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School board approves 2016-2017 calendar
Better behavior curriculum adopted
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Next year’s calendar for Great Bend USD 428 schools will be similar to this year’s, but the winter break will be two days shorter and spring break will start a week later, Superintendent Brad Reed said.
The school board approved the 2016-17 calendar when it met Monday. School will start on Wednesday, Aug. 17 and end on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
The holiday break will run from Dec. 23 through Jan. 2, and Jan. 3 will be a teacher work day. Spring break will be March 20-24.

Behavior intervention
In other business, the board approved adopting the Social Emotional Character Development Curriculum recommended by the administration. Assistant Superintendent John Popp said one of the major areas of emphasis is behavior interventions. Students at all grade levels will have lessons on good behavior incorporated into their education. There will be one 30 minute lesson per week at the elementary level. and secondary students will spend 30-45 minutes a week on the subject during their Home Room time. The program for high school students is called “School Connect.” Popp noted that students who feel connected to their school tend to stay in school.
The cost to implement the new curriculum is $47,671 plus the annual program cost of $290.

Other business
In other business, the school board:
• Learned that summer school will be offered for children in grades K-6 this year. There was no summer school in 2015.
• Approved the low bid for a 2017 activity bus from Kansas Truck Equipment Company Inc. for $174,111. The bid includes the trade-in of two 1995 district buses for $650 each.
• Approved the retirements of three teachers: Kim Guesnier, vocational special needs coordinator at the Special Education Co-op; Becky Hill, 2nd grade teacher at Riley Elementary; and Jane Wirtz, special education teacher at Eisenhower Elementary.
• Accepted a gift of $3,347 from the Great Bend Middle School Booster Club to purchase items for the weight program and the volleyball program, as well as a popcorn machine and a nacho machine for the concession stand.
• Accepted a $50 donation from Walmart to Jefferson Elementary for expenditures related to the school’s Family Math Night, and a donation of 60 decks of cards from Dillon’s for Jefferson School’s Family Fun Night.
• Accepted a $1,000 grant from Walmart that Special Services applied for.
• Accepted an $80 donation from the Kansas Department of Corrections to assist with Special Services’ K-9 project.
• Accepted a $333 check to Helping Hands Early Childhood Special Education from the Sherry Viles Memorial Fund, presented by the Golden Belt Community Foundation