USD 231 Board Briefs
December 9, 2019
Moonlight Elementary School
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by students from Moonlight Elementary. The Moonlight Stardust Choir then performed two songs for those in attendance.
USD 231 Shining Stars
Congratulations to Liz Long, first-grade teacher at Edgerton Elementary, and Hadyn Thomas, Nutrition Services Operations Manager at the Administrative Offices, for being selected as the second quarter USD 231 Shining Stars!
Liz and Hadyn were recognized at the Board of Education meeting on Monday, December 9, for their outstanding service to USD 231 students and staff!
Superintendent Stranathan shared updates related to the following: A special thank you to the staff of Johnson County Fire District #1 and the Southwest Johnson County CERT for hosting a coat drive for Gardner Edgerton students; A team of GEHS students, led by Meg Hunting (Gifted Teacher) was selected as top 20 finalist team in the Burns and McDonnell Battle of the Brains competition and had an opportunity to win a piece of $155,000 in grant money to use toward STEM education; and American Education Week occurred the week of November 18-22. We included pictures from our turkey delivery. One member from each building (two at GEHS), including the Service Center, was randomly chosen to receive a turkey.
Business and Finance
Audited Financial Statements
The District’s independent CPA audit firm, Mize Houser, completed the annual financial statement audit for the District. Audrey Odermann, Mize Houser audit partner, presented the financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2019, at the finance committee meeting on Tuesday, December 3rd. Audrey also presented the related reports on internal control and compliance for major federal programs. Mize Houser audits many school districts in Kansas and provides a valuable service to the District for assurance on the financial statements and for recommendations on financial process improvements.
The Finance Committee unanimously approved the audit report for presentation to the Board for final approval (new business action item on the December 9 agenda). Mize Houser typically presents only at the committee level with school district clients, unless significant matters need to be addressed directly with the Board.
Teacher Leadership Academy
There are 16 teachers involved in the second year of the Teacher Leadership Academy. The academy is designed as a professional journey for teachers that includes engaging content and activities in order to build leadership skills and capacity among teachers, improve professional practice and develop a culture of shared accountability for the success of the school and the district.
The Teacher Leadership Academy provides participants the opportunity to grow as professional learners in the context of teacher leadership, collaboration, and student learning. The Academy focuses on developing and strengthening leadership based competencies, enabling teacher leaders to positively impact student achievement and promoting collegial professional growth.
Sharing Ideas and Data with Peer Districts
Over the last few weeks, other districts in Johnson County and around the state have requested our data/information on a variety of topics including: class sizes, certified and support staff salary scales, job descriptions, reduction in force/transfer policies and paid time off. These requests usually start as the calendar turns to the second semester and districts begin purposefully planning for the next school year. Districts are always very willing to exchange this type of information in the hopes of helping a peer district solve a problem or improve a process. This annual ritual provides a great opportunity for us to compare and contrast our work with other districts. And, again this year after reviewing the work of other districts, I am reassured that our policies and procedures are well-reasoned, sound and supportive, which allow us to provide work conditions and compensation which are extremely appropriate and competitive.
This semester, the Nutrition Services department hosted two dietetic interns with great success. Both interns were able to spend significant time in the production areas of the kitchens as well as immerse themselves in the details of sponsoring Federal child nutrition programs.
Sarah Borisky, a graduate student with Kansas State University’s distance learning dietetics program, completed 14 weekly sessions of varying assignments with the assistance of our staff at Gardner Edgerton High School, Trail Ridge Middle School, and Wheatridge Middle School. Sarah spent 3-4 hours weekly with the cafeteria staff in production-related roles.
Lauren Keller, a dietetics intern from the University of Kansas Medical Center, spent 8 weeks on-site shadowing Amy Droegemeier to satisfy her food service management rotation. During this time, Lauren completed two major projects for the department.
Gymnasium Floor Refinishing During Winter Break
The November 11, 2019 Board of Education included the approval of bids for gym floor refinishing. The refinishing projects will be completed during the upcoming winter-break time-frame at GEHS, Pioneer Ridge, Trail Ridge, Wheatridge, Edgerton, Grand Star, Madison, Moonlight, Nike, and Sunflower. The refinishing has been scheduled so as to not conflict with athletic practices or games, and/or GEYCP activities.
The tech department is working on security initiatives to make sure our school district is protected to the best of our ability. We are researching new products such as firewalls and internet filters. We are also going through demos of cloud-based products that can detect issues with google files and email. This includes the detection of virus vulnerabilities, phishing scams, and privacy violations.
Approved Action Items
- 9.1 - Approved the Fiscal Year 2018-19 Financial Statement Audit Report
- Approved November 11 Board Minutes; approved other consent items; Treasurer's Report; Personnel Report; Claims and Financial Statements
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