By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Brungardt resigns, Bonner Springs bound
new deh dan brungardt mug
Dan Brungardt, assistant superintendent of Business and Operations for USD 428 Great Bend, will finish out the school year before moving to Bonner Springs, Kan. to fill the superintendent spot there on July 1. Brungardt has served USD 428 for the past 21 years. The BOE accepted his resignation with reservations and regret at a noon meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26. - photo by Tribune file photo

Dr. Tom Vernon, superintendent for USD 428 asked the Board of Education to approve the resignation of Dan Brungardt, Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations at the noon meeting Feb. 26 at Great Bend High School.  
“It is with reserve and regret that we approve Mr. Brungardt’s resignation, and wish him well in the future,” said BOE president Dwight Young.
According to a story in the Bonner Springs Chieftain by Caroline Boyer, the Bonner Springs USD 204 Board of Education announced last Tuesday, Feb. 19, that they had signed a two-year contract with Dan Burngardt as their new superintendent.  
Brungardt said he and his wife and three children plan to move to the Bonner Springs and Edwardsville area this summer.  
Other candidates for the Bonner Springs superintendent position included Rex Bollinger, current superintendent for Doniphan West USD 111, Dr. Brian Biermann, current assistant superintendent for Pittsburg USD 250, and Dr. Jeanne Stroh, current assistant superintendent for Hutchinson USD 308.  
Brungardt will finish out the remainder of the 2012-2013 school year, with his last day scheduled for June 30.  According to his contract, he is entitled to any unpaid vacation leave.
Vernon also announced the retirement of Great Bend Middle School’s seasoned technology teacher, Mr. James Wells.  
“Mr Wells has been with the district for a long time, and it is also with regret we approve his resignation,” Young said.  

GBHS prepares for ACT, schedule switch
Tim Fries, principal at GBHS, and assistant principals Randy Wetzel and Brian Vesta spotlighted academic programs and school improvement efforts at the highschool.  Next week, on Friday, March 8, all students will have an early dismissal at 11:30 a.m.  In the afternoon, highschool students who have registered will take an ACT preparatory class.  This will ready them for the ACT test scheduled for Saturday, April 13.
In January, teachers have been meeting in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) whre they are beginning preparations for the switch from the 90-minute periods of a block schedule to the 50 minute periods of the seven period day, Friess said.
“We’ve been going over effective teaching strategies and what effective teachers do, regardless of the amount of time the period lasts,” he said.  
Friess said registration for next years classes has wrapped up, and he and the counselors are now busy scheduling.  Young asked how progress with the proposed “zero hour” classes was coming.  At this time, no zero hour classes have been scheduled, but may be as soon as it can be determined what the needs for zero hours are.  
Board member Cheryl Rugan asked if the switch would cause band and music to suffer.  So far, Friess has not seen it has had an effect.
Young asked if there had been much feedback from the students.  Friess said at first, some had received bad information, and were concerned about getting the classes they needed to graduate.  Once they learned this would not be a problem, he has not heard any further complaints.

Calendar discussion
Dr. Vernon informed the board that the district is still gathering input on the proposed school calendar for next year.   So far, there have been 117 respondents identifying themselves as either students, parents, staff or others in the community.  Of the four choices presented,  the two labeled Calendar 6 and Calendar 7 share an equal percentage of approval over the other two.  
Both offer a four day weekend October 18-21, a day off before Thanksgiving, a full two-week winter break, a full week spring break, March 17-21, a four day weekend April 18-21 and the final day of May 22, prior to Memorial Day weekend.
Calendar 6 has a start date on Wednesday, August 14,  a four day weekend at the end of second semester parent teacher conferences Feb. 14-17, and winter break starts on Dec. 23 and students return to school on Monday, Jan. 6.
Calendar 7 has a start date on Monday, August 12, one day off following second semester parent teacher conferences Feb. 14, and winter break starts on Dec. 23 and students return on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
Patrons of USD 428 have a few more days to respond to the online survey of 2013-2014 school calendar choices by going to and clicking on the button on the upper right-hand corner of the screen labeled “2013-2014 calendar options”.  The board will make a decision at the March 11 BOE meeting.    

New bus, E-rate savings
In other business, the board approved a bid for a new BE Integrated school bus from Allied Bus Sales I.C. Corp.  Allied was the low bid among three at $87,977.00  The board accepted a Kansas Clean Diesel Program Grant  of $26,000 at the November, 2012 BOE meeting. Grant money will cover some of the cost of the bus.  Bids came in higher than the anticipated 77,000 to 78,000 the board had originally estimated the bus would cost.
The life expectancy of the new bus is 20 to 25 years.  It has a handicapped lift, and a fuel-saving feature that should save the district on the cost of diesel.  Now, the bus driver will be able to heat the bus before turning the engine on, and while waiting for students, will be able to keep it heated without running the engine.  
The board also approved E-rate eligible contracts with Cox, Kan-Ren, and Nex-tech for information and communications access for the district.  Providers cost is $150,208, and the e-rate reimbursement is $106,648.  The cost to the district will be $43,560.  
E-rate comes from a federal tax all users pay on their telephone bills.  It is the Universal Service Fee.
“If the board did not apply, it would not save taxpayers in the district any money,” Friess said. “We try to bring this money back to the district.”