Summary of Oct. 4, 2021, Board of Education meeting

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

The meeting began with Superintendent Dr. Reginald Eggleston recognizing Eisenhower Elementary School, Seitz Elementary School, and Fort Riley Middle School’s principals and military Point of Contacts for their work in implementing a pilot of the Purple Star Schools Program, making Geary County Schools the very first school district in the state of Kansas to do so. Dr. Eggleston will continue recognizing schools throughout the rest of the year at the upcoming Board of Education meetings.

The Board members, following approval of the consent agenda, heard from members of the public regarding the district’s mask policy that currently runs through October 8, 2021. After also hearing from Geary County Health Department Director Dr. Tammy Von Busch and district staff, the Board voted to continue the mask requirement until April 4, 2022. At that time, the Board of Education will reevaluate the current COVID-19 conditions and reassess the guidelines as necessary.

Sheridan Elementary School Principal Dixie Coleman then gave an overview of Sheridan Elementary School’s alternate pilot calendar and gave an update as to the progress over the past eight weeks.

Following Coleman’s presentation, Kate Stewart, director of school improvement, intervention, and assessment, and Tom Wesoloski, interim executive director of student support services, reviewed the district’s Strategic Plan social/emotional, attendance, and discipline goals with the Board.

Chief Information Officer Karl DeArmond then presented to the board about the district’s E-Rate Project, which is a program by the FCC and the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC) that provides steep discounts to schools and libraries for network equipment. Due to the district’s free and reduced lunch numbers, it will receive an 80% rebate on any equipment that the district purchases through this fund with a cap of around $1.38 million. This would go toward upgrading the cycle on the networks at H.D. Karns, Milford Elementary School, Grandview Elementary School, and Fort Riley Middle School. Additionally, it would also go toward purchasing new network equipment for the new elementary school on Fort Riley. Additionally, the district is seeking network connectivity to the Juvenile Detention Center to provide better service. Following at least 28 days since the district posts its RFP on the USAC website, it will review the bids and choose the best-valued proposal.

Chief Operations Officer David Wild then informed the board of the site and schematic plans for the new elementary school on Fort Riley, including Public Works Fort Riley, such as the design and site development and civil engineering studies. The next steps for the district include the full design development and generation of construction documents. Construction is still planned to begin in the late second quarter of the calendar year, 2022.

Wild also informed the board of an intent to enter into an agreement with an independent electronic contracting company to receive consulting services for the design of the systems and creation of a Request for Proposal and scope of work to create a command-and-control security center at the new Junction City High School. The estimated cost to access the devices is $225,000, and the estimated cost of the security center is $575,000. The board approved this agreement.

Following general remarks from the board members, the meeting was adjourned.

Monday’s meeting can be viewed on the district’s YouTube page.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mary E. Devin Center for Education Support. This meeting will be live-streamed on the district’s YouTube page.

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