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May 09th, 2021

usd 480 logoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


The USD 480 school board will have two meetings to deal with this week, starting with is regular meeting Monday evening at Seymour Rogers Middle School in Room B110. 

Up first at Monday evening’s meeting will be the administrator reports, starting with Superintendent Renae Hickert. 

“Staff is requesting permission to conduct a childcare feasibility study,” the agenda information noted. “The survey is the first step and will determine if there is interest in a district childcare center and assist district administration in determining how many children a daycare could host.”

Director of Elementary Education Lana Evans will also present her report. 

“Jennifer Hyde, Intervention Coordinator will present information on the Dyslexia Screener process and implementation,” the agenda information noted. “With certified recruitment, staff has attended 17 virtual job fairs since Feb 12, and we’ve reached out to more than 337 applicants for PreK-5. We’ve also reached out to over 182 applicants for secondary. PreK–5 currently has 22 openings, and secondary currently has 16 openings. MacArthur Elementary School would like to integrate a therapy dog beginning next fall. All set protocols for implementation will take place, and Jennifer Hofferber will host the dog.”

After hearing an update on COVID-19 numbers through the district, the board will move on to the agenda’s new business, beginning with discussion of the former USD 480 Central Office building at 401 N. Kansas. 

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“USD 480 has received one written offer to purchase 401 N. Kansas in the amount of $80,000 and one verbal offer to purchase in the amount of $35,000,” the agenda information noted. “Staff is recommending the board accept the offer to purchase 401 N. Kansas in the amount of $80,000.”

Up next for the board will be discussion of the Instructional Programs/Professional Learning/Consultant Days for the 2021-2022 school year. Several programs are mentioned in the memo in the agenda information. 

“Edgenuity partners with schools and districts to bring a world-class learning experience to classrooms of any size and shape using cutting-edge digital tools and research-based instructional strategies. Edgenuity’s online curriculum and learning solutions are designed to support all educators and students, and can be easily customized to meet the unique needs of any school, classroom, and student. This is for high school students and costs $30,495,” the agenda information noted. “Built on the science of reading, Amplify Core Knowledge Language Arts® (CKLA) sequences deep content knowledge with research-based foundational skills. Amplify CKLA teaches literacy through the lens of cross-curricular domains in science, history, literature, and culture. The program develops students’ foundational literacy skills through a systematic scope and sequence with a focus on phonics. CKLA will be used for core instruction. It includes systematic and explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and comprehension, with the addition of technology, assessments, and student goal setting which provide the instructional tools needed to address learning loss among our youngest learners. CKLA provides a content-rich writing practice which plays a pivotal role in learning to read and can narrow the knowledge gap that often holds back reading growth. This is for elementary school students. Amplify-mCLASS is a reading assessment system based on the science of reading and provides teacher-administered reading assessments for grades K-6. Administering these reading assessments will help teachers address the learning loss of students by providing in-depth data on each student’s reading skills and deficits. The assessments will provide teachers with data that will drive differentiated reading instruction for all students K-6. Staff is recommending the board approve the recommended Instructional Programs/Professional Learning/Consultant Days for the 2021-2022 school year.”

The board will also be discussing virtual server upgrade and maintenance. 

“The server that hosts the virtual machines requires upgrades and maintenance along with the HP Nimble,” the agenda information noted. “The security camera system is hosted on this server and is not performing to the level we require it to.  Upgrades and increased performance demands for the security camera system have required us to rethink the intent of the system and reconfigure how it should be set up. Staff is recommending the board approve the quote from ISG in the amount of $18,800.00 for upgrades and maintenance to the virtual machines server and HP Nimble.”

The board will also be asked to approve a bid from Southern Office for the purchase of a copier in the amount of $11,025.

“USD 480 has a copier that has exceeded the 2 million mark at MacArthur Elementary School,” the agenda information noted. “This copier is needing repairs on a weekly basis.  The quote received from Southern Office is a Sourcewell contract (National Bid) allowed by KS Statute 12-2903.”

The board will be discussing SchoolDude to conclude the agenda’s new business. 

“Annual renewal for the Operations and Maintenance services of School Dude (Dude Solutions) in the amount of $14,331.31,” the agenda information noted. “We continue to utilize the following modules: Facility Direct:  Scheduling facility usage for both internal and external users; Inventory Direct:  Warehouse inventory and supply chain requests from the buildings to the warehouse; Maintenance Direct:  Maintenance ticketing service, end user reporting of maintenance requests; Trip Direct:  Scheduling and coordinating transportation needs, small vehicles, buses, athletics, activities, field trips, professional development, etc. Staff is recommending the board approve the renewal invoice from Dude Solutions (SchoolDude) in the amount of $14,331.31 This is a reduction of $76.97 (0.5 percent) from last year's renewal.”

The board will also be meeting for a special meeting at 8 a.m. Friday at the USD 480 Central Office to discuss the vacancy on the board created by the resignation of Sarah Mersdorf-Foreman. Letters of interest for the open position are due by 12 noon Thursday, and the board  will review the letters of interest and determine the next step in filling the open position at Friday’s meeting.

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