RELAY - November 2021

Great Bend USD 428 - News and Highlights

It is the goal of the monthly RELAY to connect our staff with news and highlights from across our schools and community. There are so many successes, positive stories, and virtual smiles to share!

We hope you enjoy this brief update. Take a moment to learn something new, celebrate with a colleague or friend, and pause to see the good happening all around you.

In this issue:

  • District Updates
  • In the News
  • Let's Celebrate - November Birthdays
  • Community Resources & Local Holiday Guides
  • District Highlights

Keep up the great work and keep it safe, 428!

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Congratulations, Team RILEY!

Riley Elementary is the 428 GIVES CHAMPIONS with the highest percentage of participation for the 2022 United Way Giving Campaign.

What do they win??!!

  • Sonic Run delivered by USD 428 Superintendents
  • Traveling Trophy
  • Bragging Rights!

In all seriousness, thank you to EVERYONE who donated to the 2022 United Way Workplace Giving Campaign. Your generosity towards your neighbors and community is what makes Great Bend a wonderful place to live. Congrats, Riley!

SupportLinc now available to all USD 428 Employees

Life can be a juggling act. It takes time and energy to balance your work, family and personal challenges. To help you manage life’s daily challenges, USD 428 Great Bend is pleased to announce the SupportLinc employee assistance program (EAP). SupportLinc offers confidential and professional support, at no cost to you or your family.

Click Here to learn more!

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Manufacturing Day Celebrated throughout October in Great Bend

The Great Bend Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with corporate sponsors and local businesses, offered Great Bend High School students new opportunities to experience Manufacturing Day in October. Each Wednesday, local manufacturers opened their doors, allowing students to explore skills, trades, and careers right here in Great Bend.

"This is a powerful experience for students," said Kip Wilson, assistant principal at GBHS. "Students get an opportunity to see components or skills they are learning in the classroom in a real-life scenario, or maybe something they've never seen before that sparks their interest."

Throughout the month, GBHS had over 200 participants on a total of 24 tours in the community. Tours explored emerging technologies, skilled trades like welding, product assembly, engineering, and production. Conversations between tour hosts and students often included topics of career opportunities, current challenges such as supply chain, and soft skills needed to be successful.

"We appreciate the work of the Great Bend Chamber to connect our students with the business community," said Wilson. "I also want to thank our teachers, substitutes, sponsors, and bus drivers who make opportunities like this possible for our students."

Manufacturing Day is celebrated each October in conjunction with a national effort to shine a light on local manufacturers. More information can be found on the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce's website -

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Riley hosts Board of Education for a building report mixed with a little entertainment

Riley Elementary hosted the USD 428 Board of Education for their monthly luncheon meeting. With the help of a few staff members and some excited students, Principal Beth Rein provided the BOE with a building report including the following highlights.

  • Celebrating Student Achievement - Rein shared that 26 Riley students passed the Kansas English Language Proficiency Assessment (KELPA), which means that students who are learning English as a second language have gained proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. This is about twice the pass rate of previous years and it means those students won’t have to take the KELPA assessment when they move on to middle school.
  • Students Share a Song - Music Teacher, Katie Knowles, led 2nd & 5th Grade students in their vocal music performance for the BOE. Students are looking forward to sharing what they've learned in music this year at concerts for families and the community.
  • Library Renovation - Tech Specialist, Leah Yancey, spoke to the BOE about the noticeable renovation and reorganization of the school library. Collaborating with the Central Kansas Library System, Yancey and staff members have inspected all 14,000 books in their library and removed over 6,000 that were either in bad repair or hadn't been in circulation. 200 new books have been added and Yancey shared that removing the old titles and damaged books will actually boost check-out rates ensuring books are appealing and interesting to students.

Read more highlights from the meeting in the Great Bend Tribune's recent article - Click Here.

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Welcome, little ones!

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There is lots to look forward to in Great Bend this fall! If you don't already, follow Explore Great Bend on Facebook to say in the loop on events happening in our area.
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Barton County Young Professionals - Party with a Purpose

Grab a friend and join us for the 10th Annual Young Professionals Christmas Party with a Purpose on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at 6 p.m.

The holiday party is one of the many ways YP members give back to the community, and this year's event is no exception! The "party with a purpose" combines holiday merriment with an opportunity to GIVE BACK to children in need in Barton County. RSVP is required.

This year's event is sponsored and hosted by The Fieldhouse and Catalyst Therapy and Sports Rehab (2817 9th Street)!

BCYP members will be asked to donate items to build packages for children served by Central Kansas CASA, Inc. Attendees are asked to bring items to fill these bags. After you RSVP, we'll contact you about what item(s) to bring. Donations will be accepted at the Chamber Office now through December 1 for those who can't attend but still want to participate!

After dropping off your contribution to these special packages, Our event sponsors invite you to enjoy excellent food & beverage, games, and giveaways!

Anyone 21 to 40(ish) years of age who lives in the Barton County Area is welcome and encouraged to attend this free event! So invite a friend! If you'd like more information about the YP group, like us on Facebook.

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Jessica Geist hosts 2021 KTOY Visit!

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Holly Tittel receives EMC/KAKE Reading Caravan Grant Check!

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Share Your Thanksgiving Activities!

Is your school or classroom doing something special to celebrate the season of "Giving Thanks?" Please share details and photos so we can share them with the community!

Submit News to

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