The USD 273-Beloit Board of Education met on Monday, July 10 at the district office in Beloit. The board worked through a long agenda pertaining to many items for the coming school year. Board officers were elected including Jason Johnson as President and Mike Riemann as Vice President.
Greg Shamburg had previously tendered his resignation to the board, effective June 30. Applications will be accepted and a new member appointed to the position to fill the time between now and the November general election when a new member will be elected. Currently, Joe File is the only candidate running for the position in November. He could be appointed to the position in the mean-time after the application process is complete. File was in attendance at the meeting.
Superintendent Jeff Travis said there will be a school budget meeting on Monday, July 17 in Salina. Travis said preliminary numbers show 30 mills in the operating budget will represent $101,622 dollars for the district in 2017-18. The general fund, based on the previous year’s enrollment, will add $527,706 in the coming school year for a total of $629,328 in additional state funding based on local tax proceeds and the new funding formula passed by the Kansas Legislature in June.
Travis asked the board to consider a base pay increase of $900 for all full-time teachers and a three percent increase for other 12 month salaried employees. Additional funding from the state allowed for the increase to $900 from the $300 increase approved by the board in May. The proposal was approved by board.
Travis also said there has been a 17.5 percent increase on max costs for health insurance due to their need and usage. Last year, over 12 months, the districts insurance pool hit $1.134 million. This year, through eight months, it stands at $1.131 million.
Travis will be bringing insurance considerations to the next board meeting as some changes may be made which could provide modest cost savings. Travis said he is considering asking the board to approve a $355 board member contribution, up from $315. Single out of pocket costs could increase by $6 per plan and family plans $13 more. Travis said their insurance coverage and the rates have been a good recruiting tool for the district and hopes to keep that going.
Travis also asked the board to consider hiring an additional aide at the Grade School and High School Library and an additional receptionist at the board office to free up more time for other staff members outside of answering phones and engaging the public and solicitors on site. He is hoping that any future aides would also be certified to substitute teach if needed.
Travis also announced that Jamie Conn won a Presidential Award from OPAA, the district’s food service provider, for her work with the food service department. He also announced that the board members will tour all the district facilities on August 11 beginning at 4 p.m.
Travis then opened vehicle bids from Beloit Motor and Beloit Auto and Truck Plaza for a new large SUV for the district. The board approved the low bid of $40,605 from Beloit Auto and Truck Plaza for a 2017 Ford XLEL with 800 miles. The primary use for the vehicle would be for extra-curricular activities such as golf, tennis, scholars bowl, cheer leading, forensics, band and others. The bid was about $1,100 below the bid from Beloit Motor.
Beloit Jr./Sr. High School Principal Casey Seyfert reported that they ordered all the supplies for the coming year. They also have new furniture in the office. They have repainted and laid new carpet as well installing new counters in the high school office. Eight classrooms have also been painted. They have also done paint work on the exterior of the building as well. They have worked around the gym and ag shop to this point.
Seyfert said 57 students passed graduated driver’s education which is a pass/fail course and does not count against student’s GPA. He also noted that online enrollment went well last year, and they will be utilizing it again this year. Online bill pay training is ongoing to allow for enrollment fees, lunches and other expenses to be paid online.
He also announced they had 38 players at football camp on Monday. They expect a total of 40 or more when fall practices officially begin. Seyfert added that STUCO camp will be held in Emporia next week. Enrollment will take place August 3-8.
Mr. Travis shared Special Education Cooperative Director Karen Niemczyk’s report while she was attending Boys Town Training in Omaha. In her report, she included a listing of upcoming fall training sessions including Seeing Stars, Visualizing and Verbalizing, Trauma Informed Care, Boys Town Well Managed Classrooms, Maximizing Para Effectiveness and WebKids IEP.
She said they are still working to fill some para positions and are conducting interviews over the next two weeks. They are still seeking a social worker for the Sylvan-Lucas district. She is also working on a new cooperative agreement with the Kansas Association of School Boards and will present that agreement for board approval next month.
Brady Dean delivered the elementary report and said much cleaning is underway. Keith Allen was awarded a contract as the elementary custodian. Dean also said the slab is laid for a new storage shed, and the building should go up soon. They will be able to store supplies such as bulk paper without having to unload pallets as they will be able to be driven right into the storage unit.
Enrollment is Aug 3 and 4 for elementary students. Online enrollment will be available at BES in the computer lab if people don’t have internet access or would prefer to do it on site rather than from home. Aides will be available to help. There are seven new teachers as well as other new staff members for the coming school year.
Dean also said that the Mitchell County Partnership for Children closed on their grant and appropriated all the available funds. They are starting the next grant process. July 1 was the first day of the new grant year. MCPC representatives will also be available to discuss their program and services during enrollment.
The board then approved the following appointments; Doris Gasper, District Clerk, Kelsey Krier, Deputy Clerk, Tiffany Schroeder, District Treasurer, Jim Johnson, Board Attorney and Sharra Odle as the KASB Govermental Relations Network Representative.
The board then approved designations. Those included time and dates for board meetings which will be held on the second Monday each month beginning at 6:30 p.m. Depositories for district funds will include First National Bank, Solomon Valley Bank, Guaranty State Bank and Central National Bank. The official newspaper is the Beloit Call. Truant officers are Casey Seyfert, Brady Dean and Karen Niemczyk. Nathalie Wessling will be the Authorized Representative for the Food Service Fund. Doris Gasper will serve as public information officer and representative to KPERS. Travis will also be the compliance coordinator for anti-discrimination laws including Title VI, VII, IX and Section 504 (ADA).
Milk prices were approved and stayed level at 45 cents. Reimbursement rates for travel were approved at 53.5 cents per mile. Driver’s Ed fees were set at $122 for in district students and $202 for out of district students. Textbook fees stayed flat at $35 for Pre-K through 12. Activity fees for students stayed the same at $20. Individual Adult passes increased by $5 to $37.50 and family passes went up $10 to $75 for the year.
The board approved adoption of an early payment request policy to allow for the board clerk to pay bills which are time sensitive if they need to be addressed before the next board meeting. They also moved to waive GAAP accounting principles. The board then reviewed and approved a 1,116 hour school calendar option and set graduation for Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 11 a.m.
The board then reviewed and approved the Food Service charge policy.
Multiple board policy changes were then approved. Copies of the policy are available at the district office.
Redesign of the district curriculum through the Mercury Program discussion continued from June meeting. Resources for the redesign would be provided by the state if the district is selected. A survey will be sent out yet this week and needs 80 percent support among the district’s teachers to continue the process. The board approved moving forward with the program.
The next USD-273 Beloit Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 14.