Board members of USD 428 convened at Great Bend Middle School at noon Tuesday, Nov. 27 to move forward on their plans to expand parking at the high school. At the Nov. 12 meeting, they voted to purchase the property at 1723 Morton Street for the land value, $9,000, for that purpose. With the closing on the transaction set for Tuesday afternoon, Assistant Superintendent Dan Brungardt presented a quote submitted by Stone Sand Company, Great Bend, to demolish and dispose of the structure, five trees, and two tree stumps on the property. This is the initial step in developing the parking lot at that site.
The bid for $2,795 also includes removing the front sidewalk and leveling with whatever fill dirt is necessary to have the lot ready for paving. Brungardt recommended and the board approved the bid. A start date for the work will be determined by the next board meeting.
Great Bend Middle School Principal David Reiser, along with members of his staff, shared information about the academic programs and the latest school improvement efforts. Athletic Director Kathy Hafner gave an update on implementing seventh grade competitive sports, Kelsey Metro talked about progress with Power Teaching, and Judy Johnson discussed progress with the district’s school improvement plan implementation.
Six out of a possible seven seventh and eighth grade football games have been scheduled, and Haffer is working to fill the last one, she said. Cross country dates have been filled, and a home tournament planned to piggy back onto a high school tournament. She is still working on filling dates for soccer and tennis, both of which will be co-ed sports, she said.
“Adding a new gym to the facility has been a big, big help,” Haffner said. “Thanks to the board for pushing for this much needed addition.”
Metro presented a video demonstration of how Power Teaching is being used in the classroom, then answered questions from the board. The school receives follow-up visits on a quarterly basis from Success for All representatives who come to observe and mentor teachers in how to use the techniques most effectively.
“We’ve received comments that we have “video quality” teachers, and they are very impressed with how quickly we are implementing the techniques,” Metro said. Two weeks ago, the high school math department underwent training in the techniques. She said feedback from the high school math coach has been positive, and bringing the high school on board will make the transition from middle school to high school better for next year’s ninth graders.
Johnson, head of the school’s Building Leadership Team, said the faculty is moving according to schedule and beginning to identify strengths and weaknesses and develop a student focused vision for the school. Each building in the district is working towards completing a plan in preparation for transitioning to the Kansas Common Core standards next year. This will allow the district to be exempt from the No Child Left Behind Act.