The USD 273 Board of Education met at the board office Beloit on Monday evening. Board Attorney Jim Johnson was present to discuss the transfer of control of the Harbaugh Trust from private hands to oversight by the USD 273 Endowment Association. The funds will still be subject to the guidelines that have always been in place.
In his report, Superintendent Jeff Travis gave the board an update on the activities at the Kansas legislature that are applicable to the education community.
Travis said, “There have been good bills introduced and bad bills introduced at the State House in Topeka. It’s hard to tell which ones will find favor with the legislators. Fortunately, we have (Rep.) Susan Concannon on our side. She will represent us well.”
Eric Burks, NCK Technical College President, was present to give the board an update on the operation of NCKTC. Burks started by telling the Board that NCK Tech has a graduation rate of 70.7 percent. This compares very favorably to the national graduation rate of 20.5 percent. The combined enrollment at the Hays and Beloit campuses this year is 926 students, up 7.5 percent from last year. Burks reported that the top four programs at NCK
Tech are Nursing, Diesel Mechanics, Automotive Technology, and Heavy Equipment.
Burks reviewed the long-standing relationship between the local public school system and the technical college. This has been a mutually beneficial partnership for many years. He looks forward to a continued positive collaboration.
Liz Fixsen reported for the PTO. The last box top fundraiser took in $650. The program of collecting gently used Trojan spirit apparel has been successful and will continue moving forward. She told the Board they are exploring the concept of an outdoor classroom. They are currently in the developmental stages.
Karen Niemczyk, Director of the Beloit Special Education Cooperative, addressed the board. She said Sandy Labertew, a long standing speech therapist at Sylvan Grove, has announced her retirement effective at the end of the school year. Labertew’s retirement will the coop at least two speech clinicians short at the end of the year. This position is one that has seen several vacancies unfilled over the past few years.
Brady Dean reviewed the winter benchmark assessment results. Every grade showed significant improvement in their results from the fall to the winter testing results.
“Obviously, the higher the fall results were, the lower the improvement numbers. If the kids scored 85% the fall, the room for improvement is less than if they scored 30 percent,” Dean said.
The school spelling bee was held on January 11. The winner was Trennon Sevilla. The Geography Bee was held on January 12, and the winner was Wesley Adolph.
Parent-Teachers Conferences will be held on Thursday February 16.
February is Career and Technical Education month. Last week Jeff Bates and Jeff Channell attended the CTE conference in Manhattan to stay current with the program.
FFA week is February 20-24. Mr. Callaway has a number of school wide activities planned.
The Scholar’s Bowl team competed in the at the state meet in Russell over the weekend and took fourth in their pool.
Athletic Director Kyle Beisner said that the Beloit Invitational Wrestling Tournament was once again a highly successful tournament. Beisner credits the volunteers who give of their time and expertise to create a first-class athletic experience for all involved. Recently, wrestling Coach Andy Niemczyk recorded dual meet victory number 250.
The winter sports seasons are winding down with the sub-state and state tournaments soon to be contested. The basketball teams will compete at the Class 3A sub-state in Russell. Other schools competing will include Ellsworth, Hays-TMP-Marian, Hoisington, Minneapolis, Norton Community, Phillipsburg and Russell.
Beloit will also compete in Class 3-2-1A Regional Wrestling this Friday and Saturday at Southeast of Saline in Gypsum.
The Board discussed the proposed calendar for the 2017-18 school year with an end of school date of May 24th. They voted to adopt the calendar.
The board also moved to adopt a testing schedule for Driver’s Education which will bring it in compliance with the one recommended by the state. Rather than having regularly scheduled chapter tests throughout the term of the course, they will now administer four unit tests.
Jr./Sr. High School Principal Casey Seyfert outlined course additions and deletions for the students at the high school next year.
The board also accepted the resignation of Jon Bingessor as a high school paraprofessional and the resignation of Branden Callaway as the Vocational Agriculture teacher.