Reverses budget cut while saving money
Marion USD 408 Board of Education approved an agreement with Peabody-Burns schools to share a golf team this spring.
Earlier this year the board voted to cut the golf team because of its high cost relative to the number of students participating. Since then Superintendent Lee Leiker and his counterpart at Peabody-Burns, Ron Traxson, discussed having a shared golf team to reduce costs.
The agreement approved Monday calls for the combined team to be coached by Peabody-Burns coach Jim Pohlman and practice at Marion Country Club. Peabody-Burns had previously practiced in Newton.
The schools will split costs, including splitting travel costs proportionally by the number of students going to a tournament from each school. Leiker estimated the change would reduce the cost of having a golf team from about $4,000 to $1,000 at most. Travel costs should be relatively low, as the team will compete in three tournaments in Marion.
High school Principal Tod Gordon said past combined teams with Peabody-Burns have gone smoothly.
The board approved a one-year trial for the combined team. Unsurprisingly, the team will be called the Warriors.
Surveillance system approved
Leiker was unable to find a local vendor to bid on a surveillance system for the middle and high schools after the board requested it in October, but there were two bids.
CBS of Manhattan won the bid for $10,569. File Safe of Salina bid $15,590. Both systems include 30-day storage of video and would have video access online for select people, which could include law enforcement.
Leiker said he thought the cameras could be installed before the end of the semester.
Leiker and middle school Principal Missy Stubenhofer gave an update on changes to state assessments. The evaluation procedures will now give more credit to schools for having students who go above and beyond meeting standards.
However, nobody knows yet what the tests will be like when they’re administered in the spring.
“One thing we’re not being accused of is teaching to the tests, because we don’t know what they are yet,” Leiker said.
In other business:
- Board President Chris Sprowls will attend the Kansas Association of School Boards convention Dec. 6-8 in Wichita.
- Board members watched a video by Sarah Tolessa’s fifth-grade class in which they went to several local businesses to learn about the practical use of decimals.
- The agreement with ESSDACK was renewed with no major changes. The district purchases health insurance and benefit plans through ESSDACK.
- The board met in closed session with Leiker for 25 minutes to discuss personnel. On return to open session, the board accepted elementary school cook Vickie Box’s resignation effective at the end of the school year and voted to hire Nathan Hiebert to teach summer driver’s education.
- Leiker reported the Heart of America League is considering requiring members to increase admission fees to sports events so they can offer better pay for referees. Leiker said he wasn’t in favor of increasing admission fees.
- The December board meeting will begin at 7 a.m. Dec. 9. After the business meeting, board members will tour the schools and observe classes.