School district to restore track

Grant will pay $29,520 of $167,500

News editor

The Marion school board approved a bid Monday to resurface the track over the summer at a cost of $167,500, although nearly $30,000 of that will be paid for by a grant.

Administrators estimated the track was about 15 years old. Cracks are beginning to appear in places. The district had planned to resurface it last year, but it was in good enough shape to wait.

Bids ranged from $138,750 for a basic resurfacing to $168,579 for resurfacing with a seal that should extend the life of the track by an additional five years. Board member Jeremiah Lange said the district should do it right if it’s going to do it at all.

Track Renovations had the low bid for a sealed resurfacing project at $167,500, which includes resurfacing long jump runways. The district received a $29,520 grant from Kansas Department of Health and Environment for the project.

Choir teacher hired

The board voted to offer a contract to Julia Miller to teach vocal music. Her salary will be based on the salary schedule for teachers. On the current salary schedule, she would receive $33,200 as a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree.

The board voted to offer the contract after closed sessions totaling 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Mother requests waiver of valedictorian policy

Mary Maloney asked the board to consider waiving a requirement that a student have two years of foreign language classes to qualify for valedictorian honors.

Her daughters, Alicia and Caitlyn, both have maintained a perfect grade point average through school, but between taking classes for college credit and agricultural classes, they couldn’t schedule Spanish classes, she said.

Principal Tod Gordon noted that the Maloneys are among nine seniors who have a perfect GPA so far.

Board President Chris Sprowls asked if board members wanted to take a month to consider the request. The May meeting will be five days before graduation.

Board member Sarah Cope asked if it was something that could be discussed in closed session as a student matter. Superintendent Lee Leiker said he didn’t think so, because it is a policy issue.

Board member Jan Helmer requested a month to consider Maloney’s request, and the board concurred. The next meeting is schedule for 7 p.m. May 12.

In other business:

  • Leiker reviewed how many schools in 2A and 3A offer different sports, noting that Marion’s enrollment is steadily getting closer to 2A. In general, 2A schools offer fewer sports than 3A schools and have fewer coaches per sport. As an example, 2A schools have an average of four football coaches, while 3A schools have an average of five.
  • Counselor Mark Felvus told the board about PowerSchool Scheduler, a tool to streamline the process of building class schedules. He said what took four or five days before now takes four or five class periods to accomplish.
  • The board renewed its membership in the Kansas Association of School Boards for $7,432 and the KASB legal assistance program for $1,650.
  • The board approved a $7,025 payment to Parents as Teachers for its services for 2014-15.
  • A community vacation Bible school will use the east wing of the elementary school, including the kitchen, multipurpose room, and classrooms, June 2 through 6.
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