Wamego USD 320, a progressive and committed school district, in a cooperative effort with families and community, will educate students to be responsible, problem-solving citizens who produce quality work in their individual pursuit of excellence by offering relevant, academically challenging and diverse learning experiences.
Board of Education Meeting Agenda
Wamego Public Schools
Merlyn Pence, President December 1, 2008 Richard Weixelman, vice-president
Mike Morton 7:00 p.m., West Elementary School Richie Chrest
Barb Downey Janet Armstead
I.Pledge of Allegiance
II.Approval of Agenda
Items for the Good of USD 320
See “Items for the Good” notes
Michelle Koch would like to report to the BOE on the Best Buy Technology Incentive Program
Approval of payment of November bills
B. Approval of November Treasurer’s Report
C. Approval of minutes of November 10, 2008 Board of Education meetings
Approve journal entries for November, 2008
Approve policy GAN on second reading (Enclosure)
Approve the hiring of Megan Wagoner and Cindy Cassity, para-educators;
Accept donation of equipment to Special Services Cooperative from Mrs. Anna Lane family valued at $3,670 (Enclosure)
Approve terms of the agreement for land usage for Loraine Hirsch
Use of 8’ strip of land between her property and USD 320 property to expire when house is sold, agreement does not transfer to new owner (along drive leading south from parking lot)
Allowed to plant, mow and generally maintain the parcel of land
Discussion of Items Pulled from Consent Agenda
Introduction of Foreign Exchange Students
Claudia Leeds will present the foreign exchange students attending Wamego High School to the BOE.
Visit West Elementary Classroom for Tech Presentation
Mrs. Flinn and Mrs. McCune will demonstrate how teachers at West are using the new televisions and Interwrite Tablets as an instructional tool in their classrooms.
Contract with KBS
I have reviewed the contract with KBS and changes have been made to the document. The BOE will need to approve the contract so KBS can move forward with planning for the Central Elementary project.
Discussion and action item
Blue Cross/ Blue Shield Refund
Mr. Pence and Mr. Morton met with the WTA leadership to discuss the Blue Cross and Blue Shield refund. They will share with the BOE the results of this discussion. Also, the BOE will need to approve the manner of the distribution of these funds.
Information and action item
Report on Meeting with Central Elementary Site Council
Mr. Morton and Mr. Chrest met with the Central Site Council on Monday, November 17. They will share with the BOE their view on the meeting.
Information and discussion item
Report on Special Services Facility Option at St. George
Mr. Bilderback has spent considerable time looking at the feasibility of using the St. George grade school as an option to the space issues for the cooperative. He will present his work along with the recommendation of the cooperative superintendent’s council. (Enclosure)
Information and discussion item
Mr. Pence will cover the process for conducting the Superintendent’s evaluation. (Enclosure)
Policies GBRK and GCRK
This being an election year, KASB forwarded a review of pertinent policies regarding the teaching of politics in our schools. Upon review, we found that we did not have these two policies in our manual. These are presented for BOE discussion and possible adoption. (Enclosure)
Discussion and action item
Tornado Refuge Report
As per state directive, the study of our facilities in regards to guidelines established by FEMA for safety during inclement weather has been completed. I will review the findings and recommendation with the BOE. (Enclosure)
Items for the Good of USD 320 Central Elementary School:
Central Elementary was recently approved to take part in the Harvesters BackSnack program sponsored locally by St. Luke's Episcopal Church. This program provides 40 backpacks filled with nonperishable nutritionally sound food items for needy children to take home each weekend. Robin Butler will coordinate this program with Mrs. Winkler the church coordinator. A special thanks to Kally McConkey for getting us involved in this program.
Students at Central celebrated National Young Readers week with many different kinds of activities. Our first and second grade classes were paired for book buddies. Each second grade class ate lunch in the library with Mrs. Doperalski one day. Special book prizes and giveaways were also part of the celebration.
Mrs. Brase and Mrs. Ficke's preschool students along with Mrs. Rice's fourth grade students are teaming up to support city park. Students are writing letters in support of a grant that would help with refurbishing the train and tracks at City Park.
Alltel has donated 5 "dummy" phones to our preschool. Students practice social and language skills with these phones.
Three WHS students recently visited with Mrs. Stroh about teaching careers.
