USD 457 Board of Education Meeting August 10, 2020

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USD 457

The USD 457 Board of Education met Monday, August 10th, during a regularly scheduled meeting.

The Board of Education conducted its meeting in the Garden City High School auditorium.  The meeting was held at the high school due to the possibility of more people from the community wanting to attend the meeting. The meeting was being conducted with social distancing protocols to make sure the public, Board members, and school staff involved in the meeting were safe. 

The Board approved the Substitute Handbook, Academic Honesty Addendum to the Elementary School Student Handbook, and the Health Services Department COVID Parent Letter to add to all Student Handbooks.

The Board heard a presentation on communication to the community on information to the start of the 2020-21 school year.  The communications team put a communications calendar together of communicating out to the community on how the district will start the school year. 

The Board approved the Remind communication system for the district. Roxie Schafer, director of Technology, went over the new communication system that the district will be using.  Feedback from parents indicated that many parents got lost looking for information in a myriad of places last spring. Technology was asked to look into evaluating and selecting a communication tool for the district.  The Technology Committee for the reopening of school along with the Technology Department spent a few months evaluating tools.  The committee looked at a number of communication options and the Remind system was unanimously selected by the committee because it best suited the districts needs in communications with parents.  The district is asking parents to update their contact information with the schools. The district needs this contact information so buildings can contact families on any updates as we progress through the school year. 

There was discussion about Governor Laura Kelly’s executive order 20-59 of requiring masks for all students, staff and visitors, temperature checks of people entering the school buildings, and hand washing each hour.   

The Board approved the Activities Section to the Reopening plan.  The Board pulled the Activities Section out of the plan at its July 28th meeting to see what the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) would do on the start of the school year.  KSHSAA voted to start the school year as normally scheduled.  The athletic departments in the district worked on guidelines that would align with the levels of the district’s plan to start the school year to keep students, staff and patrons safe.

The Board approved updates to the Reopening COVID-19 Response plan on the various levels from state and national recommendations on the wearing of masks by students.  The board also approved updated operational levels in classrooms and district department plans, special education plans, and plans for personnel. 

The Board of Education approved to publish the 2020-2021 budget.  The budget will keep the mill levy flat at 48.8 mills.  This is the fifth year in a row that the district has kept the mill levy at 48.8 mills.  There are three main Board objects when looking at the budget.  These are investments to attract and retain the best possible staff to work with our children, evidence and research based programs to improve student outcomes, and maintaining reasonable local property taxes. 

The Board passed a resolution to remove the September 10th Board Retreat from the Board’s calendar of meetings and will be looking at setting a date in October. 

The next meeting of the Board of Education will be Monday, August 24, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. in the Garden City High School Auditorium, 2720 Buffalo Way Blvd.  The meeting will be conducted with social distancing protocols to make sure the public, Board members, and school staff involved in the meeting are safe.