The public has chosen the bison as Oliver Brown Elementary’s mascot and brown and gold as the school’s colors.

The Manhattan-Ogden school board on Wednesday will consider approving the selections. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Robinson Education Center.

The district’s newest school building will open to students in August. District officials had an online survey last month for people to choose the school’s mascot and colors.

The district received more than 1,600 responses to the survey, with a clear preference for the bison as mascot among 57% of respondents. Other options for mascot included an owl and an otter. The brown and gold color scheme was favored among 60% of respondents. The other option was brown and orange.

Relating to Oliver Brown Elementary, the board is also set to approve a purchase of audio/visual equipment from Cytek Media Systems, a company from Topeka that holds the state contract for school equipment. Board members will review the $130,224 price for projection systems, sound equipment, and monitors.

At the start of the meeting, the USD 383 school board will elect a new president and vice-president.

The board elects new members to serve in these roles at the second meeting in January each year. At the last board meeting Jan. 6, current board vice-president Jurdene Coleman said she would like to be considered for president. Karla Hagemiester currently serves as the board’s president. Board member Kristin Brighton said she would like to take on the responsibilities of vice-president.

The board also is set to approve a resolution that would give employees paid leave and other benefits that had been mandated under a federal law that expired Dec. 31. Congress has not renewed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, but officials are recommending that USD 383 continue it through the end of the school year.

For the week of Jan. 3-9, the district reported 29 students and nine staff members testing positive for COVID-19, according to the district’s coronavirus data dashboard. 191 students were in quarantine for that timeframe out of approximately 6,300. Twenty-four staffers out of about 1,400 were also reported to be quarantining during that week.

In other business, the board will hear reports from superintendent Marvin Wade, as well as other district officials and the Eisenhower Middle School student council. They also will approve multiple grants and donations, including a $8,105 cash grant from Ash Grove Charitable Foundation to the Infant Toddler Services of Riley County to purchase a new vision screener, and $4,000 from The Fridge Wholesale Liquor to Bluemont Elementary for the purchase of a new public address system and other building needs.

A work session with elementary school principals precedes the meeting at 5:30 p.m. The work session will consist of reports on how the different schools are handling the return of students full-time in-person, along with demographics and challenges noted by school administrators.