Summary of May 20, 2021 Board of Education meeting

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. – Geary County Schools USD 475 Board of Education held a meeting on Thursday at the Mary E. Devin Center for Educational Support.

The meeting began with Superintendent Dr. Reginald Eggleston presenting the Superintendent’s 3R’s Award to five students who demonstrate respect, responsibility, and the ability to build positive relationships. Grandview Elementary School fourth-grader Brooklynn Delatore, Junction City Middle School eighth-grader Nalaysia Raymond, Morris Hill Elementary third-grader Jenelle Nicholson, Sheridan Elementary School fifth-grader Layla Cummings-Zangeneh, and Spring Valley Elementary School second-grader William Hall were all recipients of the award.

The members then participated in an hour-long training with the Kansas Association of School Boards regarding the board’s performance, roles, responsibilities, and relationship.

The board then held a public comment period for the district retaining a construction manager at-risk for the construction of a new elementary school at Fort Riley. No comments were made.

The board approved multiple items, including a stipend of $1,500.00 to the elementary school principals who are holding summer school from June 7-25, which include Eisenhower Elementary School, Washington Elementary School, Seitz Elementary School, and Grandview Elementary School.

Junction City High School Principal Merrier Jackson then presented to the board a revised proposal for the high school’s summer school, early graduation, ACT Boot Camp, and summer band camp. The board approved the proposal.

Chief Operations Officer David Wild presented to the board a proposal for a planned entry into the new Junction City High School by staff and students as scheduled, with the understanding some construction work may still be ongoing but safely secured and isolated from occupants. This may include the late additions to the project, the orchestra, and multi-purpose rooms, as well as installation of ceiling baffles, exterior window shades, landscaping, and other non-critical items. The district would ensure approval from city officials before doing so for the safety of the occupants. The board approved this proposal.

In addition, the board approved contracting with Academy Movers, Inc. to assist in moving equipment, furnishings, books, and classroom materials from the old to new Junction City High School in June for a price not to exceed $30,600. The board approved this contract.

The board approved a grant request to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for $4,000 to purchase reading materials for youth at the Geary County Detention Center. The board approved this request.

Chief Information Officer Karl DeArmond then presented to the board a request to purchase uninterruptable power supply devices for the new Junction City High School from Dell at a cost of $138,813.43 from the technology master plan budget. This would fulfill the changes needed from the original proposal, which totaled $122,091.19, including better accommodating the electrical systems by changing the input voltage. The board approved this request.

Morris Hill Elementary Principal Melanie Laster then proposed an idea to the board regarding the name of the new Fort Riley elementary school and asked that it be named after a Black soldier that influenced Fort Riley. The board recommended starting a committee and asked the district to have a name by the beginning of construction, which can begin as early as this winter.

Wild presented to the board a plan for the opening of the new high school, which includes the following:

  1. A VIP Open House, by invitation only, and tour on the evening of Friday, Aug. 6
  2. A Community Open House and tour on Saturday, Aug. 7
  3. A potential formal ribbon-cutting scheduled for later in the fall semester.

The board approved the plan.

Executive Director of Human Services Dawn Toomey presented to the board the first readings of the USD 475 Family Handbook, Grading Policy and Procedures Handbook, and the Certified Handbook for the 2021-2022 school year. No action was taken by the board, and the handbooks will be brought forward next month for final approval.

DeArmond presented to the board options for the district’s new Microsoft Licensing Agreement, with the current agreement expiring on July 1. He also presented to the board the district’s cybersecurity investments and how the district hopes to continue investing in this and the education of the staff against phishing attacks and other potential threats. Lastly, DeArmond discussed with the board refreshing the district’s data center, which is where most server activity occurs. The plan is to refresh the systems every five years, with the current equipment being first installed in 2016. DeArmond offered various options the district can go with, and no action was taken by the board.

Finally, Dr. Eggleston asked the board to consider the implementation of a new wage schedule for a 30-year schedule to align with the KPERS retirement guidelines of 30 years of service for retirement eligibility for staff who are 55 years or older for full retirement. The implementation and placement of the classified wage staff will provide a consistent wage increase through movement each year and will enable staff to project their annual wage increase by referring to the wage schedules, as well as budget forecasting for the district and building budgets. The board decided to continue the conversation in the future, and no action was taken.

The full meeting can be viewed on the Geary County Schools USD 475 YouTube page.

For inquiries, please contact Lindley Lund, Marketing and Media Specialist for Geary County Schools USD 475, at lindleylund@usd475.org.