The USD 273 Board of Education conducted their May meeting on Monday evening. Four members were present which established a quorum to allow decisions to be made. Jeff Travis began his Superintendent’s report to yielding the floor to members of the Beloit Elementary School’s Robotic Team.
The team was accompanied by their sponsors Chris Adams and Christy Fouts. Fouts said each member has to pass high qualifying marks to be on the team. She said each student’s math and science achievement test scores were reviewed as well as their scores from the state assessments. Fouts also said that the group met once or twice a week before or after school to learn the basics of robotics.
A recent competition was held in Hays. The schools in the competition were from 1A through 6A schools. The Beloit students placed first in the “Line Following” competition. They not only had to build their robot, but they also had to write the program to tell the robot what to do.
Fouts and Adams said that they were proud of the success the kids had in the competition and even more proud of their behavior. They received numerous comments from other sponsors about how well behaved the Beloit students were. The students and their sponsors thanked the board for all the help they had given them so they could achieve their goals.
Leadership Mitchell County presented the Board with a check for $5,991.74 from a recent fundraising project. The money will go toward upgrades to the system system and speakers at Trojan Stadium.
The board members also signed a get well card to Joel Applegate, former elementary school principal.
Travis reminded the Board that the Kansas Legislature has resumed its “veto session” in Topeka as of May 1. He said that very little is happening. The two major issues to be resolved are the tax plan to deal with the deficit and a school finance plan which will successfully fund public education in Kansas and satisfy the Kansas Supreme Court who ruled this year that education funding is “inadequate and unconstitutional.” Both of these issues are long standing and would appear to have no easy solution which all lawmakers will support.
Travis presented his technology “wish list” for the upcoming school year. This included 145 Chromebooks, 10 laptops, 2 projectors, and thirteen whiteboards. The total cost will not exceed $52,500.
Travis then gave the board his recommendation on a vehicle purchase. He suggested they buy a 2017 Ford Explorer from Beloit Auto and Truck Plaza for $36, 824. The board accepted his recommendation and approved the purchase.
The board accepted a bid for a building at Beloit Elementary School which is similar to a garage in appearance. The bid went to B&M Construction for a 30’ x 30’ x 10’ building in the amount of $31,540.
Brenda Garman was awarded the bid for painting to be completed at Beloit High. She plans to purchase the paint from Ace Hardware and Solomon Valley Home Center.
Brady Dean, Elementary School Principal, said three businesses were selected as “Friends of BES” for their generous assistance to the school. They include Sonic, Norah Rhoads, and Casey Seyfert at the high school.
Dean also said that the Mitchell County Partnership for Children was awarded a block grant for the upcoming school year. They applied for a grant of $380,000 and were awarded $367,000.
Early information on the state assessments indicate Beloit Elementary students did very well on annual testing overall.
Dean also said all open positions have been filled for the 2017-18 school year.
High School principal Casey Seyfert presented a bid for re-tiling work to be done for two of the boys showers at the high school. He also told the board that the school is 44 years old and the plumbing in the building, particularly in the locker rooms, has a great deal of build-up in the pipes and that water flow is almost totally blocked in some places. The board approved a bid of $15,700 from Ritter Tile for the re-tiling work.
Bids were received from Cole Eberle Photography and Stephanie Meyer Photography for school pictures next year. The bids were for individual student school pictures, class pictures, athletic pictures, and the elementary school yearbook. Superintended Travis asked the two parties if they would be interested in splitting the work so that each business would benefit rather than an all-or-none scenario. Travis said he will ask the board to make a decision next month.
Brennan Eilert, BHS Counselor, was awarded a stipend of $3,500 for extra work incurred with the careers program.
The board approved a pay raise of $300 to the base salary for certified personnel and a 1 percent raise for non-certified employees for the 2017-18 school year. In the final action item, the district’s food contract with OPA was extended for three years.
The USD 273 Board of Education is next scheduled to meet on Monday, June 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the district office in Beloit.