March 15, 2021
Wabaunsee Jr. High Commons
Board Vice-President Tony Conrad, called the regular ZOOM meeting to order at 6:02 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance & a moment of silence. Board members Kelly Oliver, Tony Conrad, Jerome Hesse, Jim Vopata and Callie Meinhardt were in attendance. Board members Don Frank and Justin Frank were absent.
There were additions to the Agenda which included: Patron Communications-Add Joseph Toenjes, PMS; Sheriff Rob Hoskins and School Resource Officer Leo Lovely; Personnel-Add WHS Counselor-Kevin Sullivan; Summer Weights-Jess Rutledge, Garrett Eck, Dakota Soderlund (sharing supplemental); Substitute-Brandi Stanley.
Board President Justin Frank arrived at 6:05 pm, and proceeded to assume responsibility of the meeting.
Board member Vopata moved to accept the additions to the Agenda. Hess seconded. Motion carried 6-0
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. Principal Hutley shared with the Board names of students who had been selected for All League, and congratulated the boys on placing 2nd at State Basketball competition. Mr. Oliver reported to the Board the number of students who are out for track, and Mr. Craghead updated the Board on students who qualify for ESOL and on KELPA testing.
Board member Oliver moved to accept the consent agenda which included: Approve Minutes of February 8, 2021 Regular Meeting; Approve Payment of Bills, Accept gifts of Action Bibles from David C Cook/Bibles in Schools, Inc-Distribution of Religious Materials to be placed in school libraries; Motion to approve Consent Agenda. Board member Conrad seconded. Motion carried 6-0
Sheriff Rob Hoskins introduced School Resource Officer (SRO) Leo Lovely to the Board. He shared that Officer Lovely has been a welcomed addition to their office, staff, and to the schools. He thanked the Board for their support financially and for accepting the Grant that had been bestowed upon them. Sheriff Hoskins reported the program has shown to be a success, with having forty incidents that have been generated which may have otherwise gone unreported. He reminded Board members of the upcoming Town Hall meeting that will be held at the new Wabaunsee High School Gym on Friday, March 19 from 7:00-9:00 pm, addressing Social Media Safety and encouraged all to attend.
In Old and New Business, Terry Bickham & Brad Rahe with Energy Solutions Professionals, presented information on the investment Grade Audit. Board member Don Frank joined the meeting at 6:17 pm. Mr. Bickham provided a general scope of services and scenarios of costs/savings based upon possible sections using a repair and/or replace program. Wabaunsee County Health Department Administrator Ray Finley, was available to answer questions regarding the wearing of masks in the school buildings. Board members asked when the district might be able to consider moving forward with a ‘recommended’ vs ‘required’ status on mask wearing. Mr. Finley shared he would encourage the Board to continue with their current policy, and felt he would have a better idea in a month or so on whether it would be advisable to change.
At 7:32 pm, Board member Justin Frank moved to go into executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts, and individual proprietorships with the open meeting to resume at 7:55 pm. Board member Conrad seconded. Motion carried 7-0. Administrators and Mr. Starnes were included in the session. The open meeting resumed at 7:55 pm. At 7:55 pm, Board member Justin Frank moved to go into executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts, and individual proprietorships with the open meeting to resume at 8:00 pm. Vopata seconded. Motion carried 7-0 Administrators and Mr. Starnes were included in the session. The Board reconvened at 8:00 pm.
The Board announced building assignments for the 2021-2022 school year. Those will be: PK-Grade 5 at MHE and AES; grades 6-8 at Wabaunsee Junior High; and grades 9-12 at Wabaunsee High School. There was discussion on the Paxico Middle School facility. Thoughts moving forward are to contact a local realtor and/or County Appraiser Ryan Michaelis, for an approximate value; explore listing with an auctioning service and/or realtor including a reserve price and non-compete clause; and consideration for ‘gifting’ the property if no acceptable bids are received.
Jim Collogan presented to the Board on ways ASA Strategic Funding work with districts and their patrons, finding ways to communicate ideas and educate the public on the needs of the district. Their methods ensure patrons are aware of issues being addressed in a bond proposal, and greatly increases the level of success. Board members expressed liking the idea of using a neutral third party for the communication, as it would assist in determining options patrons would and would not support.
