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USD 355 enrollment up; solicits bids
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SD 355 Board of Education met at its regular meeting on Monday with a large number of items on the agenda.
They agreed to solicit bids on a number of issues.
The meeting opened with a report from Schwab-Eaton, civil engineers, on the high school track. The firm recommended replacing the track because of its age, which was built in 1986.
Included in the report was replacing the wood seating on the visitor’s side of the football field and replacing them with smaller, weather resistant bleachers. They recommended completely removing the asphalt track and replacing it.
The engineering firm would survey, design and advertise for contractors. They would attend the bid opening, and do background checks. They will also recommend an award.           The goal would be to have the track replacement done this coming summer.
Engineer Greg Fief said that the track had been well-maintained.
Superintendent Ben Jacobs said that  it was a big capital expense, but the district had been planning for it. The board made no decisions and will tour the track.
The district will solicit bids only, which the board reserves the right to reject, for access door replacement. “We’ll regain control over who has access to our buildings,” said Jacobs. The bids could include sensors on doors to determine if they are open and closed, buzzers on main entrances, badge readers for non-main doors. For the new doors, Jacobs said that access will be reissued on an as needed basis.
Another item under consideration was architectural drawings for moving the central office at Ellinwood High School to the west side of the building and cost estimates. Special Services would be moved to the old central offices. The architect will provide  information only and cost estimates.
The board discussed the iPad initiative extensively. The board discussed a use and discipline policy. Jacobs was authorized to solicit bids, which they reserved the right to reject.
In other business, Jacobs said that there are about 420 students enrolled this year. The full-time equivalency numbers have increased greatly, which is what the state will base aid.
Ellinwood Grade School Principal Eric Sjogren said that there are 224 students at Ellinwood Grade School. He said that with all day kindergarten and MTSS and other efforts, students are now reading at a substantially much higher level.
Ellinwood High School Principal Shawn Henderson reported that the 7th grade new to middle school program had nearly 100 percent participation. In addition, the new assisted studies program for at-risk students has been working well.
In final business, the board:
•Acknowledged Ryan Koetter as the September Eagle Excellence Award winner.
•Heard the resurfacing of the tennis court begins this week. Students will practice at the junior college.
•Heard that staff will begin training on evaluations.
•Approved out-of-state trips for Future Farmers of America, a basketball clinic, and a library seminar.
•Approved Ashley Porter as representative for the school nutrition program.
•Approved Tyson Revell as a tech assistant.