Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education 10.10.2022

The Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education (BOE) met at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10, at Axtell Public School. Board members present were Anissa Bloom, Jim Scoby, Leslie Scoby, Kent Saylor, Phillip Buessing and Stan Keim. Not present was Kathy Lippert.

The board adopted the agenda as amended.

Laney Porting, a member of the Axtell Student Council, spoke to the board members about how the year has gone so far, as well as the Student Council’s plans for the rest of the 2022-23 school year.

The board received written reports from building administrators Nathan Bauman, Rusty Willis, Matt Garber, Rick Schnacker and Gay Frazee, as well as Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Gatz.

Gatz let the board know that Prairie Hills USD No. 113 was recognized through the Kansans Can Star Recognition Program in five areas: Social-Emotional Growth – Bronze, Individual Plan of Study – Bronze, Academically Prepared for Graduation – Copper, Graduation – Gold and Postsecondary Effectiveness – Silver. USD 113 also received the Commissioner’s Award.

The board approved the consent agenda as amended, including the following: minutes from the Sept. 12 meeting; October bills for the amount of $323,806.69; September payroll for the amount of $778,282.91; approve payment to AHRS for the construction project: Capital Outlay for $30,107.55 and Lease Purchase for $592,736.85; approve payment to Civium Architects for $4,663.16 from the Contingency Fund; approve a $5,000 book grant from the Northeast Kansas Library System; Grains for Hope bus rental request; approve Remote Learners; approve Farm Lease Agreement; approve donations of welders from Schenck; approve donation of a white board from the Axtell Booster Club; approve work with the Background Investigation Bureau as part of the USD 113 employment process; correction: last month’s agenda item: “Accept donations for student meals of $600 each to SES, SMS and SHS [$1,800 total] from Ron and Kim Rettele on behalf of the Kids Kloset” – should have read: “$1,800 donation through the Kids Kloset [$1,500 from the Dave Bruns Memorial and $300 from the Sabetha BBQ Club];” accept Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association donation of $100 to SHS and $100 to SMS for the Pork in the Schools Program; resignations of Trent Cox as Sabetha Middle School (SMS) wrestling coach, Leighanne Farwell as Sabetha Elementary School (SES) librarian and secretary, and Kelli Hartter as SES Instructional Support Staff (ISS); and contracts with Thomas Krueger as Wetmore bus driver, Kimberly Schaffer as SMS assistant girls’ basketball coach, Gay Frazee as Axtell Principal for the remainder of the 2022-23 school year, Garrett Michael as Sabetha High School (SHS) Field Care, Kylah Foote as Wetmore High School (WHS) girls’ basketball co-head coach, Kristina Rice as WHS girls’ basketball co-head coach, Kara Georg as a member of the Student Improvement Team and increase Kelsi Strahm from 1/2 time to full-time SES ISS.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Evans reported on year-to-date expenses and other topics as follows:

Expense Comparison: The expense comparison from July 2022 through October 2022, compared with the same time frame last year, showed the district has spent $20,927 more in the general, supplemental general, 4-year-old at-risk, K-12 at-risk, food services, professional development and vocational funds. During the same time frame, the district has spent $1,149,573 more from the capital outlay fund, and $36,118 more from the special education fund.

Audit: Evans let the board know that the USD 113 Food Service Department is undergoing an administrative review by the Child Nutrition and Wellness Department of the Kansas State Department of Education. Evans said the review is going positively so far. He also let the board know that Ken Kickhaefer, the district’s accountant, could not be present at the meeting to relay USD 113’s audit results from Kickhaefer & Buessing due to a delay within the organization that audits Kickhaefer & Buessing’s procedures.

KDOL Visit: Evans told the board that an inspector from the Kansas Department of Labor visited the USD 113 school facilities on Oct. 4 for an audit. Evans is awaiting the results from that audit.

School Transportation Day: Evans let the board members know that Wednesday, Oct. 19, is Kansas School Transportation Appreciation Day, a day to thank bus drivers for their service.

Lunches: Evans told the board that 256 kids received free lunches last year in the district. He estimated for the USD 113 budget that 265 kids would qualify for free lunches this year, but now Evans estimates that 309 kids will qualify for free lunches.

SHS Track: Evans let the board know that the SHS track has some deep cracks in it due to dry weather and is not safe to run on. He is waiting on bids to repair the track.

Remodel/Construction Update

Due to the absence of AHRS Project Manager Alan Schmitz, Evans updated the board members on the USD 113 Remodel/Construction Project. He said SES was supposed to receive its rooftop HVAC units Monday, Oct. 10, but they have not been delivered yet. The boiler also has been removed as part of the project, which means that SES currently does not have any heat in the building. The HVAC ship date is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Evans also said the new window blocks and siding for SES are delayed and installation is planned to take place somewhere between Halloween and Christmas.

Enrollment Information

Superintendent Evans shared information from the Principal Building Report about the district’s enrollment based on headcount and unweighted FTE (full-time equivalency). Based on the report, the total headcount for Axtell is 153, Sabetha is 792 and Wetmore is 124.

J. Scoby and Saylor presented their own enrollment information to the board members. There is an overall decrease of enrollment for USD 113 based on headcount, which was the main topic of J. Scoby’s information he shared with the board members. 

Skyward

Board Clerk Deb Damman spoke to the board about her experience using the district’s new accounting program Skyward for the first payroll of the school year. She said the program is working well so far overall and she has many future plans for Skyward.

Special Board Meeting

After a short discussion, the board members approved the motion, with all in favor, to hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in the SMS commons area to accept the fiscal year 22 audit and viability report, and to discuss campus viability.

Also at the meeting:

Board members went into a 10-minute executive session for the purpose of discussing actions that adversely or favorably affect student(s). Present for the executive session were the board members, Evans and SHS principal Bauman. No action was taken following the executive session.

The board members went into another executive session for 10 minutes for personnel matters. Present for the executive session were the board members and Evans. No action was taken following the executive session.

To view the Superintendent’s summary of the BOE meeting, visit https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c36X2KVtz2s.

To view the full meeting on YouTube, visit https://youtu.be/jSNbjun5vx8.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14.

Erin Herrmann72 Posts

Erin Herrmann is one of two co-editors at The Sabetha Herald. She specializes in school board reporting, features and advertising design. Erin lives in Sabetha.

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