Return to Headlines

5-6-24 — May 2024 Board Meeting Review

May 6, 2024 ~ The Olathe Public Schools Board of Education met May 2 for its regular monthly meeting. Students from Olathe South High School recited the Pledge of Allegiance before the meeting agenda was approved.


  • Sylas and Maddy’s Homemade Ice Cream was recognized as a district business partner that offers volunteer and financial resources.
  • Five of the top six students in the KC BizFest are from Olathe Public Schools. They include Olathe Northwest High School students Isabelle Scheidel (first place), Leah Abai (second place), Graciano Paramo (fourth place), and Carmen Guerra (fifth place), as well as Mia Estrada from Olathe North High School in sixth place.
  • The first-place teams from the district’s Math Wings competition were honored by the board. In fourth grade, it was Alyssa Donham, Dax Autrey and Josh Matewos from Arbor Creek Elementary. In fifth grade it was the Regency Place Elementary team of Vihaan Sripathi, Alex Jin and Jacob Bush. The Sunnyside Elementary fourth grade team of Anna Thielker and Anishka Ragi placed first in the fall and spring competitions.
  • A team of Olathe West High School students won second place in Job Olympics, a competition to promote employability skills for a broad spectrum of high school students.
  • Four Olathe wrestlers claimed state titles in March. Brett Carroll of Olathe East High School, Kaylan Hitchcock and Jacob Vasquez of Olathe North High School, and Nicole Redmond of Olathe South High School were recognized by the board.
  • Joe Oullette of Olathe North High School won the 6A state bowling title.
  • Three students from the Olathe Advanced Technical Center placed in the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) competition. Addie Johnson and McKenzie Kelso placed first in the EMT competition and Calista Alphason was second in the Medical Terminology competition.

School Spotlight

Dr. Sean DeMaree, principal of Olathe South High School, said this school year has been one of reflection and growth for the Falcons. Whether focusing on the fact South has some of the highest math ACT and Kansas Assessment Program scores in the district, or investing in partnerships and relationships, the school is redefining what it means to be an Olathe South Falcon. School leadership and students work to create an inclusive learning environment that prepares students for college and careers, celebrates the school’s diverse community and creates a culture of belonging and pride in being a Falcon, he said.

Olathe South has experienced a 69% increase in Applied Algebra students moving to a college and career-based math track. Only 41 of the school’s 500 freshmen need continued support in fluence. The number of sophomores failing English 10 has dropped significantly and continues to show signs of improvement. For the upcoming school year, DeMaree said Olathe South will focus on becoming Olathe’s “best high school.”

Kansas State Board of Education Update

Anne Mah, member of the Kansas State Board of Education, updated Olathe school board members on topics of great interest to the state organization.  

Supporting Kindergartners

Dr. Jill Smith, assistant superintendent for elementary schools, shared plans designed to support kindergarten students this fall. The first step, she said, is to create multiple ways for district staff to get to know the incoming kindergartners and their families. This relationship helps the school make the best decisions for students and teachers.

Camp Kindergarten, offered in August, helps students get to know their school and teachers while they meet new friends and take part in fun learning activities. Official teacher assignments are determined following Camp Kindergarten.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, financial and accounts payable reports, human resources report, six student trips, and the Head Start Continuation Grant for 2024-25.
  • Approved the purchase of McGraw Hill’s Glencoe Health texts and instructional materials for high school. (textbook budget)
  • Approved the English language arts resource Wit and Wisdom (including Geodes) for kindergarten through second grade. (textbook / instructional materials budget and capital outlay)
  • Approved a two-year eLicense renewal of the online resource Art of Education. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the continued partnership agreement between the district and KidsTLC to support students who attend Claire Learning Center. (general fund and VIB special education fund)
  • Approved the purchase of milk-based and 100% juice products for the 2024-25 school year. (Food Service fund)
  • Approved the annual purchase of white copy paper for the remainder of this school year and the 2024-25 school year. (general fund)
  • Approved the purchase of custodial equipment and supplies for the new Santa Fe Trail Middle School. (Bond 2022)
  • Approved the purchase of replacement furniture for the Board of Education room. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the purchase of replacement furniture for the Education Center break room. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the purchase of specialized furniture for the new Santa Fe Trail band, choir and orchestra rooms. (Bond 2022)
  • Approved the purchase of tennis court and track repairs and services as part of the district’s summer projects. (Bond 2022)
  • Approved the proposal to install concrete foundation piers on two corners of Oregon Trail Middle School due to soil settlement. (Bond 2022)
  • Approved a change order greater than $20,000 relating to replacing a rooftop HVAC unit at Bentwood Elementary School. (Bond 2022)
  • Approved the purchase of band instruments and accessories for the new Santa Fe Trail. (Bond 2022)
  • Approved the purchase of orchestra instruments and accessories for the new Santa Fe Trail. (Bond 2022)
  • Approved the purchase of subscription and licensing support for a new technology help desk work order system. (capital outlay)
  • Approved renewal of the visitor management system software licensing and maintenance. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the annual renewal of subscription services for Oracle Cloud enterprise resource planning and human capital management systems. (capital outlay)
  • Approved payment to the Kansas Association of School Boards for 2024-25 membership fees.
  • Appointed Dr. Stacey Yurkovich to serve on the Kansas Association of School Boards’ nominating committee for 2024-25.
  • Appointed Julie Steele to serve on the Kansas Association of School Boards’ legislative committee, with a term expiring April 2027.
  • Received information on more than three dozen future action items including bids for rock salt, on-call snow removal services, on-call trade services, supplies for maintenance and repairs, Civic Leadership competencies updates, high school programming and software development competencies updates, middle school computer competencies update, financial literacy curriculum competencies updates, replacement cafeteria tables for Black Bob and Rolling Ridge elementary schools, temporary construction easement at Heritage Elementary School, audit services for the year ending June 30, general insurance policy renewals for 2024-25, decodable textbook for first grade, decodable textbook for kindergarten, four student trips, instructional platform software licensing renewal, SeeSaw renewal, ALICE training program support and maintenance, work order ticketing system renewal, library subscription database renewal, assessment program renewal, assessment monitoring and tracking software renewal, cash receipting and online payment system, employee management system maintenance and support renewal, electronic hall pass system renewal, communications software renewal, audio equipment upgrades for the Olathe East High School gym, mobile device management system for Apple products, digital presentation licenses for grades K-3, workbooks and replacement materials of student manipulatives, curricular standards for the high school communications/public speaking course, Unique Learning System for special education students, Code of Student Conduct revisions, updates to board policies GAOC and GCOE, and a committee to explore potential changes to the district’s election process.
  • Received the Head Start director’s monthly report.
  • Received the monthly Bond 2022 written update.
  • Held an executive session to discuss employer-employee negotiations.
  • Held an executive session to consult with the district’s attorney.

The complete agenda is available by visiting the BoardDocs website. (link to )