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1-14-22 — January 2022 Board Meeting Review

Jan. 14, 2022 ~ The Olathe Board of Education met Jan. 13 for its regular monthly meeting. The agenda included the swearing in of three new board members, approval of next year’s school calendar, and several other items.

Newly elected board members Brian Connell, Robert Kuhn and Julie Steele were sworn in and took the oath of office after the Scout group from Briarwood Elementary School led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. Connell, Kuhn and Steele were elected to four-year terms. The board elected Shannon Wickliffe 5-2 to serve as vice president for the remainder of the 2021-22 fiscal year, replacing former board member Brian Geary.


  • The Olathe Public Schools Foundation was recognized for its valuable support of the district over the past 25 years. The foundation works with district staff to meet the needs of staff and students through grants, scholarships and other programs.
  • The Olathe West High School boys’ soccer team was recognized for earning the state 6A championship title.
  • Macy Garey of Olathe East was recognized for being selected to perform with the National Association for Music Education’s All-National Symphony Orchestra.
  • January is National School Board Appreciation Month, recognizing the members’ commitment to the district’s vision and the countless hours they dedicate to the Olathe Public Schools.

School Spotlight

Seth Schwieterman, building administrator for Mill Creek Campus, shared information about Mill Creek’s programs with the board. Students on an Alternative Route (S.O.A.R.) helps students achieve their highest potential through individual, flexible and structured educational experiences. HOPE is an alternative education voluntary day program for students, grades 5-12, who have been long-term suspended or expelled from a district school. Stride is for students who received an out-of-school suspension from an Olathe high school. Choices serves high school juniors and seniors who are behind on the required credits for graduating and are seeking to earn their diploma. Step Up is the district’s tuition-free diploma completion program for adults whose high school classes have already graduated, and adults with GED certificates. Off-Campus Learning and Extended Absence Services are also housed at Mill Creek Campus.

School Resource Officer Partnership

Dr. Jim McMullen, assistant superintendent for middle school; Brent Kiger, director of safety and security; and Olathe Chief of Police Mike Butaud gave the board an overview of the school resource officer program (SRO) that spans 26 years. The Olathe Police department partners with the district to provide 14 SROs across the district’s five high schools, 10 middle schools, Mill Creek and Prairie Learning Center campuses. In addition, they serve as mentors in the 21st Century Public Safety Program, oversee the crossing guard program and K-9 unit, and are heavily involved in the community through the district’s Lowrider Bike Club, The Spot and several other opportunities.  

Bond Presentation

Deputy Superintendent John Hutchison shared information about the Growth and Reinvestment strand of the Bond 2022. Proposed projects in this strand include replacing Santa Fe Trail Middle School; general aging facility projects such as HVAC replacement, roofing, asphalt, classroom renovation, and replacement of flooring and lighting; replacing aged furniture in buildings throughout the district; and constructing a new Operations Service Center while renovating the current building as a second transportation center. Hutchison also shared information about the Technology and Innovation strand of the bond, including replacement of end-of-life student and staff technology, as well as updates and enhancements to the district’s technology infrastructure.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, financial and accounts payable reports, human resources report, student trip and 2022-23 district calendar.
  • Approved the annual renewal for support and maintenance for the BusinessPlus financial management and Human Resources management software from PowerSchool Group, LLC. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the annual licensing renewal for VMWare software. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the purchase of Palo Alto firewall security renewal and upgrades. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the purchase of network switches and associated equipment. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the purchase of replacement cafeteria tables for Fairview Elementary School. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the district’s 2022 legislative priorities for the coming state legislative session.
  • Received information on future action items including Synergy student information system software renewal, American Sign Language course curriculum and resources, student trip, and English 3 course for juniors.
  • Received the Head Start director’s monthly report.
  • Held two executive sessions to consult with the board’s attorney.

The complete agenda is available by visiting the BoardDocs website.