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School board extends Reeds contract
new slt schoolboard
Great Bend High School science teachers talk about changes in course offerings for 2016-17, at Monday's USD 428 school board meeting. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

The Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education voted Monday to extend Superintendent Brad Reed’s contract for 2016-18.
In action items, the board approved the 2014-15 audit following a presentation by Vickie Dreiling, Certified Public Accountant with Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball; approved the purchase of 75 laptop computers for teachers at a cost of $69,202; approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Great Bend which allows the city to offer tax rebates on property improvements; and approved the next Great Bend High School Program of Studies Book, which will be used for fall enrollment.
The computers are replacements; all of the district’s computers are on a five-year rotation. Teachers may purchase the old computers.

The board approval allowing the administration to renew the contract with Charlesworth & Associates, an outside entity which markets the property insurance, liability insurance and workers’ compensation for the district. However, Assistant Superintendent Kris Thexton said he may choose not to renew the three-year contract when it expires on July 1, 2016. The firm was used “for completeness and cost effectiveness,” but Thexton said he may be able to do the work himself. “I’d like to take the opportunity to try to do it,” he said, noting the bill from Charlesworth & Associates is over $7,000.
Board member Kevin Mauler said there was a reason the district has utilized the company.
“They’ve saved us money in the past,” he said.
Reed and Thexton will learn more about what services the company provides. “We’ll sit down with them,” Reed said.

The board also approved several gifts and grant applications:
• Beta Sigma Phi donated $70 to Great Bend Middle School for Legos and manipulatives for Special Education reading and math activities.
• Pike and Bauer LLC donated $700 to Jefferson Elementary School for the purchase of outside equipment to be used by students during recess.
• Lincoln Elementary School’s Grade 6 teachers Karen Ekberg and Jessica Geist received approval to submit a grant request for $500 for credit union members and $250 for non-member teachers from the Credit Union of America. The Credit Union of America is offering Teacher Grants Ideas Financed. Funding, if awarded, will be used to purchase two Standing Desks for classroom use.
• Several vendors contributed to the Kansas Reading Roadmap program at Eisenhower Elementary School, which includes the Families and Schools Together (FAST) initiative. Gifts included: Walmart, $50 gift card and possibility of additional gift cards; Casey’s, five certificates for free large pizzas at FAST night; KC Royals, signed baseball; First Assembly of God Church, eight blankets; Pizza Hut, six large one-topping pizzas; Playa Azul Mexican restaurant, rice for “walking tacos” for FAST night; Stutzmans Greenhouse, 20 mini-pumpkins for FAST crafts, plus 12 pumpkins for FAST gifts; and KFC, mashed potatoes for the FAST chicken noodle dinner.

Reed also told the board that on Monday the district closed on the purchase of property at 1812 Morphy St