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4-8-24 — April 2024 Board Meeting Review

April 5, 2024 ~ The Olathe Public Schools Board of Education met April 4 for its regular monthly meeting. Merik Dismang of Olathe East High School led the Pledge of Allegiance prior to the meeting agenda being approved.


  • Canyon Creek Elementary teacher Sara Hoffman was named a 2024 Kansas Master Teacher. She and the district’s other nominees for that award — Drew Keiter of Olathe West High School and Jamie Trumpp of Indian Creek Elementary — were recognized by the board.
  • Merik Dismang, Olathe East, won the National Spirit of the Sport Award from the National Federation of State High School Associations.
  • Culinary Arts students from Olathe Advanced Technical Center won first place in the Overall Culinary competition at the Kansas ProStart Invitational. They also took home third in Best Knife Skills, and fourth in Management.
  • The districtwide “Frozen, The Broadway Musical” cast of over 130 students was invited to perform at the Kansas Thespian Festival this spring.
  • Chris Zuck, principal of Olathe Northwest High School, was named the Kansas Principals Association Area 1 High School Principal of the Year.

School Spotlight 

Amanda Honaker, coordinator of the Olathe Transition Supports Program for 18–21-year-olds, shared information on the program’s mission to empower young adults to ultimately achieve their dreams for the future. The vision is to prepare students to lead independent, productive and satisfying lives through collaboration with families, professional agencies and community employers. Students learn employability skills through work-based learning experiences and classroom instruction.

There are five transition support programs: ACCESS, which is Adult Career and Community Education Services and Supports; FOCUS, Focus On Careers and Unique Skills; CONNECT, Collaborative Opportunities for Natural Networking Experiences and Community Transition; and RISE, Reaching Independence through Supported Education. More than 100 community partners offer opportunities to our students. OTSP students operate four businesses: Puzzle Pup Pastries, Cup of Joy, Poppin Pals, and CONNECT Snack Cart. The Alternative Work Experience program allows students to focus on vocational skills in a setting right for their individual needs.

English Language Learners Update  

Director of Language Acquisition Michael Flenthrope said more than 6,000 district students (or about 20% of the enrollment) are bilingual or multilingual, and 87 different languages are spoken in students’ homes. Those languages represent 101 different countries. More than 3,400 students qualify for English Language Learner services and may receive language support. About one-third of those students receive support in the classroom from an aide or ELL teacher.

Students join the ELL programs throughout the year as they enroll in Olathe Public Schools. Fifteen of the district’s 36 elementary schools, five of 10 middle schools and three of five high schools are ELL site schools because they provide specialized ELL services through one or more ELL teachers and aides.

Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) may come from countries where poverty, disaster or civil unrest affect literacy and educational opportunities. Olathe’s Cornerstone program offers a path for students to graduate or earn a GED even though they didn’t have an opportunity for consistent schooling before coming to Olathe. Thirty new students enrolled in SLIFE this year. Seventy-two students in SLIFE have fewer credits than peers of the same age. Seventeen SLIFE students graduated last year, and another 23 are on track to graduate in May. Cornerstone is offered at Mill Creek Campus and Olathe’s high schools. The retention rate for SLIFE students is 89%.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, financial and accounts payable reports, human resources report, three student trips, assurances section of the IDEA VI-B application, and budget development goals and calendar for fiscal year 2024-25.
  • Approved a one-year extension of the anatomy and physiology online e-license resource access. (capital outlay)
  • Approved Positive Physics, an instructional online resource for physics courses. (capital outlay)
  • Approved U.S. History class resources. (textbook/ instructional materials fund and capital outlay)
  • Approved annual contracts for landscaping services for an initial three-year term. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the annual contract for landscape bio-retention maintenance services for an initial three-year term. (capital outlay)
  • Approved a contract for bleacher repair services across the district. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the purchase of replacement marching band uniforms for Olathe East. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the upgrade of safety and security systems at Olathe East and Olathe South high schools. (Bond 2022 and Safe and Secure Schools Grant)
  • Approved the purchase and installation of window security film at strategic district locations. (Bond 2022 and Safe and Secure Schools Grant)
  • Approved the purchase of upgraded audio visual and technology equipment in the Board of Education room of the Education Center. (Bond 2022)
  • Approved the purchase of E911 software for the district’s phone system. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the purchase of shot clocks for each of the five high schools. (capital outlay)
  • Approved Bid Package 5 for the new Operations Service Center and Career and Technical Education Center project. (Bond 2022)
  • Approved on-call carpet installation and on-call resinous flooring services for summer aging facilities projects. (Bond 2022)
  • Approved student fees and miscellaneous charges for the 2024-25 school year. Due to the increased cost of textbook resources, the instructional materials and resources fee will increase to $120 for full-time students and $60 for students attending three hours or less per day.
  • Received information on nearly two dozen future action items including health texts/ instructional materials, elementary English resource, elementary visual arts resource, greenhouse shade replacements, milk and juice bids, copy paper bids, Head Start continuation grant, Raptor visitor management system renewal, Food Services business management software, Kansas Association of School Boards fees, appointment to the Kansas Association of School Boards nominating committee, appointment to the Kansas Association of School Boards legislative committee, KidsTLC agreement, five student trips, tennis court and track repairs, and Technology Help Desk work order system.
  • Received a report on spring parent-teacher conference participation.
  • Received the Head Start director’s monthly report.
  • Received the monthly Bond 2022 written update.
  • Held an executive session to discuss employer-employee negotiations. 

The complete agenda is available by visiting the BoardDocs website.