Between 25 and 30 parents, students, and staff attended the USD 397 Board of Education meeting Monday at Centre High School.
During the public forum section of the meeting, four parents and a student spoke in support of an unnamed special education teacher who had been suspended for a week and was under investigation by the Marion County Special Education Cooperative.
The reason for the suspension was not given except that a parent had filed a complaint against the teacher, who was known to have taught special education and coached volleyball at Centre for 28 years.
Superintendent Jerri Kemble said it was her duty as school administrator to report the complaint to the co-op.
Board president Brent Methvin informed the guests that the teacher is not an employee of the Centre school district and that MCSEC has jurisdiction over such matters. He also said the board would discuss the matter later in executive session.
The executive session was at the end of the meeting after the guests had left. It lasted 35 minutes. No action was taken or comments made following the session.
Washington, D.C., trip
The board approved organization of a trip to Washington, D.C., during next year’s spring break by Jennifer Montgomery and Angela Basore. A minimum of 10 people are required to commit to the trip, which will cost $1,342. A $184 down payment per person is due this month. The trip is open to all students who will be in grades 9 through 12 next year. It is also open to adults from the staff and community. Transportation to the airport will be provided by Centre.
The board approved the purchase of two new MIG welders for the ag department. The action was in response to a request by Mark Hager in anticipation of larger welding classes next school year. The welders will be purchased from Matheson Linweld of Manhattan at a cost of $4,015.64.
Hager announced the offering of two new ag education classes next year: Natural Resources and Wildlife Science.
The board approved lists of FFA and FBLA activities for the 2012-13 year. A change in FFA activities will be a trip to the Arizona National Livestock Show in Phoenix instead of the National Western Livestock Show in Denver. The Arizona show is during Christmas break, Dec. 28 to Jan. 2, and can accept a variety of entries, Hager said.
The board approved the 2012-13 student handbook. Hager requested a policy change requiring welding students to buy their own safety glasses, pliers, and gloves. Kemble said a new policy would require adult supervision whenever the weight room is being used by students.
The board approved a request from sophomores Amy Makovec and Bryanna Svoboda to plan a Prom banquet, dance, and After Prom party next year at Camp Wood near Elmdale. The promenade will be at Centre High School and all students and their dates will be transported by bus to and from the camp.
Kansas Online Learning Program
Vickie Jirak, coordinator of the Kansas Online Learning Program at Centre, reported that 10 students have graduated from high school this year using the program. She said 60 or more students already are enrolled for the next year.
“The school has moved many steps ahead this year when it comes to the virtual school,” she said.
Several changes were reported for the coming year. Dani Litke, the district’s technology technician, will provide technical support for KOLP, and Centre will provide the computers for enrollees. The board approved the purchase of 75 refurbished business-quality laptop computers at a total cost of $1,780.25. Board members were assured the program is paying for itself with the state aid received per student.
The board approved attendance next year of an exchange student from Pakistan. Marcus and Peggy Carlson of Lincolnville will be the hosts.
Because of no need for snow days this year, the board approved earlier last days of school. The seniors’ last day was Tuesday. Eighth-grade students will get out Thursday and everyone else on Friday. The last day of school was originally set for next Tuesday. Teacher workdays will be Monday through noon Tuesday, allowing a one-day early release for them.
Kemble said the junior high awards night and eighth-grade promotion will be Monday, as scheduled.
Two 7,000 scholarships from the Loren E. and Clara Mowrer Memorial Fund were awarded to Theo Kassebaum and Shane Methvin. The money will be divided between two semesters for two years. The remaining income from the district-owned Mowrer Farm, $14,800, will be placed in escrow for future years.