All posted Board of Education minutes are unofficial until approved at the succeeding regular BOE meeting.

EXCERPTS of USD #384 Regular Board of Education Meeting

A Regular Board of Education meeting for USD #384 Blue Valley was held on November 8, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room.  Members present were Mitch Innes, Reo Shultz, Stephen Corkill, Tim Innes, Jason Hartman, Ginger Blaske, and Amy Cassel. Administration present was John Cox, Superintendent, Marion Mazouch, Middle School/High School Principal, and Melody Pfaff, Board Clerk.

CALL TO ORDER:  President, Mitch Innes called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

APPROVE THE AGENDA:  The Board approved the agenda as presented. 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:  Board and guests recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

WELCOME GUESTS:  President Mitch Innes welcomed our guests.

POSITIVE BOARD COMMENTS:

1.      Great to have in person parent/teacher conferences.

2.     The lunch tables at McCormick Elementary School are much appreciated.

3.     Good to see youth basketball league returning this year.

4.     Awesome job to staff for all their hard work maneuvering through all that has been dealt to them.  Many staff members are wearing different hats to keep school in session.

5.     High school trap team placed second in a recent contest.  It is good to have a full team.

6.     Shoutout to Mr. Meals for all the hard work he has put into the organizing the Chilly Hilly Backroadz half marathon as a fundraiser for the senior class. 

RECOGNITION OF STUDENTS/STAFF:

RAM Way Students of the Month were recognized.  Students who receive this award are being recognized for the following expectations: Resilient, Accountable, Motivated, Successful

                        a.       McCormick Elementary – Brynlee Webster – She was unable to attend so will be given her plaque at the December Board of Education meeting.

                       b.         Blue Valley Middle School – Joey Helget

                     c.         Blue Valley High School – Jacie LeBlanc

The Board congratulated these students for all their hard work!  What an honor to be recognized.

Beth Luhman presented information on the FCCLA National Conference trip to Washington D.C.  The students attending did a fantastic job and placed very well.  Very much appreciate allowing the students to attend.  Lexi Vogt placed third in consumer math and Kenidy Lister placed first in Interior Design.  Congratulations for the success.

Several FFA members were in attendance to present information on the FFA National Convention trip.  It was a great experience and thanked the Board of Education for allowing them to attend and for supporting the FFA. The members in attendance were Tessa Hartman, Isabel Wright, Eve Corkill, Dakota Krause, Landon Sump, Trace Sump and Latham Withroder.  The board thanked them for taking the time to attend and present information from the trip.

Several students attended the Dairy Cattle Judging contest.  The Greenhand team placed first and the senior team placed 7th out of 20 teams. The murals are coming together very nicely and will be place throught the district.

Marion Mazouch shared a letter written by the president of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) recognizing Ruth Hutson for her hard work and dedication to science education at the national level.  Her work will have an impact on the course of science education for many years to come. What a great honor for Ruth.

SPECIAL REPORTS:

a.      Thermal Comfort Air:  Eric Jager, Contract Manager with Thermal Comfort Air, was in attendance to review the 5-year strategic planning for updating the building heating and cooling units.  The unites were install 20 years ago and is time to start replacing them.  Plasma air can be added to the units to allow fresh air to be circulated.  He also discussed installing air condition units in the Blue Valley High School gymnasiums. 

PRINCIPAL REPORTS:

a.      McCormick Elementary School: Matt Schreiber was in attendance to give an update on the happenings at McCormick Elementary School.  Reminder to parents to send masks, coats, hats, and gloves to school with students in backpacks.  The students will attend the play matinee at Blue Valley High School on November 12.  The winter program is scheduled for December 2.  Parent/Teacher Conferences were attended for 88 out of 89 students.  Site Council has met with hot topics being OPAA! and communication. 

b.     Blue Valley Middle School/High School:  Marion Mazouch gave highlights of what is happening in the buildings.  This week is buffer week for the high school.  Middle school students have started basketball season.  Middle school and high school band students will be marching in the Veterans Parade on November 11.  The high school play will be presented on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.  The middle school had 62% of parents attend parent/teacher conferences with the high school having 30%.

SUPERINTENDENT REPORT:

·       Covid Transmission rates-currently 47 students and 3 staff members are quarantined.  Total number of positive cases for students this school year is 13.  Emily Cassel, school nurse has been approved for a grant that would cover the cost of a PCR testing machine so that students can be tested daily.

