November 9, 2020
Wabaunsee USD #329 District Office
Board President Justin Frank called the regular meeting to order at 6:00 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance & a moment of silence. Board members Callie Meinhardt, Jerome Hesse, Kelly Oliver, and Justin Frank attended in person. Board member Jim Vopata attended via Zoom. Board members Don Frank and Tony Conrad were absent.
There was an addition to the Agenda-Under Personnel-Add Lydia Drennon Food Service Substitute. Board member Oliver moved to accept the addition to the agenda. Board member Meinhardt seconded. Motion carried 5-0
Written reports were submitted by Principals Hutley, Oliver, and Craghead as well as from Technology Director Josh Nisly, Maintenance/Transportation Director Freddie Johnson, and Food Service Director Deb Westhoff.
Board member Meinhardt moved to accept the Consent Agenda which included Approve Minutes of October 12, 2020 Regular BOE meeting and October 19, 2020 Special BOE Meeting; Approve payment of Bills; Recognize State Cross Country Teams and Volleyball State Championship Team, Approve Safe Route to Schools Grand Resolution-Paxico; Approve KASB Voting Delegate-Jim Vopata. Vopata seconded. Motion carried 5-0
Jessica Lindsley with Varney & Associates presented on the 2019-2020 CPA Audit. She reported here were no significant findings and it was a clean audit.
Board member Conrad joined the meeting via ZOOM at 6:12 pm.
There was discussion on the failed Bond issue and what steps need to be taken at this point in order to move forward. Board members discussed the need to reassess and gather information and receive feedback.
Board member Don Frank joined the meeting via ZOOM at 6:19 pm.
Mr. Starnes shared with board members that he will have additional information on the Investment Grade Energy Audit at the January meeting. Board member Vopata shared several questions he feels need to be addressed in some form, with regards to what needs to be done in order for the district to succeed. Board member Justin Frank shared he feels leadership will need to assist, in answering Mr. Vopata’s questions. Mr. Starnes pointed out to the Board, it takes months to get things lined out with the State Board of Education. The board will need to have a decision soon, due to the process it takes to have everything in place prior to elections, before the current bond comes off. After a lengthy discussion, Board member Meinhardt moved to have a Special Work Session for District Direction on November 30 at 6:00 pm at the district office. Hess seconded. Motion carried 7-0
Ray Finley, Wabaunsee County Health Department Administrator, was present to address questions on the spectator limitations with athletics, and the increasing number of Covid cases in the county. Mr. Starnes reviewed the absentee attendance percentages in the different buildings. Due to the significant increase in county cases, the fact the increases are fairly uniform throughout the county, and that multiple counties around us are also experiencing these increases, board members felt it was necessary to follow the reopening plan they approved and go to remote learning for grades 9-12. Board member Vopata moved that beginning Tuesday, November 10, Wabaunsee High School students only will go to remote learning and start back to face-to-face learning Monday, November 30. Meinhardt seconded. Board member Oliver expressed concern that some students may not have everything needed for remote learning. She asked if students would have access to the building so they can gather what they need for remote learning. After further discussion, Board member Vopata amended his motion to: Tuesday, November 10 will be a professional development day for Wabaunsee High School Staff to prepare for remote learning. Remote learning will begin for WHS students only, Wednesday November 11 thru Friday November 27. Students will be back in school Monday, November 30 for face-to-face learning. Meinhardt seconded. Motion carried 7-0. Mr. Starnes clarified teachers will be expected to be remotely teaching at school/classrooms during regular school hours and that all activities will also be suspended with no practices until Saturday, November 28th.
At 7:46 pm, Justin Frank moved to go into executive session to discuss an individual employee’s performance relating to actions adversely or favorably affecting a non-elected employee under KOMA, and the open meeting will resume at 7:56 pm. Meinhardt seconded. Motion carried 7-0. Mr. Starnes was included in the session. At 7:56 pm the board members reconvened. At 7:56 pm, board member Vopata moved to go into executive session to discuss an individual employee’s performance relating to actions adversely or favorably affecting a non-elected employee under KOMA, and the open meeting will resume at 8:03 pm. Board member Hess seconded. Motion carried 7-0. Mr. Starnes was included in the session. The Board reconvened and the open meeting resumed at 8:03 pm.
At 8:04 pm, board member Kelly Oliver moved to go into executive session to discuss confidential student information the exception relating to actions adversely or favorably affecting a student under KOMA and the open meeting will resume at 8:10 pm. Hess seconded. Motion carried 7-0. Mr. Starnes was included in the session. The board reconvened and the open session resumed at 8:10 pm.
Board member Hess moved to approve employment and accept resignations/retirements as submitted. Included in the list was: Employment-Brandi Miller, Brendan Praeger, and Lyle Strait, WHS Asst. Track Coaches; Garrett Eck, WHS Asst. Softball Coach; David Amer and Kolby Harris, WHS Asst. Baseball Coaches; Brandi Miller, WHS Asst. Girls Basketball Coach; Amy Cassell & Miriam Barton, WHS Prom Sponsors; Steve Reves and Greg Barron, WJH Asst. Track Coaches; Tom Beggs and Paul Gronquist, Emergency Substitute Teachers; Rebeca Willier, MHE Secretary; Lydia Drennon, Substitute Cook. Resignations/Retirements-Marsha Rogers, MHE Secretary; Gary Lesline, WHS day custodian; Lydia Drennon, AES/WHS cook. Justin Frank seconded. Motion carried 7-0
Mr. Starnes informed board members SRO Taylor Schuldt is leaving November 12. She is being replaced by Leonard Lovely. He indicated the program is working very well and students have felt comfortable in talking with our SRO. He also shared with the board ATS Custodial Services has hired a Custodian Manager and has filled three of the open positions. He also presented information on KSU Leadership Training and the opportunity it can provide for the district, to help identify and train potential school leaders that are presently teaching for us. Board members thanked staff for all their hard work and for everything they have done to confront our challenges, in an effort to prevent further closures. Also discussed was feedback that has been received on audio for sporting activities, and whether anything can be done to avoid background noise and increase the volume for the announcer. Technology director Josh Nisly said he would check with the company and installers to see if anything can be done.
Board member Oliver moved to adjourn. Meinhardt seconded. Motion carried 7-0. Meeting adjourned at 8:27 pm.
Submitted by Cheryl Zeller