School Board Gets Good Audit Report, Still Looking for Accompanist

By REX ZIMMERMAN

It was a short but busy meeting for the U.S.D. 255 Board of Education Monday evening, October 12, as they met for their monthly meeting. The starting time was moved to 5:30 p.m. so those who wanted to could attend the FFA Slave Auction held later that evening. Board members present were Mark Pollock, Doolie Rugg, Melissa Simpson, Deb Helfrich and Mariah Doherty along with board president Steve Allen. Board member Mike Anderson was unable to attend.

Good Audit Report

After approving previous and current agendas, the meeting was turned over to Randy Ford from the auditing firm Busby Ford & Reimer, LLC from Wichita, who presented the district’s annual audit report.

Mr. Ford briefly went through the report with board members and noted that all records were in accordance with accounting procedures. He said there was a bank account at the high school for a memorial fund that probably should be moved under that group’s ID number, and there were a few certificates of deposit at the high school that weren’t designated for a specific purpose. There really was no problem, Mr. Ford said, but the district just might want to handle them differently. He thanked board clerk Julie Johnson for all her help in making sure the audit process went smoothly.

Building, Vehicle Reports

After payment of bills totaling $288,209.70, the board first heard a report from Transportation and Grounds director, Keith Rathgeber. He said there are 19 total vehicles in the district and that all were in pretty good shape except for one big route bus. Superintendent Dr. Andi Williams said she will look into applications for bus replacement programs that might “be an opportunity”, and the district is also looking at a 10-passenger and under vehicle and is also looking at mowers.

The grounds, Mr. Rathgeber said, are in pretty good shape, and a contract has been signed with Terminex for treatments at the high school, in particular the Ag building.

Principal Marcia Cantrell said in her report that former South Barber instructors Jim and Jill Jacobs, both now retired, are paying for a pool party on October 29 for 4th through 6th grade Accelerated Reading students that reach their goal. The party would be at the NWOSU Wellness Center, and Principal Cantrell and the district thanked them for their generosity.

Several teachers had taken various classes to advance their professional development, including Lori Sahadi, Karen Lambert, Katt Scheck, Samantha Nichols, Deb Hitchcock, Cheryl Washburn and Principal Cantrell.

Parent-Teacher Conference was a success at the Elementary School with 96 percent of parents attending.

All students will be released at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, October 23, for the end of the first nine weeks. The annual Halloween Parade down Main Street will be held on Friday, Oct. 30, at 2:30 p.m.

Principal Brent Shaffer noted in his report that there was about 50 percent attendance at the Parent-Teacher Conference. He discussed career programs and state assessments and said the Heart of the Plains League Mass Band will be November 10 at Burrton.

He gave an overview of sports activities for the month and said that junior high basketball practice begins the week of October 26. The Cherokee Jr. High Tournament will begin November 9.

FFA advisor Kyle Jacobs reported that at Greenhand Conference, Savannah Hughbanks and Katie Holcomb tied for fourth place. The Land Judging A-team placed ninth, and the PALS night Oct. 5 was well attended.

FFA students leave October 27 for the National Convention in Louisville, KY. Attending will be Emily Rugg, Savannah Hughbanks, Kacee Hostetler, Idallis Shaffer, Dale Hoch, Katie Holcomb, and the winner of the local creed speaking contest.

Board Member Recognized

In her report, Dr. Williams recognized Deb Helfrich with a certificate from the Kansas Assn. of School Boards for her long-time efforts to attend Leadership Academies and bring that information back to the board.

Dr. Williams said superintendent evaluations were due Nov. 13 and April 1 and plans are to conduct them at the November and March board meetings. She also clarified a request to install an ATM machine at the high school and said the request was to install a point-of-sale card reader. Administrators will continue to evaluate the request.

The board also approved KASB policy updates for: discrimination complaints from staff, sexual harassment for staff, racial and disability harassment for staff, weapons, complaints for students, sexual harassment for students, racial and disability harassment for students, and complaints.

KASB policy updates provided as “first reads” for board members included: emergency safety interventions, graduation requirements, financial literacy, enrollment, and disruptive acts at school or school activities.

The resignation of Donita Ragan as musical accompanist was also accepted.

The board held a short executive session with no action taken.