Board of Education Sad to See Dr. Harrison Leaving

The USD 273 Board of Education met at the District Office Monday evening. At the start of the meeting Board President, Greg Shamburg, announced that Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Joseph Harrison, has turned in his resignation effective at the end of this school year. No further information was given.

During his Superintendent's Report, Dr. Harrison told the board as of this date there are a total of 804 students enrolled in the Jr.-Sr. High School, Beloit Elementary School and the Special Education Co-op. This count is 17 more students than they estimated when the student count was published so they may have to republish their enrollment report. This will give them a 747.4 STE count. His official Superintendent's Organizational Report has to be turned in to the State this Wednesday

Dr. Harrison also reported the Fall Kansas Association of State School Boards meeting will be October 11. He and board member Sharra Odle will be attending different parts of this. Any other board members who want to attend should let the board office know. They need to appoint a board member to serve as a KASB voting delegate at the Kansas Association of School Board meeting to be held in Topeka, November 30 through December 2. Mike Riemann will try to attend that part of the meeting if his schedule will allow. They will make that decision at the next meeting.

Brenon Eilert gave a report on the BES Parent Teacher Organization activities. Their Pizza Hut Fundraiser raised $450 and PTO matched that for a total of $900. They gave this to the Preschool and the 6th Grade classes so each grade received $450. Their Box Top Competition ends October 12. They are ordering BES T-Shirts and they need to be turned in by October 17. They made $1,800 on the Box Top Fund Raiser and were the top selling school in the state for this company again this year.

Hunter Post reported the Student Council activities. They held The Drive For Your School with St. John's High students this year at Beloit Auto Plaza and their part of the proceeds was $1,400. They hosted the Regional StuCo Conference this month that was attended by 15 schools and around 170 students.

Daryl Moore, Beloit Junior-Senior High Principal reported the students in Bob Gibbons automotive class have built an electric race car and have taken 1st Place in races in Hays and Hanston. All expenses are covered by the Technical College.

Mr. Channel and his students are finishing up the 10 X 12 shed they have been building and will be getting ready to sell it. The school will be hosting the "Silver Ring Thing" in the gym on Sunday, November 4 at 6 p.m. This is to promote making good choices and abstinence until after marriage. Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held Thursday, October 18 from 12:30 to 8 p.m. in the gym.

Byron Marshall, BES Principal, reported The Walking School Bus program is going well. This is a program secured by a grant from the Aware Group that they started October 1 and will run until the end of the month.

A Fundraiser Prize Party and Box Top Celebration will be held at BES at 2:30 p.m. on October 11 to thank the students and parents who worked to raise money for the PTO. Parent Teacher Conferences will be held Thursday, October 18. The Site Council thanks this months "Friends of BES" including Rotary Club for the Dictionaries, Pizza Hut for supporting the PTO and kids and the Kimminau's for the work they have done around BES, Marshall said.

Karen Niemczyk, Special Education Director, reported on the fiscal requirements their department has to go through to receive federal funds. As a result of a new waiver, they are under intense federal scrutiny so all documentation will have to be done at the local level. An Excess Cost Calculation has been designed to calculate the average annual expenditure, which multiplied by the number of students with disabilities, represents the amount they have to spend before they can draw federal money. She is in the process of working on the request for federal funds at the present time.

Niemczyk is concerned that they currently do not have any heat in their building and it will be at least two weeks before they do because a broken part in the heating system has to be made. They need to look at some backup options for temporary heat for the building, she said.

Karen Pahls, Director of the Mitchell County Early Learning Center showed a power point presentation on the effects/need for learning in early childhood for children to have the best start in life. She also talked about two grants they have applied for. She said literacy and transition are big concerns in receiving grants this year. Mitchell, Jewell and Lincoln Counties will be included in this grant planning. They have also applied for other grants for the first time but she doesn't know how much chance they have of getting them. Pahls thanked the board for their support.

Dr. Harrison presented two applications for the "Grow Your Own" project. This is funds to help further their education and hopefully they will be able to teach in the USD 273 School System. The first request was from Sarah Grout and the second was from Marty Hesston. The board voted to approve both of these applications. Dr. Harrison, Principal Marshall, Principal Moore and Karen Niemczyk discussed iPad training and student usage and where they think it is going in the future.

Superintendent Harrison reported they are on the "tail end" of the Ennovate Contract Completion. All of this work is supposed to be done on October 15th. They are to the point where they are commissioning and balancing the different aspects of the project to get it all coordinated and working together the right way. Hopefully this will be completed in the next few days but the switchovers may take time, he said.

When asked about the problem with the carpet at BES, Dr. Harrison said the company is still saying it will replace it but he has had no official word on that yet.
They are considering putting down carpet squares instead of a regular carpet. If this doesn't get resolved he plans to turn this matter over to an attorney if necessary.

Doctor Harrison talked about the Kansas Educators' Evaluation Protocol (KEEP) and how it will affect teachers/schools in this district. The transition Selection Process was also discussed before adjournment.

Contracts offered included Cheyenne Cathy as a Cook at the Beloit Jr.-Sr. High School and Megan Gronewoller as Secretary at BES. The following Paraeducator contracts were offered to those who have completed their 20 day probation period: Curt Christians and Sara Grout, Paraeducators at Rock Hills Schools, Anne Houghton and Michelle Kadel, Paraeducators at Beloit Jr.-Sr. High School and Kalli Kruse and Sharlene Washa, Paraeducators at BES.

Resignations include: Ila Balluch, Lead Teacher, MC Early Learning Center, Josephine Burke, Co-Director, MC Early Learning Center and Joseph Harrison, Superintendent of Schools.

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