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Pilot programs chosen for K-12 social studies
Food service applies for fruit and vegetable grant
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Janna Dreiling, left, and Courtnea Wilson are shown with plaques they received Monday at the Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education meeting. Dreiling teaches first grade at Riley Elementary and Wilson teaches eighth-grade science at Great Bend Middle School. They will represent USD 428 in the 2019-2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year program. - photo by Susan Thacker

Social studies courses will be the focus of pilot programs this fall at Great Bend USD 428. The committee for K-12 social studies researched materials and their recommendations were approved at Monday’s school board meeting.

“There is no cost (to the district) at this time,” Assistant Superintendent John Popp said. Textbook sales representatives provide materials and initial training in hopes that their products will be chosen for the next curriculum adoption. The curriculum committee includes teachers from all buildings and grades who will try the materials in their classrooms before making a final recommendation to the school board.

Elementary schools will pilot “My World Interactive” by publisher Pearson and “Into Social Studies” by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Great Bend Middle School will pilot Pearson’s “My World Interactive” and “U.S. History American Stories” by National Geographic (Cengage).

The high school will have several programs to pilot for courses in geography, economics, U.S. government, world history, U.S. history (and Advanced Placement world history) and U.S. government. The publishers are Teacher Curriculum Institute, Pearson, McGraw/Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Cengage.


In other business Monday, Superintendent Khris Thexton said the USD 428 Education Foundation has chosen the next round of mini-grant recipients. Teachers who received grants for special purchases are being notified. There are 19 mini-grants and a $300 grant to bring in a motivational speaker for this year’s Freshman Orientation.

Master Plan

Thexton also reported that he and Popp would travel to Wichita on Thursday to visit with the SJCF architect and share ideas from the board’s recent study session on master plan recommendations.

They hope to clarify needs for a maintenance and transportation building and see if the architect can come up with a plan that would allow the district to build a new shop using capital outlay money instead of including that project in a bond proposal. Thexton said he has spoken to Maintenance Director Dirk Davis and Transportation and Grounds Director Cody Schmidt about a plan that is scaled back from the first proposal. “They don’t want to short-sight themselves but they want to keep it realistic,” Thexton said.

Contributions and grants

The board approved the following contributions and grant submissions

• Kristy Alvord, assistant director of Food Service, requests approval to apply for a Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program grant through USDA for the 2019-2020 school year for Park, Lincoln, Jefferson and Riley elementary schools. The grant is a federal and state program that provides reimbursement for costs of making free fresh fruits and vegetables available to students as a snack, two to five days a week. Grants are based on total number of enrolled students and the percentage eligible for free/reduced price meals.

• Great Bend High School Future Farmers of America club received memorial contributions in the amount of $3,360 from the Mr. Les Hopkins Memorial.

• GBHS FFA club also accepted $234.31 from the National FFA Organization and $100 from the Barton County Farm Bureau Association for the FFA local scholarship fund and a $300 contribution from the Delta Tau Chapter.

• GBHS received $50 from Wheatland Electric supporting the GBHS Community Service Day scheduled on April 24.

• GBHS Vocational Tech Club (VTC) received $1,000 from Wheatland Electric for the electric car program. VTC also received $250 from Sunflower Electric for the electric car program.

• Great Bend Middle School received $50 from Immaculate Conception Circle No. 744 Daughters of Isabella for the Music in Motion and Women in Harmony music programs at the school.

• Lincoln Elementary School received $60 from American Heart Association for the Kids Heart Challenge.

• Walmart donated $1,000 to be split equally among Eisenhower, Jefferson, Lincoln, Park and Riley elementary schools for the Kansas Reading Roadmap (KRR) programs.