By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
USD 431 to seek more bids for school security
Reorganization of board will wait until January
new_vlc_USD 431 BOE.jpg
The USD 431 Board of Education met Monday night at the District Offices. Pictured here left to right are District Clerk Bonnie Smith, Board president Don Fisher, and USD 431 Superintendent Charie Nicholson. - photo by Veronica Coons
Here’s a quick look at what happened at the USD 431 Board of Education meeting Monday night: 

• Approved a consent agenda that included: minutes from the June 3 regular meeting and the June 19 and 27 special meetings; bills as of July 11; approval of two grants; the resignation of administrative assistant Charell Owings and the retirement of Glenda Funk from the food service department. 

• Discussed renewal of the district’s contract with Safe Defend. Superintendent Charie Nicholson informed the board she will seek bids from three companies in order to make the best decision for the district.  

• Presented the 2020 budget for first viewing. The budget will be published and a public hearing will be held at the Aug. 5 regular meeting.

• Approved out of district transportation requests. 

• Approved the 2019-2020 Student Handbooks.

• Approved the 2019-2020 textbook listings. 

• Approved bid for student accident insurance for the 2019-2020 school year. 

• Approved a slate of policy updates for the 2019-2020 school year. 

• Discussed guidelines for submission of grants. 

• Received an administrative report from Lincoln Elementary School Principal Karissa Cowan.

• An executive session was requested for the purpose of discussing appointments of non-elected personnel. Upon returning to regular session, the following appointment was approved: Employed Ivette Nava for Food Service 

HOISINGTON — With the official start of a new school year, school boards across the state must determine if they will reorganize board leadership and other key non-elected leadership positions now, or wait until after the November elections, when newly elected members are installed in January. Monday night, the USD 431 Board of Education opted to combine both options. They voted in favor of moving forward with reorganizing non-elected positions, and waiting until January to reorganize board leadership. 

School security

With the decision of whether or not to renew USD 431’s contract with Safe Defend for school security and lockdown services, Superintendent Charie Nicholson informed the board she would be seeking bids from two additional companies. While she is not dissatisfied with the services Safe Defend is providing, she simply wants to make certain it is the best choice for USD 431. 

“I would like to bring in three to the board, and we can pick one we would like to bring in for a demonstration based on the needs of our building,” she said. She noted that she has many questions, and assumes the board members will also.  


Process for grant applications outlined

Within the consent agenda, two new grants were accepted, one for a 50/50 split with KDHE to purchase Rubberific and Nuplay Mulch for the playground at Lincoln Elementary School, and a $1,000 Enhancing Science Instruction in the Classroom grant from Wolf Creek Operating Corporation to purchase robotics equipment. 

In June, board members asked Nicholson how they could get a better grasp on what grants have been requested within the district. She shared with them a process she used previously that worked that included a checklist of information including the grant, amount, if it was state or federal dollars, what it would be used for, how it aligns with the goals of the building, and what the matching and documentation requirements would be. This checklist can be presented to the board prior to application, she added. USD 431 board members 

Draft budget

Nicholson is new to overseeing the budget of an entire district, she reminded board members Monday night. As a result, the budget for 2019-2020 is truly a working document at this time, she said. She will meet and go over the completed document with Dale Dennis, Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Fiscal and Administrative Service of the Kansas State Department of Education in Topeka on Friday, July 19. Once finalized, the budget will be submitted to the Hoisington Dispatch by July 23 to ensure it is published 10 days prior to the public hearing which will take place at the Monday, Aug. 5, regular meeting. With these caveats in mind, board members voted in favor of publishing the 2019-2020 budget. Nicholson noted the valuation for the district was up by $6 million this year, but it is still too early to tell how that will translate to the budget.