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  • Last modified 34 days ago (Aug. 17, 2017)

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Centre virtual program gets boost

Staff writer

Kansas Online Learning Program continues to grow, requiring more resources.

That was the message Centre board members heard Monday from Vickie Jirak, virtual program coordinator, and her assistant, Michelle Knepp.

After enrollments, they sent out 30 computers to new virtual students and needed still more.

Although numbers are fluid and can change every day, Jirak reported on Monday that 95 had enrolled in the kindergarten through 12th grade program, and 253 had enrolled as adults.

“Right now, it’s the biggest it’s ever been,” she said.

She said as many as 200 more enroll during the year, but some drop out.

The program employs 11 student learning assistants and a counselor.

Jirak requested more computers and increased pay for assistants and the counselor.

“Our personal service is what sets us apart from other virtual programs,” she said. “When they call us, they talk to a real person or leave a message and we get back with them in a few minutes. We are only as good as our SLAs.”

After Jirak and Knepp left, Superintendent Susan Beeson recommended purchasing 100 more Chrome Books for the virtual program.

“We have to be supportive of our programs,” Beeson urged. “We can’t micromanage things. We are here to educate students.”

The board approved the purchase at a cost of $25,100.

After an executive session, they approved a $25 per student pay raise for SLA teachers, from $275 to $300. They also approved a pay increase for the virtual counselor.

Seniors C.J. Thompson, Meghan David, and Jayden Halloway requested permission for each senior to have their own parking spot and decorate it any way they like. They said custodians agreed to power wash the spots at the end of the year to remove the vinyl paint.

After some discussion, the board approved their request.

The board approved hiring an additional classroom aide based on preliminary enrollment of 17-18 children in a new preschool class.

“We’ve received an increase of 25-28 enrollments that weren’t expected,” Beeson said.

The increase makes up somewhat for a large graduating class last spring, she said.

The board approved out-of-district attendance for fourth-grader Mariah Kossman, ninth-grader Jennea Remmers, senior Janel Dones, first-grader Christopher Maples, third-grader Alexandra Maples, sixth-grader Sophia Luna, and sophomore Gracie Luna.

Bill Harmon was hired to transport students enrolled in Butler Community College classes at a rate of four hours driving time per day at $20 per hour.

The board hired Jeremiah Gorman as tech assistant at $10 an hour and Prey Diepenbrock as substitute classroom aide and suburban driver for Summer Meyer while she is on maternity leave.

Last modified Aug. 17, 2017

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