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Inhalant use is a concern in USD 410

Staff writer

Linda Ogden of Communities in Schools reviewed a survey of risky behaviors among students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12. Reported use of inhalants was higher in USD 410 than overall in Kansas.

Six percent of USD 410 students who responded reported sniffing glue, breathing contents of an aerosol can, or inhaling other gases or sprays to get high in the 30 days before the survey. In the state the rate was 4.4 percent. All four grades reported use above the state average.

Other concerns Ogden shared were bullying, a spike in risky behaviors in grade 12, and decreasing satisfaction with school.

She said the survey showed most parents in USD 410 do not talk to their children about the dangers of substance abuse.

Despite uncertainty in the budget, USD 410 Board of Education unanimously approved four out-of-state trips Monday for the 2009-10 school year and 2010 summer.

Students and sponsors from Technology Student Association, FFA, Family Career and Community Leaders of America, and high school choir spoke with the board about their planned trips.

FFA will travel to the National FFA Convention Oct. 20 through 24 in Indianapolis. The dairy cattle judging team will compete at the convention. About 50,000 students attend the convention each year, sponsor Sonya Roberts said.

FCCLA chapter officers will attend a National Cluster Meeting Nov. 20 through 22 in Louisville, Ky. Students will participate in leadership activities.

The choir will travel May 8 and 9 to Branson, Mo., to sing and attend music shows. The choir will raise money for students to attend by selling choir cards.

TSA sponsor Creigh Bell expects two to seven students to attend the National TSA Conference June 28 through July 2 in Baltimore.

For all four trips, district funds would only be used to pay for transportation and sponsors’ costs.

Superintendent Steve Noble said he supports out-of-state trips, as long as the group is performing or competing. Such trips are educational opportunities for students, he said.

Funding the four trips would cost about $6,000, Noble said. USD 410 has about $11,000 that can be used for those kinds of expenses.

In other business:

  • All three schools met state Adequate Yearly Progress standards, Hillsboro Middle School Principal Greg Brown said. The district has exceeded standards every year since the No Child Left Behind Act was passed in 2002, but the gap is shrinking as standards increase, he said.
  • Hillsboro Elementary School needs a half-time aide for its English-as-a-second-language program, Principal Evan Yoder said. The school has 12 or 13 students in kindergarten through fifth grade who speak Spanish in the home.
  • Monica Bickerstaff of Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks presented Yoder a .22-caliber lever-action rifle for being the outstanding hunter safety instructor in the region for 2008, as selected by other instructors. Yoder has taught hunter safety since 1994. He said he couldn’t do it without Len Coryea and Anne Janzen, who have also taught the entire time.
  • The board recognized former board member Brent Barkman for eight years of service. Board President Eddie Weber said Barkman brought good business sense to the board.
  • District office secretary Jane Long resigned, effective Oct. 16. She will help new secretary Amy Plett transition into the job.
  • The board approved increasing Parents as Teachers employee Karen Elliott’s hours by five per week. The increase will be paid with a grant. Increasing her hours will allow her to work with an extra four or five families in Marion County.
  • Dedication of the new joint athletic facility with Tabor College will be Sept. 25 at halftime of the homecoming football game against Lyons High School.
  • The board met in closed session to discuss personnel. On return to open session, contracts for Plett, English-as-a-second-language aide Gita Noble, and high school assistant volleyball coach Liz Gottsch were approved. The board also approved an adjustment for Jeff Haslett’s contract.
  • The board met in closed session to discuss negotiations and personnel. No action was taken when the board returned to open session.

The next board meeting will be 7 p.m. Oct. 12.

Last modified Sept. 16, 2009

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