Meeting will handle travel, summer plans and more
By RACHEL COLEMAN
• Leader & Times
At its 6 p.m. board of education meeting, the final one before the bond election this week, USD 480 will focus on business as usual. Tonight’s agenda kicks off with a report from Superintendent of schools Paul Larkin, who recently returned from a teacher recruiting trip to New Mexico.
Larkin reported mixed results in Las Cruces and Albuquerque.
“The number of candidates in each fair has dropped off,” Larkin reported. “I believe there is still value in attending the Las Cruces fair, as we interviewed some high quality candidates and we have some scheduled to visit Liberal.” However, Larkin recommends not returning to Albuquerque, as only three candidates met with USD 480 officials.
Deputy superintendent of schools Renae Hickert submitted her usual report to the board with information about the ongoing process to certify Liberal High School as a demonstration site for the college-prep program, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination).
Committee work has been brisk as well, with the teacher evaluation review committee working to create an updated review format.
“Beginning next year, student growth measures must be a part of the teacher evaluation,” Hickert noted. Members of that committee are Allison Moeller (ESL teacher at Sunflower Intermediate), Amy Ricks (third-grade teacher at Garfield Elementary), Daniel Minde (math teacher at West Middle School), school board members Chris Jewell and Crystal Clemens and human resources director Jason McAfee.
School board member Tammy Sutherland-Abbott has asked finance director Jerry Clay to submit monthly reports to the board, and he did so for tonight’s meeting. Clay’s Board of Education Financial Summary for March 2014, reporting on activity funds and credit card use, are all viewable online at the USD 480 website.
McAfee reported on Teacher of the Year nominations with the following results:
Garfield Elementary: Michele Crossman
Lincoln Elementary: Chrystal Watson
MacArthur Elementary: Betty Clifton
McDermott Elementary: Gloria Willimon
McKinley Elementary: Indira Arredondo
Southlawn Elementary: Kathe Goodwin
Washington Elementary: Alaina Sill
Cottonwood Intermediate: Alice Swanson
Sunflower Intermediate: Jennifer Hofferber
South Middle School: Cathy Martin
West Middle School: Katherine Hansen
Liberal High School: Jodi Malick
In other business, the board will hear travel requests for student activities. Up for board approval is the LHS forensics trip to Chicago, to attend a national competition. The trip is set for May 22. The LHS golf team is also requesting approval of travel to regional competition (May 17) and if qualifying, state (May 24).
SMS principal Gib Rito will also ask for approval of a nearly $13,000 purchase of robotics program materials. The money will be drawn from South’s “priority school” funding from the state of Kansas.
Federal programs director Sheri King provided updates on the after school programs, and the possibility of offering some summer programming in conjunction with the district’s regular summer school.
“For a small fee, 100 students in grades first through third will participate in fun and engaging activities in a safe educational environment,” King noted. The ROCK-SOAR camp will be housed at Cottonwood Intermediate, employ six teachers and four paras, and will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during the month of June.
King also reported that USD 480 will host Kindergarten Round-Up for the upcoming school year on 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 1 at the seven elementary buildings.
Finally, staff travel up for approval includes a wide variety of trips, from teachers who have completed their ESL training and need to take the final exam tin Amarillo to members of the district’s construction committee, who, if the bond issue passes, will go on an exploratory trip to see other districts’ new construction in Kansas City and Little Rock, Ark.
ESOL test in Amarillo: Chrystal Watson, Kayla Rose, Megan Miller and Alexander Forsythe
CPI Advanced Applied Physical Training Course in Salina: Troy McCarter, Vicki Adams
Kansas Children's Service League Board of Directors Annual Meeting in Topeka: Shirley Scott
2014 MIS Data Clerk Workshop in Wichita: Vicki Adams, Elsa Murillo
Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) Accreditation in Garden City: Shirley Scott
Childhood Neurology in Wichita: Jean Regier, Hali Bell
Transportation Safety Conference in Topeka: Gary Dowell
Administering the Kansas Assessment to Students who are Blind/Visually Impaired in Topeka: Deborah Sargent, Iris Thompson
Central and Western Kansas Safe and Supportive Schools Conference in Dodge City: Keith Adams, Troy McCarter, and two high school students
International Society for Technology in Education in Atlanta: Karrie Sleder, Jonna Dunn, Daena Rios, Sandi Wheeler
Kamp Science Education Conference in Junction City: Debra Busby, Bonnie Garcia, Cory Poulson, Charles Holcomb
Migrant Parent Advisory Council in Dodge City: Veronica Amador, Sara Rodriguez, and eight parents
Sign Language Test in Wichita: Ronda Schmitzer, Erica Zamora
Title III/ESL Cadre Meeting in Sublette: Sheri King, Michelle Crossman
South Dakota Teacher Job Fair in Sioux Falls: Jon Schneider, Ty Hamilton
Construction Committee Tour in Kansas City/Little Rock: Chris Jewell, Nick Hatcher, Steve Helm, Paul Larkin, Jason Diseker, Shawna Evans.