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Fireworks sales to help Larned Middle School
Larned USD 495 board minutes
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LARNED — The Larned USD 495 heard reports from building supervisors in a recent meeting of the board of education. The following are approved minutes.
Jay Haremza, USD 495 board president, called the regular meeting to order. Attending were board members Marcia Giessel, Jay Haremza, Brenda Hagerman, Sharon Arnold, June Barger, Sharon Lessard, Jon Flint, superintendent, Phil Martin, board attorney, Bonnie Carlson, treasurer, Joyce Simpson, clerk.
Larned Middle School
Derek Reinhardt, LMS principal, reports Troy Smith had talked to him about a fundraiser to help middle school athletics. Reinhardt said they would have to replace football helmets and track uniforms.
Troy Smith, co-owner of Finally Fireworks, will give the district 15 percent of the total pre-sold fireworks sales. A letter was presented to the board from the State Fire Marshal stating that the sale of a voucher/coupon for the purchase of fireworks from Mr. Smith’s or any other fireworks stand, as a fundraising activity, would not be in violation of the State’s rules and regulations on the sale of fireworks during fireworks season.
Smith felt this would help raise funds to help purchase some of the athletic equipment. Smith said was not making this offer to anyone else.
Approval passed to allow  the schools in USD 495 to participate in the fireworks program.
Superintendent Jon Flint said the program School Reach has demonstrated their product for notification to student parents and staff regarding school closings, lunch money due and surveys.
Flint stated that the fee for this program was $2.50 per student, it interfaces with Power School which the school already uses, it would save postage and paper, and he felt it would be a wise investment. The board approved to proceed with the School Reach program.
Flint also discussed APTA Fund which is a web based program that would replace Data Team which is now being used. Flint reported that this change over would take place about mid-
summer. There is also an attendance piece of the APTA program that could be added in the fall that would also be a benefit for the district. Flint stated that part would be discussed at a later time.
Larned High School
Troy Langdon, Larned High School principal, stated that he sees a lot of positive things with the new schedule for the students.
Langdon reported that he is looking at the high school graduation percentage, explaining that if the senior class starts with 59 students as their cohort group and students leave during their year without checking out through the office therefore only 47 graduates.
Since there was not a checkout for the student (i.e. runaway, etc.), all students in the beginning cohort group count against those graduating, thus lowering the graduation percentage rate.
Langdon will be going back through all student records to see if he might get answers regarding those students, therefore, giving a better graduation percentage. Another instance that could lower the graduation percentage is the senior actually takes 4.5 years instead of 4 years to graduate. The bottom line is a student needs to graduate with their cohort group and if the graduation rate drops too low, accreditation for the school could be lost.
Elementary principal
Lea Harding, Hillside/Phinney/Northside principal, said the elementary teachers have done a great job writing grants. Grant money has been received for most of those written.
Harding said $12,488 was raised for Race for Education and she has been working with Mr. Higgins on purchasing i-Pods for the students. She said the cooks at Phinney Elementary have done a great job stepping in without having background in the school lunch program. They went through a review and were commended on the job that they are doing.
Harding reported elementary classes have gone to the community garden to do planting. They released butterflies and lady bugs at the garden. The elementary students attended Kansas Fitness Day at Fort Larned.
Casey Cloninger, Westside principal, reported that Mrs. Marge Page has sent another $10,000 check.
Cloninger said Westside has purchased a lot of technology and would like to get more technology into the special education program.
He said the students have done their second home room class with their advisors to work on their resumes in order that they have this type of information ready to pursue a job when they graduate.
Stduents who graduated from Westside were recognized for receiving their diplomas, GEDs, and welding and manufacturing certificates.
Cloninger said there is a House bill coming down that states any youth coming from any JJA or another State setting will need 21 credits. This should be a great benefit for the students since each school might require a different number of credits for graduation.