JUNCTION CITY, KAN. – The Geary County Schools USD 475 Board of Education had a meeting on Monday at the Mary E. Devin Center for Education Support.
The meeting started with Superintendent Dr. Reginald Eggleston recognizing the Superintendent’s 3R Award recipients. The awards are given to students who demonstrate excellence in respect, responsibility and relationships.
Students who received the 3R awards include:
- Isabel Beard, sixth grade, Fort Riley Middle School
- Eddie Howell, seventh grade, Fort Riley Middle School
- Sara Rexrode, sophomore, Junction City High School
- Ilana Penick, sophomore, Junction City High School
- Yediel Gonzalez, freshman at JCHS
- Avery Jacobsen, senior at JCHS
- Simon Suapilimai, fourth grade, Fort Riley Elementary School
- Ayden Scales, fourth grade, Spring Valley Elementary School
The Board also recognized Mahkayla Cole, who was selected for the 2022 High School Honors Performance Series in February at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Cole performed the Vocal Alto 2 with the High School Honors Concert Choir, putting her as one of the highest rated high school performers in the world.
The board also recognized ABM for two achievements. ABM plumbers recently worked at a Saturday to trench out, remove and replace a section of exterior sewer line at Lincoln Elementary School and for doing preparation work for the firm installing the new playground at Eisenhower Elementary School.
The Board then unanimously approved the Consent Agenda, which included:
- The hiring of two summer interns for the Information Technologies Department for the summer, at a cost of $12,000 from the Supplemental General Funds budget.
- The Frontline Education Renewal for July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023 in the amount of $20,745.47. Frontline Renewal is an applicant tracking, absence and substitute management program.
- Adding an additional Occupational Therapist to the District, as well as the approval of a new position for an English Language Learned Teacher for Early Childhood.
Next on the agenda was comments from the public. Several people spoke and asked the Board of Education to remove the mask mandate.
The first Action Item on the agenda was a COVID update from Dr. Eggleston. He recommended making masks optional for schools in Junction City, Grandview Plaza and Milford. He recommended that schools on Fort Riley remain masked at the direction of the Department of the Army.
The Board unanimously approved the recommendation. The decision is effective immediately.
Other Action Items approved by the Board include:
- The purchase of the new McGraw Hill StudySync Program in the amount of $427,284.54, which is a secondary ELA 7th-12th grade curriculum. The money will come out of the District’s ESSER funds.
- The adoption of the K-8 Math Curriculum and purchase the iReady Classroom Mathematics Program materials in the amount of $1,295,467.60.
- The 2022-2023 School Calendar. Dr. Eggleston and Tim Winter, Executive Director of Personnel Services, gave the board details of the calendar. Of the 565 responses from the 645-bargaining unit members of the Junction City Education Association, Calendar C received 60.53 percent of the votes with 342 responses. The first day of school is August 16, Winter Break is Dec. 22, 2022 to Jan. 6, 2023, Spring Break is March 13-17, 2023, and the last day of school is May 25, 2023. A copy of the calendar can be found on USD 475’s website.
- Adding a new position for an alternative program manager and approved the hiring of Jeff Tanner, a former JCHS principal. The position was added because additional resources are needed to create protocols, standard operating procedures, assist with hiring new and additional staff and assist with developing and training staff for an alternative program.
- Approved a recommendation that teachers who work summer school be paid $25 per hour, compared to the normal rate of $18.50 per hour. ESSER funds will be used for this expense.
- The purchase of 70 SMART panels at FRMS for $288,850 from KCAV.
- The Jefferson Elementary Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) Package #3, with the understanding that there will be a GMP Package #4 at a later date due to the rising costs of construction materials. GMP #3 is presented with a price of $20,702,583. This package includes demolition of the existing facility, plus shell and finishes for the new school. The total cost of all three GMP packages is $28,319,000.
- The old JCHS site demolition GMP in the amount of $2,692,700, which includes a $250,000 allowance for unforeseen site conditions. The district was holding $2 million in reserves for this project; the additional $692,700 is from the Heavily Impacted Aid contingency funds.
For Discussion Items, the Board heard from Chief Operations Officer David Wild regarding the possibility of building a new Early Childhood Center.
Wild said a new facility could house around 40 classrooms. Site possibilities for the proposed new facility include Fegan Field, the site of Franklin Elementary School, property south of JCMS and a site currently owned by the City of Junction City. Wild said those locations are improbable for various reasons.
Wild said USD 475 is looking for 12+ acres for the facility, which would include space for parking, pick-ups and drop-offs. Creation of a District 6-year Master Plan is dependent upon a Board decision regarding this development. No motion was made.
The board then went into three executive sessions to discuss non-elected personnel and one executive session to discuss negotiations. After the executive sessions, the meeting was adjourned.
The full meeting can be viewed on the Geary County Schools USD 475 YouTube page.
The next special Board of Education meeting will take place at 7:30 a.m. on April 6 via Zoom to pay bills. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m. on April 11 at the Devin Center. Both meetings will be live streamed on the District’s YouTube page.
The Board will also have a retreat from 1 to 5 p.m. on April 15 at the Devin Center to discuss district goals and priorities. That meeting will also be live streamed on YouTube. All meetings are open to the public.