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Board to discuss radios, Head Start

By Bethany Knipp

USD 383 school board members are scheduled to discuss the district’s Head Start programs and the purchase of radios for Manhattan High School at their meeting Wednesday.

Current considerations for the high school are to purchase Kenwood NexEdge NX 220K radios from Ka-Comm Inc. in Manhattan at $454 each for enhanced school safety and security preparedness. The total cost of the radios would be $13,635. They would be used for safety purposes at large events including sporting events, graduation, prom and fine arts productions, according to agenda information.

The board also is scheduled to discuss service adjustments to Early Head Start and Head Start.

The programs’ director, Andy Hutchinson, and Ogden Elementary School principal Jim Armendariz will make the presentation and ask the board to consider increasing enrollment for Early Head Start from 10 children to 15, with the eventual goal to be 20 children in the program.

The Early Head Start program serves children up to 3 years of age in in-home visits to foster school readiness with developmental and socialization experiences.

Under those considerations, a full-time home visitor would be hired to serve 10 families while the current one would move to 3/4 time to serve the rest.

In recommendations for the Head Start program, the district would take 13 of 125 enrollment slots from a half-day program at Eugene Field in Manhattan and move them to a half-day or full-day option program at Ogden Elementary.

The school board also will hear an enrollment and budget status report about its new online education program, Manhattan Virtual Academy, formerly named the Manhattan Virtual Program.

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