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Board mulls fund raisers
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The Unified School District 428 School Board Monday night started discussions on establishing a policy governing student and school fund raisers, finding the topic more complicated than they realized.
“When I started looking into this, I found out just how complicated things had become in terms of fund raisers,” Superintendent Tom Vernon told the board meeting at the Great Bend High School library. But, he added, it was the same for school systems statewide.
At its October meeting, the board directed Vernon to pursue developing a policy after seeing school groups saturate the community with efforts to raise money. Vernon researched practices in other districts and found there were several issues to be addressed.
Should the district limit the purpose or number of fund raisers? Should what is sold and how it is sold be restricted?  What are the dangers of students selling items to or doing volunteer work for strangers? What about receipts or sales tax?
After about an hour of discussion, the board reached a consensus that there should be a master fund raiser calendar that the board would approve in May. Activities that came up after that would have to be at the board’s discretion. This would prevent multiple organizations selling the same thing, cookie dough for example, at the same time.
It also wanted the policy to require a parent or guardian to go with young children when selling door-to-door, not to make attendance at a school-wide activity conditional on a set sales goal, student participation must be voluntary, establish a pre-approved list of charities and prohibit getting time off from school as a reward.
Vernon will flesh out a policy and bring it back to the board at a later meeting.
In other action, the board:
• Approved a donation from J&J Weed Spraying, Pratt, for $1,000 toward the purchase of T-shirts for the students and staff at Riley School. The company would be held in the budget until the remainder of project funds could be secured.
• Approved Jim Mayberry and Walnut Bowling’s donation of portable bowling alley equipment, valued at $1,500, for physical education instruction to students in grades 4-6.
• Named Pollie Unruh as the Board representative on the Great Bend Recreation Commission board for a four-year term. Unruh replaces Diana Dawson who had already served two terms and so wasn’t eligible for another.
• Learned there was still quite a bit of interest in the Shady Grove School property, which the district is trying to sell. Three parties have shown an interest and another contacted the USD 428 office Monday.
• Superintendent Tom Vernon and Business Director Dan Brungardt will hold a meeting of school administrators and officers of the schools’ parent organizations at noon Thursday at the GBHS Library. Information will be presented on fund handling procedures and there will be a discussion of fund-raising activities.
• Heard a presentation by GBHS Band Director Mark DeWald about a proposed combined band/orchestra trip to Kansas City and Worlds of Fun May 29-30, 2012. No action was taken.
• Heard there would be not significant changes to the state assessment tests this year. However, starting this year, science and history will be tested, as well as math.
• Approved the purchase of 11 Ipads for use by district technology committee members as part of a trial project at a cost of $5,500. District administrators are looking at the possibility of adding Ipads as an option for teachers, along with stand-alone computers and laptops in the five-year computer upgrade rotation. Committee members would test and see if the Ipads are a viable alternative.