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Changing of the Guard
USD 428 leadership change a healthy change of perspective
new vlc Brad Reed mug
USD 428 Superintendent Brad Reed was welcomed by the BOE Monday night.

 Other items of discussion and actions taken included:
•    Approved the appointment of Mrs. Martha Cantu, sixth grade teacher at Park Elementary.
•    Approved an anonymous gift of a refrigerator and $1,000 for other expenditures at the discretion of the principal at Park Elementary.
•    Heard an update from John Popp, director of curriculum, about professional development of the faculty.
•    Approved the appointment of Mrs. Martha Cantu, sixth grade teacher at Park Elementary.
•    Thexton reported on the progress of capital improvement projects at Riley Elementary, the high school and the middle school.
•    A slate of appointments and designations were approved on consent.
•    A slate of regular procedural items were also approved on consent.
•    A slate of KASB new and revised policies were presented for their first reading.  Thexton gave a brief overview of the attachments board members received via email prior to the meeting.  
o    Use of cell phones by teachers was addressed.
o    Senate Bill 367, The Student Data Privacy Act passed this year resulted in a revision of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act policy.  In addition to heightened internet security, biometric data will be protected.  This includes results of the “Communities that Care” survey that students take each year.  The survey asks questions about substance use, family life and religion.  In the past, parents could ask to have their kids opt out of the survey.  Now, the survey will be opt in.  At enrollment, parents will have another sheet to sign indicating they have been informed of the policy.  
o    In response to the recently passed, Sen Sub for HB 2506, USD 428 protects teachers under the Tort Claims Act.  The policy will be sent to teachers so they will understand their protections. 

The USD 428 Board of Education welcomed Superintendent Brad Reed to his first meeting Monday evening.  At the beginning of each year, nominations and votes are made for president and vice president of the board.  This year, the board was faced with the choice between Kevin Mauler, nominated by Dwight Young and seconded by Larry Kutina, and the incumbent, Joyce Carter, nominated by Doug Bender and seconded by Cheryl Rugan.   Khris Thexton, director of business operations, called for a vote, which predictably saw the candidates and their supporters vote for themselves, resulting in a tie.  Board member Wade Babcock’s absence was sorely felt when Thexton, following protocol, asked for a second vote, which ended the same way.  Without a tie-breaker, the meeting was at a standstill.  Public Information Officer Jennifer Schartz made a telephone call to Babcock who would be later still in arriving.  Dwight Young moved the meeting be recessed until Babcock’s arrival.  At 5:20 p.m., the meeting resumed.  Thexton recapped the situation, and Babcock asked for some discussion.
Young explained that while he was pleased with the job Carter had done leading the board, after having served several terms in a row himself, he felt it was important that leadership rotate, and Mauler having served several terms as vice president would be the best candidate.  Babcock agreed, stating that different perspectives are good, and voted in favor of Mauler, breaking the tie.  Joyce Carter was then nominated and elected to serve as vice president.  Mauler and Carter then switched seats to comply with Reed’s preference to have the president sit to his right.  

School budget held up
During the budget update, Thexton informed the board that he was waiting on information from the County Treasurer to complete the budget.  The goal had been to be ready for a final vote by July 25 to give enough time to have the approved budget submitted to the state by the July 31 deadline.  Now, the possibility of meeting that deadline was in question.
“They have their own issues, and I’m sure they’re not too concerned about ours,” he said.  “I don’t want to push the panic button yet, but if I don’t have it by July 31, it’s going to be pretty high.”
Young asked about contingency plans.  One possibility would be to approve an estimated budget by the deadline, and then when the county information is received, republish the budget.  The problem, Thexton said, is the budget is what determines how much funding the state disperses to the district.  Republishing will create a lot of extra work and may delay the district in getting the funding it should in a timely manner.  Other districts USD 428 works with had their information available a few weeks ago, he said.  
Reed said they will definitely get direction from the state before then.  It was unclear if the state would be willing to give the district an extension under the circumstances.
Thexton said the worst case scenario would be they would present the budget and hold the budget hearing at the board meeting on Aug. 11, when the county treasurer anticipates having the county budget prepared.  Then, the budget would be published in The Great Bend Tribune and 10 days later it could be voted on and sent to the state.   He said he would advise the board as he learned the status of the information, and special meeting could be called.

Lower ending balance
In accordance with state legislation, Thexton presented the July 1 ending balances for the district, which will be sent to the State Board of Education.  The final disbursement of state aid is received on July 7.  This year, the district closed with $85,090 less than they had at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.  
The board went into executive session for 20 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel.  No action was taken.
The next regular board meeting will be Aug. 11 at 5 p.m. at the district office.   The board will meet for the annual retreat July 16 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the District Education Center.  Reed invited all board members to attend the continental breakfast and school year kick-off on Aug. 13 at 7:30 a.m. at the GBHS commons.  The first day of school for grades K-9 will be Aug. 18, with grades 10-12 starting on Aug. 19.