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USD 428 school board approves camera purchase
Buying now saved $20,000
camera purchase approval
First graders demonstrate how they end each school day at Riley Elementary School with a call-and-response moment that affirms, “I make a difference!

The Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education on Thursday approved spending $202,000 for Verkadabrand security cameras for Great Bend High School.

Assistant Superintendent John Popp said he’d planned to recommend the camera purchase at the February school board meeting but the company was willing to shave $20,000 off of its $222,000 price if the purchase was made this month.

“They’ve been very interested in making a sale,” Popp said. “It is a fairly significant discount.”

The board saw a demonstration highlighting the features of the 5 MP cloud encryption camera system at its Jan. 8 meeting.

“The bottom line is we need the cameras,” board member Randy Wetzel said. “It’s time to get it done; I move to approve the purchase.” All were in favor.

The board also approved grants and contributions:

• GBHS Drama Club received $1,000 from Scooter’s Coffee to be used towards the Advanced Theatre trip.

• Central Baptist Church contributed $200 to Lincoln Elementary School for unpaid student lunch accounts.

• GBMS Booster Club contributed $100 to the GBMS Library for trivia prizes.

Thursday’s meeting was at Riley Elementary School, where the board had lunch and heard a building report from Principal Beth Rein and staff. With three new members on the school board, several of the sixth graders gave each one in attendance a tour of the building. Some of the students chose to stay and listen to the rest of the meeting.

Other students who made presentations included Panha, a fourth-grader whose parents own Daylight Donuts. And, because this is School Board Appreciation Month, he helped hand out boxes of doughnuts to each of the board members. Targeted intervention and learning English Rein reported that seven Riley kindergartners are reading at grade level and 25 receive targeted intervention to help them in areas where they struggle. For first-graders, eight are at grade level and 28 receive intervention. For sixthgraders, 28 are at grade level and eight receive intervention.

“We make progress but sometimes it’s a little slower,” she said. “They will get there.”

Riley also has more English Learner (EL) students than any other school in the district. Most speak Spanish, but they may come from different countries with different dialects, Rein said. There have also been students who speak Arabic and Chinese. Riley has 18 EL-endorsed teachers and two of them, Kelsey Scheuerman and Traci Miller, are dedicated especially to working with EL students.

They work with all EL students, including preschoolers. Starting in kindergarten, EL students are given the Kansas English Language Proficiency Assessment. They take the KELPA until they pass in four areas, showing they are proficient in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Riley teacher will start giving KELPAs next week to 135 students.

camera purchase approval
Riley Elementary School fourth-grader Panha talks about why he likes school, Thursday at the USD 428 Board of Education meeting at Riley. Also pictured are Riley Principal Beth Rein and instruction coach Lisa Starr. Seated are Assistant Superintendent John Popp and board member Susan Young. Paha helped Starr deliver a box of doughnuts to each member for School Board Appreciation Month. Panha’s parents run Daylight Donuts and he often helps out before school.