From the Olathe School District
The Olathe Board of Education met Dec. 1 to hear three in-depth presentations, one of them being an update on the status of Olathe West High School. The district’s fifth high school will open in August 2017 at 2200 W. Santa Fe Street.
Assistant Superintendent of General Administration Erin Dugan, Executive Director of General Administration/Secondary Programs Jim McMullen, and Director of Secondary Certified Personnel Steve Massey provided board members with the latest information on enrollment, staffing, athletics and activities, 21st Century Academies, and planned professional development for Olathe West.
To date, more than 40 staff members have been identified for Olathe West, including five administrators, four counselors, department chairs and various other positions. Hiring will continue between now and when the building opens in August.
This spring, professional development for Olathe West staff will begin around the topics of project-based learning and teaching in innovative spaces. Excitement builds around the launch of the two 21st Century Academies based at Olathe West: Green Tech and Public Safety.
Emotional Wellness and Mental Health
The district is taking a comprehensive approach to support the emotional wellness and mental health needs of its students, Dugan reported to the board in another presentation. She explained how the district involves students, staff, families and the community in the process. The district’s approach includes proactive activities, research-based interventions, and standards-based curriculum, delivered via district and community services.
She highlighted the built-in supports in our schools and curriculum. She also talked about the importance of teaching resiliency to students. She highlighted the levels of support available for students in need in the district.
She also shared a student mental health website that provides parents and students with additional information and resources. http://departments.olatheschools.com/studenthealth/
Students from Indian Creek Elementary School, Frontier Trail Middle School and Olathe Northwest High School were introduced to the board by their principals. Each student explained how the district has supported, engaged and challenged them during their years as an Olathe student.
Carolina from Indian Creek talked about the fun of learning. Apolonia from Frontier Trail talked about how she is involved and how she’s been supported at her school. Bessie from Olathe Northwest shared stories about the transformative experiences in her educational career, the passionate staff, outstanding learning opportunities and support she’s experienced.
- The Olathe Fire Department received thanks for its extensive support of the district as a community partner.
- Deputy Chief Michael Butaud and Captain John Roland of the Olathe Police Department were thanked for their years overseeing the SRO program.
- Karen Thompson of Ravenwood Elementary School was a finalist for the 2016-17 Kansas School Counselor of the Year awards program of the Kansas School Counselor Association.
- The district’s United Way executive committee (Amanda Faunce, Elizabeth Esco, Jennifer Curry, Erin Dugan and Nancy Cheatham) were thanked for their efforts to coordinate the campaign which resulted in $65,309.83 in donations to the United Way of Greater Kansas City.
- Andrew Wray, a senior at Olathe East High School, was named to perform in the 2017 United States Army All-American Marching Band.
- The Olathe Northwest High School volleyball team won the 6A state championship title.
- The Olathe East boys cross country team won a state title.
- Will Tindall, a senior at Olathe East, also won a state individual title in cross country.
In other business, the board:
- Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, various reports, student trips, high school biology curriculum, and elementary science curriculum.
- Approved a water main extension agreement to create a benefit area associated with the extension of 116th Terrace near Middle School 10.
- Approved construction change orders in excess of $20,000 for Olathe West.
- Approved construction change orders in excess of $20,000 for Middle School 10.
- Accepted trade bids for the addition to and renovation of Millcreek Center. The funds will come from the 2013 and 2016 bonds.
- Accepted trade bids for Middle School 10. The funds will come from the 2016 bond.
- Accepted trade bids for summer 2017 roofing projects; with funding from the 2016 bond.
- Accepted bids for HP servers, desktop computers and laptop computers; with funding from the 2016 bond.
- Accepted a bid for uninterruptable power supply units for Olathe West, with funding from the 2016 bond.
- Awarded a proposal for weight room equipment and installation at Olathe West.
- Awarded low bids for audio and visual equipment (replacements at Olathe South High School and several elementary buildings, and new at Olathe West); with funding from the 2016 bond.
- Approved a lease with Ricoh USA for laser printers to replace aged equipment throughout the district; with funding from capital outlay.
- Approved audit reports for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016.
- Approved a student trip for the Olathe South French horn choir.
- Received an introduction of and overview report from Cheryl Semmel, the district’s legislative liaison and approved the district’s 2017 legislative platform.
- Received information on future action items including student trips, textbooks, curriculum, resolution to extend board members’ terms of office to align with a new state law, painting contractor, Head Start policies, bidding schedule for asphalt pavement replacement at the athletic complexes, bid for aged skid loader, bid for copy paper, proposal to hold graduation outdoors in 2017, recommendation for a high school technology plan that would include a plan to incorporate 1 to 1 laptops at the high school level over the coming years, and temporary construction easement at Heatherstone Elementary School.
- Received written information about the recent parent-teacher conferences, the district Site Council report, Head Start director’s report, synopsis of the Early Childhood Career Opportunities program, and special education audit.
- Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters and consult with its attorney. They returned from executive session to approve a motion to resolve a matter involving a former employee.
The complete agenda and supporting documents can be found at http://www.boarddocs.com/ks/olathe/Board.nsf/Public.