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Three take oath on USD 383 school board

By Bryan Richardson

The three newly elected USD 383 board members were sworn in during the school board meeting Wednesday.

Pat Hudgins, Marcia Rozell and Aaron Estabrook were elected to the USD 383 Board of Education on Tuesday. Although they won’t take their seats until July, state statute dictates that they must be sworn in within ten days of the election.

They will replace Walt Pesaresi, Pete Paukstelis and Beth Tatarko, who all chose not to run in the election. Pesaresi has been a member since 2001 and Paukstelis since 2005. Tatarko, who served from 2005 to 2009, replaced transportation director Doug Messer last year when he resigned to take his new job.

At the same meeting, the board approved the expansion of summer programs. Lee, Ogden and Theodore Roosevelt elementary schools requested changes to those offerings after the Kansas Department of Education issued 21st Century Community Learning Center supplemental grants.

In total, five schools were impacted with these grants — Bergman, Lee, Northview, Ogden and Theodore Roosevelt elementary schools. The board initially approved 2013 summer programs in February.

The grants for Lee and Theodore Roosevelt were written and received by the Boys and Girls Club, which runs those schools’ programs.

Lee will add a remedial summer program for kindergarten-third grade students from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday from June 3 to July 26.

Theodore Roosevelt will add a remedial summer program for kindergarten-fourth grade students from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday from June 3 to July 26.

The morning program for both schools would be free including lunch. If students are enrolled in afternoon activities, a $75 per week fee would be charged for both schools’ programs.

Ogden would extend its summer activities by a month from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday from June 3 to July 26 (no program July 4 and 5).

STEM Summer Institute is also requesting a $75 fee, up from $50, to assist with additional transportation opportunities. College Hill Preschool will shorten its summer program from Aug. 9 to Aug. 7.

Maintenance director Keith Noll presented the district’s summer projects, which includes the Bluemont Elementary roof replacement project that the board approved Wednesday.

Other projects include the Amanda Arnold Elementary HVAC replacement, sidewalk replacement at the middle schools and playground work at Marlatt and Bergman elementary schools.

The board also approved the 2013-14 calendar proposal. The school year starts Aug. 14 and ends May 22, 2014.

The calendar adds back four days the board voted to remove in 2010 in order to cut costs and maximize the time for construction and renovation during the bond issue projects.

The middle schools and Manhattan High will have their school day reduced by 10 minutes, but elementary schools will need to retain the additional 10 minutes per day.

The additional time is to facilitate changes in collaboration and professional development for elementary school teachers.

Next year, elementary teachers would have eight days of professional development, eight early releases for collaboration and 330 minutes of planning time per week. Currently, there are five early release days and three professional development days per year as well as 300 planning minutes per week.

Details of the calendar still need to be addressed during the ongoing teachers’ contract negotiations with the district.

The board also approved computer purchases to cycle out the older equipment. The approved purchase includes 46 desktop computers from New Tech Solutions of Fremont, Calif. and 170 laptops from Riverside Technologies of North Sioux City, S.D. for a total of $199,648. That money comes from the capital outlay technology fun.

The school board also approved the extension of administrator contracts for another year. This includes school principals and district administrators other than Supt. Bob Shannon and Associate Supt. Bob Seymour, who had their contracts extended earlier this year. Specific pay levels remain to be worked out as part of the budget process.

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