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Little Red Schoolhouse Proposal Delivered at USD 273 Beloit B.O.E. Meeting

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The Beloit USD 273 Board of Education met this week. Jerry Boettcher then appeared before the board, with Beloit City Manager Jason Rabe, to discuss ongoing efforts to refurbish and maintain the Little Red Schoolhouse in Beloit.

Boettcher said, “I have concluded that sufficient interest exists in the project for us to take the next step and prepare a more formal proposal for renovation, future maintenance, and potential activities at the school.”

He said that his family and the Boettcher Companies will fund the restoration efforts in terms of material costs which are estimated in upwards of $15,000. He is asking for a commitment from potential sponsors and entities with interest in the project to raise or provide funds for the future maintenance and monitoring of the structure.

Boettcher also suggested a committee be formed. Comprised of representatives from interested or vested entities. These could be the county, area schools, the City of Beloit, the Mitchell County Historical Society or others. He suggested that such a committee would be responsible for the creation of an operating document which would be signed by all parties as to their commitment now and in the future.

Such commitments would include a program for visitor access, monitoring of the building and grounds, periodic meetings to address issues, developing a plan for future maintenance, and the arranging of trips for students to experience what a one room school was like.

Board member Sharra Odle was recognized for being honored by the Kansas Association of School Boards for participating in training programs.

Beloit Schools Psychologist Rachel Ellenz was announced as the recipient of the School Psychologist of the Year awarded by the Kansas Association of School Psychologists. She was bestowed the award based upon her performance as compared to other school psychologists throughout the state and based upon recommendations and testimonials from her colleagues in the district.

Parent teacher conferences were attended at a higher than a year ago with about 67 percent parent participation. On November 27, there will be a digital citizenship night for parents. The event will showcase what a digital footprint is as well as online etiquette. A meal will be provided, and childcare will be available. The event will run from 6-7:30 p.m. For more information or to RSVP, email Stephanie Litton at slitton@usd273.org.

Jr./Sr. High School Principal Casey Seyfert said Ms. Wildfong put on a scholar’s bowl meet on October 24. The Beloit scholar’s bowl team helped with, but did not participate in the event. The high school production of “The Matchmaker” concluded last week. Seyfert said it was “fantastic”, and the students did a great job. They had been working on the production since the last week of August.

Brady Dean delivered the Elementary report. He said parent teacher conferences were 94 percent attended. He also said a food drive is taking place this week. Each day has had a theme based on food pantry needs. Friday’s focus will be on canned fruit. The board approved a half-day off for elementary and high school students on December 21 if their food drive goals are met.

He said the school is in its third year of implementation of the Boys Town Model for student discipline. Ninety-four percent of students are following school policies and rules without any office referrals.

Dean also said they continue to increase the amount of offerings they have for students in technology class. Students are learning 3D design and printing. They also utilize Hololens augmented reality glasses which allows students to engage with digital content and interact with holograms in the world around them. Dean said the possibilities of this device for education are endless.

Dean also delivered the Mitchell County Partnership for Children report. He said there are several openings at the Early Learning Center. Three in the after-school program, one for 3-5 year olds, two for 2-3 year olds, and one open spot for 1-2 year olds. They continue to work on upgrading their outdoor play area. They are still looking for used pots, pans, scraps of wood that are not sharp, wooden spoons, funnels and small the medium sized logs. If you have items to donate, call the ELC at 738-3055.

In other business, it was announced that Summer School Enrichment has received $2,000 for the North Central Regional Planning Commission as well as $10,000 from Don Kindaid.

The board also approved the appointment of Mindy Hilt as Deputy Board Clerk. Terri Engelbert was approved as an addition Jr. High basketball assistant coach. Contracts were awarded to Dawn Dolezal, Paraeducator at Rock Hills, Ashley Eck, Parent Educator for Parents as Teachers, Doris Hayden, Paraeducator at BES, and to Robert Watson, Paraeducator at Sylvan/Lucas.

The next meeting of the Beloit USD 273 Board of Education is scheduled for Monday, December 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the district office in Beloit.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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