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From fashion to fire science, new classes coming PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 February 2018 12:42


• Leader & Times

There will soon be many new courses for students at Liberal High School to choose from thanks to a pair of decisions made by the USD 480 school board at its most recent meeting Monday evening. 

“This is the first phase of the redesign so each meeting, I’ll be bringing you guys more and more courses,” USD 480 Director of Curriculum and Staff Development Lana Evans said. “These are most of the CTE courses that were presented to the Curriculum Committee.”

“This is a tremendous example of community collaboration with the high school and what we can do as a team to really look at what’s best for the students,” LHS Assistant Principal Josh Stephenson added. “Currently at LHS we’re doing course interest with incoming 8th graders and that’s actually part of the parent-teacher conferences right now so for some of these on the list we’re gauging some numbers. I know there’s been a lot of discussion among us in the district about how to keep our own and build our own and keep them as part of the community and be great contributors. A great example of that would be our fire science program – currently, with our EMT and fire and emergency services, we have eight open positions and that seems to be recurring every year when we take our LPSS students on their field trips. The ability of working with Seward County and the options we have there, students once they’re 18 can take the firefighter one certification and end up becoming a firefighter anywhere. And the exciting part is we’re already one of the leaders in the state in regards to the number of pathways we have and we’re looking at adding three additional pathways through these courses.”

Ultimately, the board approved the courses Art History, Apparel Production I, Apparel Production II, Fashion, Apparel and Interior Design, Glass Blowing, Ceramics I, Graphic Design, Independent Art Studio, Intro to Drafting, Blueprint Reading, Residential Carpentry I, Construction Math/NCCER, Computer Applications Online, Consumer and Personal Finance, Business Communication, Finance-Workplace Experience, Fire Science I, Fire Science II, an LPSS Internship, and Sports Medicine II for LHS, and also approved Web Page Design II, which will be taken through Seward County Community College. Both these items were approved 5-0 with board members Stewart Cauble and Matt Durler absent for the evening. 

The board then turned discussion to what to do with the bond proceeds. The deadline to have all bond proceeds spent, which amount to approximately $8.3 million, is June 2019. 

“What I want tonight is to get a really firm top four or top five from the board about what projects we want to do,” Superintendent Renae Hickert said. “A couple things have risen to the top. Obviously I think security, with making sure our cameras and doors are working and getting keyless entry for all the classrooms across the district ... with recent events in our country, I think that should become a top priority. Also, we had the Redskin Field turf analyzed, had the professional analysis done.”

USD 480 Director of District Systems Michael Stovall then gave a brief presentation of those findings before Hickert continued.

“With demolition of the old buildings, we’ve got Garfield down, but we still have Lincoln, McDermott,” Hickert said. “WKCAC is no longer interested in Washington, so now we need to decide if Washington needs to go. Those would be potentially three buildings that would need to be torn down and that’s probably a top priority. With the LHS science room remodel, the chemistry room is way outdated, it’s not a good educational environment for our students, that one I feel strongly about. So I would say the top four or five would be security, the LHS chemistry room, the turf since it needs to be replaced, those are the top three, then the demolition of old buildings would be four. I also want to get to work on improvements for the preschool, that would probably round out my top five. We definitely have plenty of projects.”

USD 480 Board President Steve Helm then spoke up about security. 

“I’m not anti-security, you know that from the many discussions I’ve had with you about that,” Helm said. “But we could spend $500 million at it but until we get our people trained and acting appropriately, it’s a moot point. We’ve been on this for several years and it’s still not happening. When there’s people going in unrestrained and there’s doors propped open, those are minor things but we have to have a mindset change about security or we’re just spinning our wheels.”

In other business, the board also approved $25,128 in upgrades to rooftop HVAC equipment and controls for the office area at Cottonwood Elementary School by a margin of 4-1, with board member Alan Brown voting no and Cauble and Durler absent. 




About The High Plains Daily Leader

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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