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12-8-23 — December 2023 Board Meeting Review

Dec. 8, 2023 ~ The Olathe Public Schools Board of Education met Dec. 7 for its regular monthly meeting. The agenda included a handful of recognitions, three presentations and a dozen bids, contracts and agreements.


  • The Olathe Northwest High School girls' golf team won the 6A state championship title this fall. This was their second straight state championship.
  • The Synergy team from the district’s Technology Division was featured as one of three national spotlight schools for their work to support the safety and security of student information.
  • Journey Bible Church was recognized as an Adopt-a-School partner with 27 district schools, serving sites from early childhood education through high school.
  • Board members Joe Beveridge and Shannon Wickliffe received thanks for their years of service on the Board of Education. This was their last meeting before two new members are sworn in at the Jan. 11 meeting.

School Spotlight

Jason Watkins, principal of Forest View Elementary School, highlighted his school in a presentation to the board by allowing several “Forest View foxes” to participate. Forest View opened in 2009 and became only the second Leader in Me Lighthouse School in 2017. They are one of only six Lighthouse schools in Kansas. The Forest View Foxes believe in success through respect, responsibility and leadership, and follow the principles of Stephen Covey’s eight habits. As a building, Forest View staff and students set “Wildly Important Goals” to help them improve academically and personally. Grade level “scoreboards” help students track their progress. A survey of staff, students and families helps everyone work on family engagement, collective efficacy and instructional efficacy. Students may redeem Fox Cards for rewards based on the Positive Behavior Intervention Supports expectations.

Audit Review 

Representatives from Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, L.C. shared information from the fiscal year 2023 audit and related findings.   

New Graduation Requirements

Chief Academic Officer Dr. Tim Reves and College and Career Readiness Coordinator Alicia Jackson provided a brief update on proposed changes to graduation requirements in the district to align with new requirements from the Kansas State Board of Education. The changes would take effect for the Class of 2028 and beyond (2024-25 freshman class).

Among the changes are a new half-credit communications requirement, an additional one-credit STEM elective, a semester of physical education and semester of health will be transcribed separately, two post-secondary audits, and completion of the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) prior to graduation.

The class rank system would continue through the Class of 2027, being replaced with the cum laude system’s three levels of recognition. High school credit would be awarded for Spanish I and French I for eighth graders in the 2024-25 school year.

In other business, the board:

  • Held an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel.
  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, financial and accounts payable reports, and human resources report; legislative priorities for the 2024 session; start and end times for the 2024-25 school year; enrollment of non-resident students; graduation requirements for the class of 2028 and beyond; high school U.S. History curriculum revision; middle school security camera and access control upgrades; and five student trips.
  • Approved renewal of the language arts subscription database. (English Language Learners instructional supplies fund and capital outlay)
  • Approved renewal of the Follett Destiny software. (capital outlay)
  • Approved the purchase and installation of replacement 10 gym scoreboards and controllers for five middle schools (California Trail, Frontier Trail, Indian Trail, Oregon Trail and Pioneer Trail). (Bond 2022)
  • Approved the purchase of replacement custodial equipment in locations across the district. (Bond 2022)
  • Approved the expense of on-call trade services related to ice machine preventative maintenance and repairs, and pest control services. (capital outlay)
  • Approved renewal of the Cisco Network Systems support and maintenance agreement. (capital outlay)
  • Approved renewal of the KRONOS software maintenance and support. (capital outlay)
  • Approved a content security and impact filter solution for district devices used by students. (capital outlay)
  • Approved a proposal for inspections and preventive maintenance of HVAC variable refrigerant volume systems at three locations (Canyon Creek Elementary, Summit Trail Middle School, Mill Creek Campus). (capital outlay)
  • Approved renewal of the Business Plus financial and human resources management software support and maintenance. (capital outlay)
  • Approved interior abatement services for the existing Santa Fe Trail Middle School building this summer. (Bond 2022)
  • Approved trade bids for the new Operations Service Center and Career and Technical Education Center project. (Bond 2022)
  • Approved the audit reports for the fiscal year ended June 30. (general fund)
  • Discussed reinstating a condition of the censure of board member Brian Connell. The board voted 6-1 to approve lifting one of two restrictions in the original censure statement for board member Connell to be a part of board committees beginning in January with a plan to discuss removing the restriction on his ability to be a part of board leadership at the April regular Board of Education meeting.
  • Received information on future action items including student trips, replacement trailers and mowers, student information system support and maintenance, access switch replacements, data cable and fiber pulls at multiple schools, audio equipment upgrades for various music classrooms, Cisco Enterprise agreement, data storage solution, student data dashboard renewal, bids for audio/visual projectors, desktop computer replacements at the elementary level, construction bids and proposals for aging facility projects in 2024, and on-call stage rigging services.
  • Received the Head Start director’s monthly written report.
  • Received the fall parent-teacher conference participation report.
  • Received the monthly Bond 2022 update written report.
  • Held an executive session for the board to consult with its attorney.
  • Held a second executive session for the board to consult with its attorney.

During board comments, board member Connell submitted a letter of resignation, effective Jan. 7, to Board President Brad Boyd. The process to find a replacement for his position on the Board of Education, as well as a timeline, will be shared in the coming days.

The complete agenda is available on the BoardDocs website.