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School board listens to proposals PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 August 2017 12:40


• Leader & Times

With school preparing to go back in session, it is important for schools to make sure students are safe and healthy. This was a major topic of discussion for the USD 480 school board during its most recent meeting Monday evening. 

The first item in this discussion was an information-only item regarding the request of the purchase of a dynamometer with the Liberal High School athletics department. 

“Garden City, their system went down, and theirs was a system, I believe, and it was older” LHS athletic trainer Steve Zimmerman said. “They chose not to redo it or add to it because it’s an old enough system they wouldn’t be able to update it to the most current form. That’s why I brought it here before all of you tonight.”

Dynamometers are tools used to help measuring athletes’ progress throughout rehabilitation and training and evaluates physical status, performance, and other factors. Overall, Zimmerman said, it is a great tool to have. 

“It’s a great teaching tool for the classes I have in the understanding of isometric versus isotonic versus isokinetic movements, strengthening, those types of things,” Zimmerman said. “This wouldn’t be like a concussion test where we do a baseline. What this would be is testing-wise, we would test toward the end of their rehab process to make sure they’re within limits of their good limb or joint, and we could more safely return them to the sport or say they need to work more on a certain muscle or something like that.”

Quotes were received from Biodex and Vonco for a machine, and as this was just an information item Monday evening, nothing was approved for purchase. However, this will come back as an action item at the board’s Aug. 21 meeting. Zimmerman added it is not just for student athletes, it can be used by other students too. 

“What I’m talking about is strictly people injured within the school district,” Zimmerman said. “For instance, if someone gets injured during PE class and have gotten to a certain point in their rehabilitation or they need to return, we can use it assess their ability to return. I’ve treated staff members before, I’ve treated administrators before in my daily routine.”

Another part of the discussion included student and athletic insurance for USD 480. 

“We had a premium last year of a little less than $70,000 and total paid claims and expenses were a little more than $100,000,” Al Shank began. “So based on what’s been paid so far, that’s a little more than $30,000 in the red, plus there are $66,554 that are still outstanding that have yet to be paid, claims that have yet to be closed. A pretty common part of what impacts it is 70 percent of the claims received during this policy year were from individuals who either had no insurance or no insurance contributed toward the claims. We actually had about $311,000 in total claims submitted, and First Agency and Guarantee Trusts does a good job of negotiating with vendors and looking after claims, and there was about $156,000 of that $311,000 that was discounted or written off before it actually ended up being an insurance issue.”

Before the conclusion of this discussion, there were some concerns raised, with the main one being if there could be some type of cap on how the school insurance could be used, which the board agreed could become a discussion in the future.

“My concern is you start publicizing this, and the public might start coming to you about every nook and cranny, and everything’s going to hurt, and everything’s going to fall on the school,” Zimmerman said. “I’ve seen this in my personal experience, and Al, I hope I’m not speaking out of turn. There are people who came to me and asked me about the school’s insurance to pay a $50 or less claim, and that’s one more claim that’s been filed against the insurance.”

The district has been providing this type of insurance for several years now, and ultimately, the board voted to approve the renewal from First Agency (Guarantee Trust) in the amount of $86,558 by a margin of 6-0, with board member Stewart Cauble absent for the evening.

In other business, the board also approved the purchase of welders for Liberal High School and Seymour Rogers Middle School and  the purchase of workbenches and storage cabinets for Seymour Rogers Middle School and Eisenhower Middle School. 




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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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