JUNCTION CITY, Kan. — The Geary County Schools USD 475 Board of Education held a meeting on Monday at the Mary E. Devin Center for Educational Support.
The meeting began with Superintendent Dr. Reginald Eggleston awarding five students with the Superintendent’s 3Rs Excellence Award. This award is given to students who demonstrate excellences in the areas of respect, responsibility and positive relationships. The students awarded were:
- Keith Thompson, a fifth-grader at Lincoln Elementary
- Brooky Murdoch, a fifth-grader at Milford Elementary
- Jason Fuentez, a first-grader at Seitz Elementary
- Brylynn Rutherford, a fourth-grader at Ware Elementary
- Mikayla Hauk, a fifth-grader at Washington Elementary
The Junction City High School Performing Arts department was also recognized for their performance of the musical “Godspell” from March 11 to March 13. The cast of 18 and stage crew of two worked together for eight weeks to put together a two-hour production retelling the gospel of Matthew with humor and rock music. Additionally, nine students from the Junction City High School Vocal Music department were recognized for their participation at the Kansas Music Educators Association State Choir Virtual Festival from February 4 to February 6. The festival is usually held in Wichita, but this year the students met virtually with professionals in choral music and even created a virtual choir recording.
Following the recognitions, the board consented to multiple agenda items, including a contract between the school district and Greenbush Virtual Learning Center, an education service center based out of Girard. The agreement allows Greenbush to provide a virtual program for kindergarten through 12th grade and adults during the 2021 to 2022 school year. Additionally, the district contracts with Greenbush to administer and be operationally responsible for driver’s education programs provided to USD 475 students during the 2021 to 2022 school year.
Bart Swartz, associate executive director of Greenbush, provided an update to the board regarding the strategic plan for the district’s new program, Parent University, which is currently being planned by district staff. The Parent University events will be for parents and guardians of students to learn about topics regarding their children and their education. The board discussed ways to promote the university, as well as potentially letting people participate virtually. No motion was required for this item.
Following the update, Geary County Schools USD 475’s Chief Operations Officer David Wild presented to the board a contract modification with cleaning service ABM Industries to enhance the levels of cleaning done within the schools through the rest of the school year to ensure a healthy and safe educational environment. The current contract expired on March 31, and the modification will continue the EnhancedClean service through June 4. The total cost of services from April 1 through June 4 is $160,014. The enhanced cleaning from dedicated and trained staff will ensure frequent disinfection occurs at high touch points with value-added equipment and supplies to help battle the cleaning and sanitizing challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The board approved to move forward with this contract modification.
Mr. Wild also presented to the board a proposed quote from ConvergeOne, an integrator that works with the district and has a state contract to supply technology components to Kansas school districts through Greenbush, for Axis cameras and hardware for outside of the new Junction City High School, which is set to open in Fall of 2021. The board approved to move forward with this purchase.
The board also reviewed and approved the 2021-2022 school calendar pilot program for Sheridan Elementary School. The pilot calendar is separate from the 2021-2022 calendar approved at the March 25 board meeting, and instead includes an earlier start date and more frequent, longer breaks.
Dr. Eggleston then gave a presentation to the board on Geary County Schools USD 475’s recent comprehensive needs assessment, which was done to identify specific areas the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER II funds) can support for COVID-19 purposes.
The board’s handbook committee gave an update to their first readings of the Classified Handbook, Substitute Teacher Handbook, and the Administrator Handbook. The handbooks will be reviewed for a second reading and approval in May. Before the meeting was adjourned, Chief Information Officer Karl DeArmond also presented that he will review the proposed changes to the One-to-One Device Handbook and will return to the board in May for a second reading and approval of the handbook.
The full meeting can be viewed on the Geary County Schools USD 475 YouTube page.
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