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Board hears community strategic planning report
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HOISINGTON — The USD 431 Comprehensive Planning Committee, which were citizens of Hoisington appointed by school board members, met earlier this April to discuss strengths and weaknesses of USD 431, at a meeting facilitated by Kansas Association of School Board Deputy Director Dr. Doug Moeckel. They presented their ideas to the school board on Monday night.
Committee members reviewed the district resource book and an overall summary of the district's accomplishments and challenges. The ideas presented will be discussed and refined by the board before any action is taken. The committee served only in an advisory capacity only for the improvement of the district.
The citizens were divided into four groups of 7-8 people who identified district strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Some of the strengths of the school district listed include:
•The Hoisington Activity Center, administration, progressive, staff, proactive, validation of students, and pre-K education.
•Low student to staff ratio.
•Community involvement.
•Strong finances.
Some of the weaknesses include:
•Age of buildings, safe room at Lincoln, security, and drug and alcohol abuse.
•Need for an improved website to decrease wasted paper. Superintendent Bill Lowry noted that a new website is in progress and is expected to be up in July.
•The district needs a true counselor in each building.
•Not enough time for some labs at HHS with the current class schedule.
One group suggested having a building needs assessment done by a consulting firm. Also suggested was phasing out Lincoln and Roosevelt Schools with Lincoln as a priority because of security and safety concerns. Lincoln is the oldest school in the district.
The board thanked committee members for their input and time.
In other business,  the board approved the formation of a Future Business Leaders of America group at the high school, beginning in the fall.
Also approved was a purchase of a total of 170 iPads. The distict will purchase iPads for middle school students. They will not be allowed to take them home.
Meal prices will be going up next  year 10 cents. Lowry informed the board that it is part of the legal mandate to get meal prices up to those of the state average.
Prices will be:  breakfast, students K-12-$1.60, adult staff-$2.05, guest-$2.30;  lunch, elementary-$2.10, middle school-$2.30, high school-$2.30, staff-$3.30, guest $3.60 and extra milk - $.50.
In final business, the board approved:
• Co-operative agreements with Central Plains School District for baseball and softball, and Central Kansas Christian Academy for middle school sports.
•A contract for working canines.
•Paying half the cost of the storage room at the tennis courts for the high school team.
•Approved Cindy Wilborn as Middle School Student Council sponsor, Diane Harmon and Andrea Willesden as HHS Co-cheer coaches and Jordan Nettleingham as HHS volleyball assistant.