The Beloit USD #273 Board of Education met at the District Office Monday evening. Board President Jason Johnson was in charge of the meeting. Following the opening agenda four students from Mrs. Pruitt's 4th Grade Class gave a presentation on the robot they built in class, explained the components they used and told how they put them together. They were led in the robotics work by Mrs. Barrett.
Superintendent of Schools, Jeff Travis, gave his administrative report updating the board on what the Kansas Legislature has been doing concerning the School Finance Case. The Supreme Court recently decreed the State of Kansas has to redo their funding formula. It has presently been sent back to the Court of Appeals and will probably take between six to nine months before anything will come of it. "There will be a lot of smoke and mirrors before this is all made into law which will probably take another two years."
The second part of the case dealt with amount of State Aid the State paid to the districts. Legislators say this can't be done the way the State of Kansas has done this way because it is not constitutional. If the State has to pay the $169,000 in state aid this will take the burden off the local taxpayer and this has to be funded 100 percent and the State of Kansas took away State aid several years ago.
Superintendent Travis and Casey Seyfert gave an update on the work going on at the football field. The contractors were moving dirt today and say with three to five weeks of good weather they should have it finished.
The Superintendent gave an update on where things are at on the proposed mobile building addition to the Beloit Elementary School. He has been talking to Morton Building and also some local contractors to get an estimate of what the addition will cost per square foot. Thomas gave board members two project proposals to look over. There is a lot of difference in the number of classrooms that could be included. They hope to include a band and music room, a gymnasium some bathrooms and a storm shelter. They also plan to have the 6th grade classes in that building. Thomas said he hopes to have this building up and going by the 2015-2016 school year.
Beloit Elementary Principal, Byron Marshall, said he and the teachers are in hopes they will have room for indoor recess activities. They have only been able to have one day of outside recess so far so the staff is enthused about the project. Superintendent Travis asked for the board's direction as to whether they wanted him to go ahead and pursue this project. He will go ahead and try to get absolute prices from Morton and the local contractors and bring the information back at the next board meeting.
The Blue Cross/Blue Shield representative was here a few weeks ago. They discussed claims the district had in past years. They figure premiums on the last three years average claims. The way it looks now they will be looking at a 16 percent increase in premiums if they go with BC/BS. He told the representative they will have to have a competitive bid from them but hasn't heard anything back yet.
Superintendent Travis said the District has been nominated by a group of local farmers to receive the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Grant, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. This fund gives rural public school districts the opportunity to compete for a grant of up to $25,000 to help fund science and math programs. Farmers in 1,289 counties across 39 states have the opportunity to keep rural schools growing by nominating their local public school district to apply for the grant. In 2014, the Monsanto Fund will award $2.3 million to rural school districts.
Grant applications will be judged based on merit, need and community support. The more farmers that nominate a school district, the more it demonstrates community support and strengthens our application to receive a grant." The District plans to use the money to purchase computer tablets for the 4th though the 6th grade classes at BES if they receive a grant.
Student Council President, Corey True, gave a report on the club's activities and told about upcoming plans through the end of school. Brennan Eilert gave a report on the Parent Teacher Organization's activities including a recent exceptional box top drive that took in $1,515.70 making their total this year over $3,000 so far. Election of Officers will be March 18 and new members will come on board in June. Teacher Appreciation week is May 5 through 9.
Administration reports were given by Karen Niemczyk, Director of Special Education; Daryl Moore, Beloit Jr.Sr. High School Principal; Byron Marshall, Beloit Elementary Principal; Casey Seyfert, Activities Director and Karen Pahls, MCPC.
The Board approved Amanda McGuire for the Parents As Teachers position. The Board went into to a 10 minute Executive Session to discuss Personnel that was extended for another 20 -minutes. The Board approved the new Jr./Sr. High Intercom System it has been looking at followed by adjournment.
Contracts include: Tracy E. Bohnert, Interrelated Classroom Teacher, Waconda School District for the 2014-2015 school year and Linda S. Hollerich, Para educator at Waconda School District.
Resignations include: Devin Bechard, Vocational Ag Teacher, BJSHS; Alisa Becker, Art Teacher at BES and Theresa McDowell, Family and Consumer Science Teacher at BJSHS.
Retirements include: Karen Buser, MIS Clerk, Special Ed Cooperative; Jo Dean, Language Arts Teacher, BJSHS; Carla Donker, Para educator, BES; Joe Duntz, Counselor, BJSHS, Kenneth Fischer, Fifth Grade Teacher, BES; Phyllis Kjellberg, Para educator, BES; Jill Klos, Early Childhood Special Ed. Teacher, Special Ed Cooperative; Allen Dean Walters, Head Custodian, BES; Deborah Warne, Speech/Language Pathologist, Special Ed Cooperative and Ardella Wessling, Para educator, BJSHS.
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