By RACHEL COLEMAN
• Leader & Times
As the first full week of the 2013-14 school year begins, the USD 480 school board will meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight for its regular meeting. The agenda includes a long list of routine approvals and housekeeping items.
Liberal residents and shoppers showed so much generosity during the pre-enrollment school supply drive, there’s not enough room to store all the donated supplies.
“The amount of items collected have far exceeded the usual storage space allotted by the district for student supplies,” noted director of auxiliary services Robert Burkey in his report. To deal with the positive problem, “KCSL, Bright Futures Liberal, and USD 480 administrators are requesting that the items to be stored in the district's warehouse.”
To keep track of, and hand out the items correctly, Burkey will request that the district be allowed to use the inventory and distribution system that is already in place. This will allow building administrators to view and request items available for students who genuinely need help.
The board will also review and take action on another set of teacher and staff employment, resignation and transfer items. With the new year fully in swing, a few teachers hired by the district never reported, but several new people were hired.
Several athletic-department trips will go before the board for approval, as girls’ volleyball season begins. Coaches and athletic directors will also attend various annual meetings connected to Liberal’s membership in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and the state’s athletic and activities association, KSHSAA. While the KSHSAA regional meeting in Dodge City is a one-time event in October, WAC membership requires participation in five meetings throughout the school year.
Partnerships will also be up for review and approval at tonight’s meeting. Agreements between LHS and Seward County Community College will get another official stamp of approval, as the board reviews documents detailing concurrent course enrollment for high school students who take classes for dual credit, and programs that offer shadowing and vocational training. Students who attend LHS and sign up for classes eligible for college credit are responsible to pay the tuition costs at SCCC, and complete the appropriate paperwork.
The district will also sign agreements with the Kansas Children’s Service League, which operates Head Start preschool services in Liberal, and with the High Plains Special Education Cooperative, which provides sign-language interpreter services. Staff travel approvals also include an annual meeting with Heartspring agency in Wichita, which provides special services for developmentally disabled students who are not able to obtain appropriate care, required by federal and state law, within the district.
The entire agenda of tonight’s meeting, including reports from Superintendent of Schools Paul Larkin, Deputy Superintendent Renae Hickert, Director of Business Jerry Clay, Burkey, Director of Human Resources Jason McAfee and Director of Data and Testing Jill Stout, is available for viewing at the district’s website, www.usd480.net.
The 6:30 meeting at the Education Service Center, 624 N. Grant, is open to the public.