Mr. Starnes reported to the Board he has been working with Transportation Director Freddie Johnson and Enterprise Vehicle on a vehicle lease program model that will provide the district with reliable, more efficient/less maintenance, safe vehicles. He shared he will have more information coming in the future.
Board member Conrad moved to accept the low structural bid from David Vermetten of $3,600 for structural design services for WHS (old limestone building and weight room) and WJH (old section). Meinhardt seconded. Motion carried 7-0
Board member Oliver moved to approve the calendar change, making May 10th a Professional Development day for MTSS Teacher Collaboration and The Leader in Me data analysis. Board member Justin Frank seconded. Motion carried 7-0
Mr. Starnes communicated to the Board the Negotiations Letter must be exchanged with the Wabaunsee Education Association prior to March 31st. The letter contains the usual negotiated items including: hours and amount of work, salary-including supplementals and benefits-health insurance.
At 8:38 pm, Board member Justin Frank requested a 5 minute break. The meeting resumed at 8:43 pm.
At 8:43 pm, Board member Justin Frank moved to go into executive session for matters relating to actions adversely or favorably affecting a person as a student, patient or resident of a public institution, except that any such person shall have the right to a public hearing if requested by the person, and the meeting will resume at 8:55 pm. Conrad seconded. Motion carried 7-0. Mr. Starnes and Principal Hutley were included in the session. The Board reconvened at 8:55 pm. At 8:55 pm, Board member Justin Frank moved to go into executive session for matters relating to actions adversely or favorably affecting a person as a student, patient or resident of a public institution, except that any such person shall have the right to a public hearing if requested by the person, and the meeting will resume at 9:05 pm. Conrad seconded. Motion carried 7-0. Mr. Starnes and Principal Hutley were included in the session. The Board reconvened at 9:05 pm. At 9:05 p, Board member Vopata moved to go into executive session for matters relating to actions adversely or favorably affecting a person as a student, patient or resident of a public institution, except that any such person shall have the right to a public hearing if requested by the person, and the meeting will resume at 9:10 pm. Board member Justin Frank seconded. Motion carried 6-1. Board member Jerome Hess voted No. Mr. Starnes and Principal Hutley were included in the session. The Board reconvened at 9:10 pm.
At 9:10 pm, Board member Justin Frank moved to go into executive session for personnel matters of nonelected personnel with the meeting to resume at 9:28. Conrad seconded. Motion carried 7-0. Mr. Starnes was included in the session. The Board reconvened at 9:28 pm.
Board member Oliver moved to approve the employment and resignation lists as submitted, as well as the employment additions to the agenda. Vopata seconded. Motion carried 7-0
In the Superintendent Forum, Mr. Starnes reviewed ESSER Funds, the Social Media Safety Community meeting scheduled for March 19 at 7:00 pm in the new WHS gym, the district’s $3,000 responsibility for the Safe Route to Schools Grant, upcoming food service equipment expenditures, the increased energy bills and the KSDE Building Report Card comparing USD 329 to USD 330, USD 417 & USD 321. KSDE Assessments (% levels 3 & 4) 2018-19
USD 329 Highest total reading and math assessment scores (42% of our students tested in Levels 3 effective and 4 excellent)
USD 329 assessments to spending is .36 showing that our tax payers are getting the "best bang for their buck"!
We can again show and inequivalently prove that USD 329 students are getting GREAT educations! And that is due to everyone's efforts to do what's in the best interest of our students!!
In addition, he shared with the Board KSDE had performed their annual financial audit and that everything looked great! He commended administration, secretaries, and district office staff for their due diligence in accurate reporting and attention to detail. He will share the official results when they are received and communicate how it may affect the district’s budget. Board member Conrad asked if ESSER funds could be utilized for purchasing books. Mr. Starnes explained those funds can only be used for Covid related expenses. Since these are Federal funds, there are stipulations outlining allowable expenses. The ESSER funds cannot be used for that purpose. Board member Justin Frank thanked USD 329 staff for what they are doing for our students. Their efforts enable our students to have great success in both academics and athletics.
Board member Conrad moved to adjourn. Board member Hess seconded. Motion carried 7-0. The meeting adjourned at 9:40 pm.
Submitted by Cheryl Zeller