HOISINGTON — The USD 431 Hoisington Board of Education met in a special meeting Monday night at the District office. Public notice of the meeting was not provided as required by the Kansas Open Meetings Act. There were four items on the agenda: the Kansas State Board of Education vote, the Governor’s executive orders 20-58 and 20-59, consideration of when to start the 2020-2021 school year under new business and consideration of bids for asphalt patching of the track under old business.
Council members discussed what preparations will need to be made by the staff and teachers prior to welcoming students back. It was determined Thursday, Aug. 20, the previous start date, would be too soon. After some discussion, board members agreed teachers, maintenance, office staff and lunchroom staff will return to their respective buildings on Monday, Aug. 17. All students, Pre-K through Grade 12, will return on Thursday, Aug. 27. In order to provide the required hours of instruction set by the Kansas State Department of Education, an additional 10 minutes will be added to the school day.
Currently, the Kansas Association of School Boards and KSDE recommend school districts adhere to the current executive order requiring all people to wear masks, so students will be asked to wear masks when attending school or school functions. Discussion of EO 20-59 was tabled until after KSHAA meets later this week and Superintendent Patrick Crowdis meets with the administration team on Monday, Aug. 3.
All USD 431 families have been invited to take an online survey, available at the district website, https://www.usd431.net/, by no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, July 31. Board members will discuss results at the regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 3. Among the considerations anticipated is determining if school will be completely in person, completely online, or a combination of both.
The district is putting together a custom plan for how to respond to a variety of potential scenarios moving forward, which it will make available to district patrons as soon as it is completed. It will include plans of action should a teacher or a student test positive for the coronavirus.
Prior to the closure of schools by executive order in March, board members were in the process of considering bids to fill in cracks in the district’s track surface. They revisited the topic Monday night, and approved a bid from Venture Corp. in the amount of $56,000. The repairs are expected to last for up to five years, at which point it will be time for the district to consider completely resurfacing the track, Crowdis said.
While two parents were present at the meeting, public notice of the meeting was not provided. The Great Bend Tribune learned of the meeting when it was mentioned at the Hoisington City Council meeting happening at the same time at the Hoisington Municipal Complex. A reporter arrived with the meeting already underway. The oversight was brought to the district’s attention by the Tribune. Crowdis emailed the Tribune a copy of the unofficial minutes Tuesday afternoon.