It was a night for decisions by the Wamego USD 320 Board Monday. Superintendent Denise O’Dea introduced a request from Business Teacher Karen Hynek for Extended Contract Days and compensation for attending the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) National Conference this summer. According to O’Dea, Wamego High School has competed in the National Conference in the last 9 years , and there are students that qualify for this year’s conference. This will be the first year Hynek will be compensated with the board’s approval of 8 day’s pay at over $170 per day. Hynek said she made a request before, but it was never approved. Board member Mike Malin said he couldn’t remember any prior request coming before the board, but thinks it’s the right thing to do, and there was unanimous agreement.
In other business, the board approved the purchase of a new 2014, 65 passenger school bus from Kansas Truck Equipment Company at a cost of over $83,000. The board and Director of Transportation Larry Hannan adopted a plan earlier this year to rotate the buses on a regular basis to keep up with the anticipated growth in student population.
In addition, the board unanimously approved the 2013 Senior Class trip to Kansas City on April 18th. The Class Officers presented a complete itinerary of the trip and said 114 of the 123 seniors are planning on going.
Some of the proposals at Monday’s USD 320 Board meeting didn’t fare so well. The Board has heard several requests recently from students wants to skip grades. Most of the requests have come from The Wamego Middle School , and according to Principal Vici Jennings, there was no written policy in place. Jennings and other school officials presented a draft of minimum requirements for early promotion out of 8th grade. After a lot of discussion, the board wants the proposal ‘polished up a bit more and brought back for review’.
At the October Board meeting, the board requested a formal proposal from the elementary school principals to reinstate the Summer School and Extended School Day Programs. The Board indicated it was interested in a program that targets students that need the most assistance in closing the achievement gap. Central Principal Teri Dow and West Principal Amy Flinn came back with a recommendation to reinstate the Summer School program for the Tier III (3)(most needy) students only, with the estimated cost of the program. However, both Principals did not recommend the Extended School Day, and submitted a list of reasons why. The Board asked for a more definitive cost estimate for the Summer School program since transportation will be provided, and the last Summer School program was in 2008. According to Superintendent Denise O’Dea, there are approximately 11 percent or 83 elementary students fall into the Tier III (3) catagory