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USD 410 discusses virtual school program

Superintendent wants program to begin fall 2011

Staff writer

USD 410 Board of Education heard preliminary information Monday evening about a possible virtual school program the district could join as early as fall 2011.

Superintendent Steve Noble told the board about a proposed program through Educational Services & Staff Development Association of Central Kansas. Details were still sparse, he said.

A major difference between the program and others currently available is that enrollment and funding would go through local districts, unlike school-based systems where the funding goes through the district that operates the virtual school. Centre USD 397 operates such a program.

Noble said he wanted to present several options to the board in the coming months. One alternative could be a program through Technology Excellence in Education Network. USD 410 is a member of the network.

Board members said a virtual school program could help the district reach out to homeschool families.

High school principal calls year best of his tenure

A strong academic detention policy for students receiving Ds and Fs has dramatically reduced the number of students leaving schoolwork incomplete, Hillsboro High School Principal Max Heinrichs said. The program is more of an effort to help students catch up if they fall behind than to punish them, he said.

That, coupled with a smoother year with the one-to-one laptop computer program and success in fall activities led Heinrichs to characterize the school year so far as the best in his time at HHS.

Hillsboro Middle School Principal Greg Brown said he was able to learn a lot from the rough patches the high school had with the laptop program in 2009. As a result, the middle school has had few issues with inappropriate use and broken laptops.

In other business:

  • Donna Fadenrecht of accounting firm Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd, LLC, presented the district’s audit report. The district had some negative year-end balances, but virtually every school in the state would have those same negative balances because of late state payments. The district has actually resolved a long-term issue with computer backups of records, Noble said.
  • The district will lose about $160,000 of funding in the 2011-12 school year if Noble’s enrollment projections are accurate and state aid per pupil remains at the current level.
  • Noble reviewed an enrollment study by former Superintendent Gordon Mohn. The study showed similar steep enrollment declines in the past.
  • Eddie Weber was appointed as the board’s delegate to Kansas Association of School Boards’ convention Dec. 4 in Wichita.
  • Preschool teacher Michelle Goldsby reviewed challenges and successes of the preschool program.
  • Hillsboro Elementary School library aide Jessi Weisbeck resigned to pursue work with more hours.
  • The board approved contracts for Paths to Adventure sponsors Karen Fryhover, Mike Moran, and Jordan Funk; Parents as Teacher parent educators Karen Elliott and Jamie Norris; library aides Brenda Kimberly and Eileen Butler; and assistant high school girls basketball coach Katie Mount.
  • A pre-bid meeting for the district office project will be 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Midway Motors building. Bids will be due at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 30, and bids will be reviewed at 1 p.m. that day. The board will have a special meeting 5 p.m. Dec. 6 to select winning bidders.
  • Noble and building principals met with the board in closed session to discuss personnel for 20 minutes. No action was taken on return to open session.

The next regular board meeting will be 5 p.m. Dec. 13.

Last modified Nov. 10, 2010

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