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USD 431 hear report on state representatives visit
Watson, Cauble tour USD 431
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Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson and State Board of Education Representative Sally Cauble visited USD 431 schools Friday, Nov. 3. They were impressed with the free preschool program at Roosevelt Elementary School, unique because it has been offered for years. - photo by VERONICA COONS, Great Bend Tribune

Other items of discussion and actions taken at the November USD 431 BOE meeting included:

• Board member Sara Tarlton was appointed the voting delegate to the KASB Annual Conference and Delegate Assembly to be held Dec. 1-3 in Wichita. Newly elected members will also have the option to attend so they can take part in training.
• A discussion concerning the status of the district’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization was tabled until the December meeting as representatives from the organization were unable to attend Monday night.
• Lowry made a brief legislative report, reminding board members that elections were to be held Tuesday. He has yet to receive information from the KASB with recommendations for reorganization following the election. This is a new concern, as this is the first school board election to be held part-way through the school year.
• It was noted the date of the January meeting would need to be included on the agenda in December, with consideration for the Board of Education meeting for Otis-Bison and the Hoisington Winter Jam taken into consideration.
• Administrative reports were provided from each of the schools. Parent Teacher Conferences were well attended throughout the district. The Student Improvement Team is working with 18 students at Roosevelt Elementary School, helping them to achieve greater success. The middle school is preparing for Reality U. Consideration for dismissing school for the event, with 8th grade students participating was discussed. Larned, Ellinwood, Central Plains and Pawnee Heights students have been invited to participate also.
• Alan Charles, principal at Lincoln Elementary School, reported on his presentation to the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce about Business Buddies, and said so far, eight businesses have agreed to participate in the program. The goal is to find 18 businesses willing to display work from a class in the district. The goal of the partnership is to provide the community with a convenient way of seeing what the students are learning, while bringing foot-traffic into local businesses.
• Information about KESA meetings, accreditation, Spirit Week, and the second grade hosting Kindergartners was also shared. Stoskopf volunteered to attend the audit Planned for Wednesday, Nov. 8.
• Positive comments have been received from the community concerning the recent decision to allow students to use the school playgrounds after the end of the school day. Only a few students have been warned their privileges may be taken away.
• A Veterans Day program will be held Friday morning at 10 a.m. at Hoisington High School.
• The Community Clean Up Day has been postponed until the Spring.

HOISINGTON — Friday afternoon, USD 431 Superintendent Bill Lowry met with Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson and State Board of Education Representative Sally Cauble. Lowry spoke about the visit during his administrative report at the monthly meeting of the Board of Education Monday night.
When he was sworn into office, Watson vowed to visit every district in the state. He is only 20 districts away from meeting that goal now after visiting USD 431, he said. Together, he, Cauble, Lowry and Board President Dean Stoskopf toured all four Hoisington schools, starting with Lincoln Elementary, where fourth grade teacher fourth grade teacher Shelly Hanzlick gave a brief video presentation of how she is conducting Whole Brain Learning in the classroom. Student achievement is up, and plans are being made to train more teachers to use the techniques.
At Roosevelt, Watson and Cauble expressed interest in the achievements of students who have been enrolled in the district’s free preschool for three and four-year-olds. Cauble noted that Hoisington is unique because it has been offering the program for several years, providing a base of data that is confirming students are better prepared for reading and other studies when they enter kindergarten.
At the middle school, they spent time hearing about the robotics program and how students are using the 3-D printer. Principal Pat Reinhardt told of how students were able to create a part for a tractor that is no longer available using the technology. Watson and Cauble also toured the newly renovated gymnasium, and saw the newly added greenhouse addition the science classes will be utilizing soon.
At the high school, they met with students and learned more about the robotics program there. In all, they spent just under two hours touring all four buildings, Stoskopf said. He said it would be beneficial to the rest of the board to also tour the buildings, as he was surprised to see all the changes besides those at Lincoln Elementary School.
“There are a lot of neat things going on in our schools,” he said.
Executive session
Board President Dean Stoskopf called for an executive session for the purpose of discussing resignations and the appointments of certified and classified employees, under the exemption for non-elected personnel from the Open Meetings Act. The session was set for 20 minutes, but two extensions of 15 minutes each were added. Upon resuming the regular session at 8:30 p.m., the following actions were taken:
Accepted Maggie Miller’s resignation as Middle School Girls Assistant Basketball Coach effective immediately.
The board approved the termination of Barbara Schenk as district custodian effective immediately.
Approved a motion to pay $1,000.00 to Kolten Cook for Driver Education expenses in exchange for a three-year commitment to teach Driver’s Education in the district. Motion carried 7-0.
The meeting was then adjourned.