·       Current posted open positions – baseball coach, softball coach, full-time art teacher, substitute bus drivers, substitute teachers, full time bus drivers and an evening custodian.

·       Live streaming camera and boom microphone have been installed in the new gym.

·       The administration team is reviewing discipline procedures and will be making changes. 

·       Handbook changes will be reviewed and updated following board of education policies.

·       The district will partner with USD 378 and streamline the Spanish curriculum.  We will use the same curriculum that is currently being used at USD 378.

·       A meeting was held with the new MATC Dean of Academic Partnerships and Outreach to discuss the Maintenance of Understanding. 

·       The DLT met and discussed discipline, Covid testing protocols, and engaging parents and community.  More information will be released on activities that are coming up.

 OPEN FORUM:

·       Travise Schmeal would like to request a conference with Superintendent John Cox.  Mitch Innes suggested he wait until after the meeting to schedule it.

·       Sandy Zoeller addressed the board about the PCR testing machines.  These machines are not hard to obtain.  Rock Creek, Wamego, and Alma Wabaunsee are all surrounding districts that already have the test to stay in place.  Contact the health department to help speed this process up.

·       Jodee Webster is concerned with the transition students have from elementary school to middle school.  There is no communication from middle school principal.  Middle school basketball practice started with no communication from the coach.  Quarantined students are not given any instruction.  The lack of leadership is affecting students.  The culture at the middle school is negative.

·       Shawna Hartman is concerned about the mental and emotional stress these quarantined students are under.  The percentage of how many are affected mentally outweighs the percentage of students who become seriously sick from covid.  Is the district following the county health department recommendations? The district should be concerned about the well-being of our students.

 CONSENT AGENDA:  The Board approves the consent agenda as follows:

a. Approved Minutes of October 11, 2021, Regular Board Meeting

b. Approved Receipts

c. Approve Resignations None

d. Approved Hirings – Beth Luhman as middle school girls’ head basketball coach and Caley Brenner as middle school girls’ assistant basketball coach.

e. Approved Rental House Contract

UNFINISTHED BUSINESS:

a.     Remote Learning Waiver:  This waiver allows the district to not be penalized for students that are quarantined and participating in remote learning.  It must be approved by the Board of Education and submitted monthly.  If this waiver was not submitted, then the district would lose state funding.  He Board approved the remote learning waiver presented. 

b.     HVAC in High School Gyms:  The Board approved to begin the process of installing plasma air units throughout the district buildings and to research installing units in the front hallway and commons area at the high school and to move forward with the bidding process for installing units in the high school gymnasiums. 

c.     Baseball/Softball: Administration presented a proposal to approve baseball/softball programs for the 2021-2011 school year.  There is student and community interest in the development of these programs. The district would fund the startup of this program using capital outlay funds in the amount of approximately $20,000.  The district will continue working with the Blue Valley Foundation Big Blue Dream Committee to facilitate long-term projects including new ball fields.  The Board approved the proposal and implementation of baseball/softball for the spring of 2022.  Motion carried 6-1.

 NEW BUSINESS:

a.     APPROVE WARRANTS/TRANSFERS:  The Board approved the warrants/transfers as presented. 

b.     PERSONNEL:  The Board held an executive session to discuss personnel with John Cox for 45 minutes.   The purpose of the executive session is to protect the privacy interests of an identifiable individual.  Meeting reconvened and it was noted that no action was taken during the executive session.

                                          i.         The Board approved compensating Lee Buchanan at a substitute teacher rate for one class that he has taught this year that includes freshmen students that are outside the MATC contract. 

c.     Review Goal #1:  The board discussed the continuation of board goal #1-developing responsive culture of learning.  This is an ongoing document that at the end of the year will be compared to last year data.  No action taken.

d.     Superintendent Evaluation:  The superintendent evaluation tool was presented to members to fill out and return to Mitch Innes prior to December 10.  A special board of education meeting will be held December 13 at 4:30 p.m. in executive session to discuss the superintendent evaluation.

e.     Scheduled Activities Attendance:  Board members have completed the fall activities calendar.

FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:

a.     Superintendent Evaluation

ADJOURNMENT:  Meeting adjourned at 10:05 p.m.