Wamego school district plans for new school year

Wamego’s putting plans in place for the new school year. Monday’s Board of Education meeting began with the introduction by Board President Richie Chrest, of the new Director of Special Services, Rebecca Helbert. New Board Officers were elected at this meeting, with Philip Wethington taking over as President and Amy Schwein as Vice President for the 2012-13 school year.

In other business, the board failed to approve the adoption of a 11-hundred-16-hour school term as proposed. State law provides the board may adopt the hourly term or 186, six-hour day term. Board member Richard Weixelman voiced his opposition to the hourly plan, and when the motion was made, both Mark Bettencourt and Wethington also opposed. Board member Mike Malin was not present, so the issue will come up at the next meeting.

The board heard from several teachers requesting approval for student travel. Music Director Josh Wilden will be taking the choir to Washington DC, and Spanish teacher Lotus Hazlett will be taking the Spanish Club to the Dominican Republic in June of 2013. The only expenditure to the district will be providing round-trip bus transportation to the Kansas City Airport for the Spanish Club. The board approved the request.

Wamego’s Board of Education approved some much needed additions to the district. At Monday’s meeting, the board unanimously approved the purchase of a new bus after being awarded a 36-thousand dollar grant through KDHE. Because of contract deadlines, the required steps need to be completed prior to September 1st in order for the money to be awarded. This grant will pay for almost half of the purchase cost of the new bus.

In addition, the board approved spending 69-thousand dollars to purchase new laptops for teachers at West Elementery, the Middle School and Central Elementery. And, approval was given for the new iPad guidelines addition to the Wamego High School (WHS) Handbook, adding a technology fee of 40-dollars per iPad for the 2013-14 school-year. WHS purchased a large quantity of iPads and Laptops for student-use as part of a Community Service Tax Credit grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce late last year.

Also, because of the growing student population with special needs, the board approved spending over 32-thousand dollars to remodel an existing classroom in the Wamego Middle School to provide a ‘time out space’ as required by law. According to Building Supervisor Jon Stoddard, this will be a turn-key project, with a major cost saving since an identical timeout room was just installed at Central Elementary.