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City of Lost Springs buys school for $1

Staff writer

The Centre USD board of education took action Monday to sell the former Centre Elementary school building in Lost Springs to the City of Lost Springs.

Mayor Tish Keesling said the building would be used for city meetings and a community center.

The $1 purchase price includes the adjoining property and parking lot across the street. The City of Lost Springs will pay legal fees associated with the transfer.

Board members agreed to allow the city to retain the sinks and oven in the kitchen and the folding chairs stored in the balcony.

Linda Ogden, director of Families and Communities Together, presented the 2011 findings of the Communities That Care survey as it relates to the Centre school district. She said students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 took the survey in December or January.

After saying that the district has the “brightest” young people in the county, Ogden said the survey shows its students have a higher rate of alcohol use than students in other school districts in the county.

The survey’s findings included the following:

  • 18.92 percent of Centre students who took the survey reported using smokeless tobacco at least once in the past month, compared with 9.25 percent in the county and 5.95 percent in the state.
  • More than 30 percent reported drinking five or more alcoholic drinks in a row at least once in the past month, compared with 12.8 percent in the county and 12.73 percent in the state.
  • Almost 24 percent of eighth grade students reported binge drinking at least once in the past month, compared with 7.55 percent in the county and 7.41 percent in the state.
  • More than 41 percent reported drinking alcohol at least once in the past month compared with 21.13 in the county and 24.19 in the state.
  • Fifteen percent of sixth-graders reported drinking in the past month compared to 7.15 percent in the county and 6.07 percent in the state.
  • Thirty-five percent of eighth grade students reported drinking in the past month compared to 11.33 percent in the county and 17.75 percent in the state.
  • Of the students who reported drinking, most said a person 21 years or older gave them the beer, wine, or hard liquor. Most said they drank at their own home or a friend’s home.

Other statistics were presented regarding Centre students’ perceptions of adult behaviors and attitudes about alcohol. More than 67 percent said they knew at least one adult who got drunk or high in the past year, and 31 percent knew five who did. This was at least 10 percent higher than other state rates. Bullying also seemed to be a bigger problem.

Board members expressed concern and discussed what they could do to address the issue. Jeff Bina suggested the survey results be sent to parents. Ogden suggested reviving a Life Skills unit that used to be taught in health class. She said the district has two teachers trained to teach the material.

Board president Brent Methvin said they would discuss the issue again at the next board meeting to devise an action plan.

Jennifer Miller and her daughter, Kayleen, were at the meeting to request support for a cheerleader squad. The board later hired Susie Johnson to be the cheerleading sponsor. She said she would hold tryouts to select six cheerleaders for the basketball season.

Technology Excellence in Education director Brandi Hendrix presented a live demonstration on how the Interactive Distance Learning classrooms work in the five school districts that are members of TEEN. Board members from all five districts were connected to the presentation.

Personnel

After 50 minutes in executive session to discuss personnel, the board took several actions in that regard.

They accepted the resignation of Dawn Kaiser as teachers’ aide and bus driver and Richard Idleman as assistant girls’ basketball coach.

Employments included Angela Basore as the IDL room monitor for four hours per day at $9 per hour; Susie Johnson as a teachers’ aide at $9 per hour; and Nancy Haskins as a regular route bus driver.

The board approved the attendance of two exchange students: Gabriela Pereira of Brazil, a senior from Brazil hosted by the Mark Hager family, and Yizhau “Bessie” Yang, a senior from China hosted by the James McIntyre family. Their attendance brings the number of exchange students at CHS to five.

The board approved the out-of-district attendance of Cassandra Dones, Janel Dones, Jennea Remmers, Ashdun Campbell, and Micah Smith.

The board approved a motion to re-evaluate the salaries of classified employees.

Steve Jirak was appointed as voting delegate to the Kansas Association of School Boards State Convention, Dec. 2-4, in Overland Park.

The board approved the purchase of 10 MacBooks (laptops) from Apple for $10,620. The purchase was necessary due to an increase in enrollment and the need to have a few extras on hand.

Mark Heiser, representing the Marion County Road and Bridge Department, received approval for the county to use additional loads of water from the underground storage tank at Centre. The board approved withdrawal of up to 15 semi loads for $20 a load.

The board approved use of a suburban to transport FFA students to the National Western Livestock Show in Denver in January.

Richard Idleman, director of operations for IServe, Inc., reported that three men from Ray Roofing spent seven hours one day on the elementary school roof in an attempt to fix water leaks.

Superintendent Jerri Kemble reported an enrollment of 255 students as of Monday. Virtual school coordinator Vickie Jirak reported an enrollment in the Kansas Online Learning Program of 90 students at the present time. Official enrollment figures will be reported Sept. 20.

Last modified Sept. 21, 2011

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