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6-1-23 — June 2023 Board Meeting Review
June 2, 2023 ~ The Olathe Board of Education met June 1 for its regular monthly meeting.
That meeting followed a special meeting to approve republishing the 2022-23 budget because higher-than-anticipated at-risk state aid meant the district's legal maximum General Fund budget will exceed what was originally adopted for 2022-23. It was necessary to formally adopt a republished budget to have the authority to spend this additional aid.
- Westview Elementary School received a 2022 Challenge Award from the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force.
- Olathe Northwest High School physics teacher Drew Smith and Olathe North High School earth and space teacher Staci Cavanaugh were named Science Teachers of the Year sponsored by the departments of Chemistry, Geology and Physics at Kansas State University.
- The district’s Human Resources Division was recognized on the Forbes 2023 List of America’s Best Mid-Size Employers and as the No. 2 Public School District in the Kansas City metro area by Ingram’s Magazine.
- The district’s Communications Division earned four Awards of Excellence in the Kansas School Public Relations Association publications contest.
3DE Diploma Plus Program
Olathe East High School Principal Kerry Lane updated board members on the 3DE diploma plus model that was implemented at her school last fall. The goal of 3DE is to help every high school student receive multiple market value assets prior to graduation. Business partners, Junior Achievement and the district worked together to create a model that teaches students using real-world scenarios to build six core competencies. Those are creativity and innovation, cultural agility, engaging communication, effective collaboration, self-direction, and critical and analytical thinking. In an end-of-year survey, 3DE students at Olathe East consistently scored in the program higher than the national average of 3DE participants.
Staff and Parent Survey Results
Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations Becky Grubaugh presented an overview of the 2023 staff and parent survey results. More than 3,400 parents responded in their survey, which was an increase of more than 1,000 over last year. Their primary points of pride were learning opportunities provided to students (85%), high quality and effective teachers (85%), safe and secure learning environment (85%), Olathe Public Schools compares well to neighboring districts (82%), school leadership (79%), and diversity, equity and inclusion (71%). There are areas for improvement including more than 20% of respondents replying “neutral” for questions about preparing students for success after high school, providing high quality social emotional learning, and providing quality mental health services.
More than 1,660 staff responded in their survey, representing all buildings in the district. Staff points of pride included safe and secure work environment (75%), proud to work in the district (72%), diversity, engagement and inclusion are valued (70%), satisfaction with their job (68%), and feeling a sense of belonging in the district (64%). Areas for improvement on the staff survey, because of the number of “neutral” responses, were sense of belonging, having the resources to do their job, and high-quality mental health resources and support for staff.
The district’s senior leadership will study the survey results and use that information to guide decision-making efforts in the future. School-specific information will be shared with principals, and the district will continue to survey staff and parents each year.
In other business, the board:
- Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes; financial and accounts payable reports; human resources report; student trips; history course resources; Oceanography science curriculum update; workbooks and digital subscriptions for the 95% Group Phonics Core Program; additional reading intervention materials from the 95% Group; Head Start self-assessment documents; revised competencies for high school Business Management and Entrepreneurship pathway courses; and teacher materials for special education settings at all grade levels.
- Held an executive session to discuss employer-employee negotiations.
- Approved the 2023-24 negotiated agreement with educators.
- Approved renewing the work order ticketing system. (capital outlay)
- Approved renewing the active and behavioral threat assessment management and training tool. (capital outlay)
- Approved the purchase and installation of replacement restroom stall partitions at the Olathe District Activity Center. (Bond 2022)
- Approved the purchase of health services equipment for nurses’ offices across the district. (Kansas Department of Health and Environment grant)
- Approved the annual maintenance and support for Centegix CrisisAlert. (grant funds and capital outlay)
- Approved the purchase of network infrastructure equipment for the new Santa Fe Trail Middle School building. (Bond 2022)
- Approved the purchase of equipment to reconfigure four high school computer labs. (Promoting Advancement in Computing Knowledge grant)
- Approved the financial audit service contract for the period ending June 30, 2023. (general fund)
- Approved renewing the FastBridge assessment program. (capital outlay)
- Approved a permanent utility easement at Santa Fe Trail Middle School.
- Approved juice and milk-based products bids for the upcoming school year. (Food Service Fund)
- Approved the purchase of circuit trainers for the Olathe Advanced Technical Center. (grant funds and general fund)
- Approved change orders in excess of $20,000 for the new Santa Fe Trail Middle School project. (Bond 2022)
- Accepted the district’s various insurance premiums and fee quotes for the 2023-24 year. (general fund and special liability fund)
- Received information about future action items including replacement video wall at Olathe West High School, security licenses for computer devices, fiber construction on the Santa Fe Trail and Olathe South campuses, system maintenance and support renewal for Frontline Education, licensing and support renewal for Blackboard communications software, renewal of the PowerUp reading intervention program, renewal of subscription and licensing support for Adobe Creative Cloud, renewal of the enterprise monitoring maintenance software, revised competencies for the high school Manufacturing pathway courses, updated student and staff technology acceptable use policy, athletic trainer contract with Olathe Medical Center, revisions to the Code of Student Conduct.
- Received the Head Start director’s monthly written report.
- Received an update on Bond 2022 projects.
- Held an executive session to discuss the potential acquisition of real property.
- Held an executive session to discuss individual personnel performance.