The 2017-2018 Geary County Schools budget was the topic that dominated the August 7, 2017, Board of Education meeting this week. This meeting marked the first presentation of the budget to the Board who will now have two weeks to review it. After that time there will be a budget hearing which will be open to the public (September 5, 2017). The public is also made aware of the budget through a publication that is posted in the Daily Union newspaper. The current mil levy once again remains flat as it has since the 2014-2015 year.
Dr. Miller, President of the Board of Education, took time during the meeting to discuss the Board Goals which include categories of high student achievement, effective and valuable communication, highly effective staff, maximizing resources, culture of shared responsibility and effective partnerships with families, community and businesses, and safe, sustainable, healthy, and respectful school communities. Board members will create a work session in September to review these goals and make sure that they still align with the needs of the district.
ACT Aspire, a preparation program, was brought to the BOE for approval on Monday night. This program is offered to freshmen and sophomores in the district as a way to help prepare them for the ACT. This will be the second year (going into the third year) of this program in the district. Dr. Hudson was asked by the Board if there was evidence that this program is helping students perform better on the ACT and she stated that the program is leading us in the right direction. Associate Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Beth Hudson went on to say that there isn’t enough data at this point to show definitive trends.
Seven-year old data storage equipment at housed at Fort Riley Middle School was requested to be updated by Chief Information Officer Karl DeArmond. He also proposed an increase to Storage at the Devin Center. The Board agreed that the equipment was due for an upgrade and approved the proposal. This storage is generally used for backing up student and district data in the amount of approximately 20 terabytes.
An FFA Club proposal was made to the Board of Education and member Carolyn Gaston mentioned her families involvement in the organization when she and her siblings were young. Adding to the current Ag Career Cluster at JCHS this club hopes to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Currently, JCHS FFA has 20 members signed up.
Matt Westerhaus, Athletic Director at JCHS, spoke to the Board to seek approval of continuing with Sports Safe Testing Service for drug testing of students who are involved in state sanctioned activities such as athletics, band, choir, and more. This is the fourth year that JCHS has worked with this company. The fees incurred are covered by the Junction City Police Department/City of Junction City as a prevention method. The request was approved by the Board of Education.
Board of Education members will tour several schools in the district on August 8, 2017, as part of their annual welcome back to the school year. One stopping point during the tour will be Eisenhower Elementary which is the site of a new gym and FEMA shelter.