The USD 457 Board of Education met Monday, June 8th, during a regularly scheduled meeting.
The Board of Education conducted its meeting virtually due to the social distancing expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is being done to make sure the public, Board members, and school staff involved in the meeting are safe. The meeting was presented live on YouTube and has been posted on the district’s YouTube channel, which can be found as a button at the bottom of the district’s website at www.gckschools.com.
The Board heard an update on the Board Goals. The district developed a five-year strategic plan approved by the Board of Education for 2018-2023. The purpose of the plan is to continuously improve as a district and address the needs of all students. The five-year plan is based on three board initiatives. Goals were developed under each initiative with sub-goals developed under each goal. The sub-goals are used to determine annual performance objectives for administrators and staff. Ongoing written and oral progress reports are provided to the Board of Education in a timely manner.
The Board approved a cooperative agreement between Unified School District No. 457 and Garden City Community College for Automotive Technology. The district does not have a professional employee qualified to teach an automotive technology class and GCCC has one or more instructors trained in automotive technology. GCCC is willing to provide the services of an automotive technology instructor for the USD 457 automotive technology class that will take place at the Garden City Alternate Education Center.
Dr. Steve Karlin, Superintendent of Schools, presented an update on the school district operations as they look to march back to re-opening the school facilities in a structured manner. On June 8th the district will open the buildings with limited access and just have essential staff at the facilities. Visitors to the buildings will be by appointment along with screening to enter the facility. There will also be protective measures in place for employees. On June 15th the district would open facilities with limited public access and buildings will be fully staffed. The same requirements will be followed for visitors to access buildings and protective measures for employees. The playground equipment and areas would be open on June 15th to the public. On July 1st the district would look to be open with normal operations.
Dr. Karlin presented on what the start of the school year could possibly look like due to the concern of the pandemic. There is much to think about when planning for the start of the new school year. The district needs to look at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, local Health Department guidance and CDC guidelines. The district also needs to get staff input and look at the needs of the community. Would the school year look normal, with school as usual, blended with class size requirements, or virtual with 7-12 grades using the Edgenuity program, which is an online curriculum and courses, along with recorded lessons and flexibility in classes.
The district has a number of staff members that are participating in various groups with the Kansas State Department of Education in developing guidelines for what next year will look like. Dr. Karlin is on Organization and Oversight, Charlie Stillian, Director of Transportation, on Operations and Logistics, Monica Diaz, Coordinator for Language and Literacy, on ELA standards, Becca Burnfin, Communications/Social Studies teacher at Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center, on Phase 3 Middle School General Education, Linda Taylor, Special Education teacher at Edith Scheuerman Elementary School, on Phase 3 Special Education, Summer Miller, Orchestra teacher at Garden City High School and Horace Good Middle School, on Phase 3 Middle School/High School Music, and Wendy Terpstra, Garden City High School English teacher, on Phase 3 High School Communications.
Other business that the Board approved under the consent agenda was the Kansas Parents as Teachers Program Assurances and Grant for the 2020-2021 school year, purchase of services to repair the fence around the greenhouse at Garden City High School, an agreement between Unified School District No. 457 and Compass Behavioral Health for mental health services for the 2020-2021 school year, the Mental Health Intervention Team Program Assurances for the 2020-2021 school year, and a new course at the Garden City Alternate Education Center of Reading Concepts and Strategies.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be Thursday, June 11, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Meeting Room at the Educational Support Center, 1205 Fleming Street.