district personnel coming in contact with students, or exits being blocked due to construction, Starkey explained.
The kids will be as safe as they were prior to the start of the project, and new office areas will be done on time.
The USD 431 Technology Department, including Kerry Mooney, Tammy Steinert, and Becky Andereck, reported on their attendance at the International Society for Technology in Education conference in Denver in June. Their excitement and enthusiasm about the contacts made in the technology industry was underscored by the number of high tech accessories they had received for free at the conference. Before the end of the conference, the three had spent hours brainstorming ways to use the new equipment and insights gleaned to further education in the district in the coming year.
Two new items they intend to implement this year is the formation of a student technology team that will help with Chromebook orientation, and finding a way to help bring keyboarding lessons to students in the second grade classes.
Following their presentation, the board approved a request to move into executive session for 20 minutes for the purpose of discussing personnel. Upon returning to regular session, they approved the resignation of Ashley Shultz as High School Assistant Softball Coach and Presley Smith as Middle School Assistant Girls Basketball Coach. They also approved Supplemental Contracts as presented and employed Cecelia Knowles as district secretary and treasurer.
The next regular meeting of the USD 431 BOE will be Monday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. at the district office.