Kindergarten students will perform their annual Thanksgiving program for parents on Friday, November 21. Students sing Thanksgiving songs and perform finger plays depicting the first Thanksgiving.
PTO Family Science Night will be on Thursday, November 20. This is a special evening where families can do science experiments together. There will be 17 different kinds of experiments to do. Amy Sramek is the chair for this event and many of our parents and teachers provided supplies for this event.
Central Site Council would like to thank Mike Morton and Richie Chrest for the great discussion and sharing ideas at our meeting on Monday, November 17.
West Elementary School:
The Scholastic Book Fair at West Elementary set another record in sales this year. Over $5000 was received in total sales, $700 in book profit for teachers, and $1100 deposited in the West Elementary Library fund to be used for additional books and incentive rewards. A special thank you to all the volunteers who helped during conferences including Patty Simmons, who helped set up the fair and supervised it daily throughout the week, and Michelle Dietrich, who came in early every morning to help with the sales.
Thank you to all of the volunteers that helped with the “Club’s Choice Fundraiser Pick-up Night”: Kelley Brummett, Janet Vance, Anthony Klecan, Brianna Klecan, Cory Vance, Dawn Vontz, Alex Vontz, Debbie Hoffman, and Brianna Hoffman. We appreciate your help, as well as your children’s help! We raised over $10,000 with our fundraiser this year. A significant portion of this money was used to complete the classroom technology project started last spring. This includes a 50” Plasma TV in each classroom that is connected to the teacher’s computer workstation, as well as 17 Interwrite Pads for teachers to use in conjunction with the TV’s and computers.
The top selling class for our Club’s Choice fundraiser was Mrs. McCune’s with $3,119 in merchandise and the highest participation was in Mrs. Williams’ class with 82%. The top five sellers were Cory Vance with $1,003.50; Noah Bailey with $929.50; Brandon Wilson with $456; Rachelle Wylie with $441; and Tiffany Wood with $440.50. Each of these children received a gift card to Target. Mrs. McCune’s class and Mrs. Williams’ class received a popcorn party and an extra recess. Mrs. Hirt’s class was the winner of the Great Pig Race and was treated to a pizza party.
West Elementary hosted a Wamego Robotics meet on Saturday, November 15 for the fifth grade Robotics Club, Enhanced Learning students in Robotics, as well as Robotics Teams from across the state. Students competed in several "robotics races" such as the Maze, Capture the Flag, SumoBot, and TotterBot. Students built their robots from the Lego Mindstorms Robotics Inventions kit and programmed their robots with the computer to compete in specific races. Thank you to teachers and Fifth Grade Robotics Club Sponsors, Teri Dow and Angie McCune, for organizing this special learning event for our students.
“Did we get any letters today?” This is a common question asked each day by West third graders regarding our “Flat Stanley” project. Third grade students have learned about communities in the countries of China, England, Hungary, Greece, and Iraq. Students have also learned about many communities in the United States including Alaska. Flat Stanley even visited Puerto Rico. Some of the topics the students have enjoyed the most have been about population, sports, foods, museums, and local attractions. Third graders are “building background knowledge” and “making connections” to enhance their learning of social studies content. All students are looking forward to the “Flat Stanley Returns” party tentatively planned for January 16.
Ron Phillips, brother of fourth grade teacher, Donna Goehring, donated 42 pumpkins to the fourth grade classes at West Elementary from his farm south of Abilene. The pumpkins were used to practice and reinforce important math skills and concepts. Working in small groups, students used estimation skills to predict the number of seeds in each pumpkin, the circumference of each pumpkin, and each pumpkin’s weight. After making their predictions using their estimation skills, students found the exact amounts for each of these areas. The students worked together to find the median, mean, and range of the number of seeds in each pumpkin, the circumference of the pumpkin in their group, and the weight of their pumpkin. The math skills practiced are part of the fourth grade math curriculum and part of the assessed Kansas Standards for math at the fourth grade level. Thank you to Mr. Phillips for his generous donation and to Mrs. Goehring for delivering the pumpkins to our school!
Lori Rice’s fourth grade class worked collaboratively with our two morning preschool classes on a project to acquire grant funding for the new children’s train being built by Eric Artzer and Cliff Baughman of Wamego. This project will also include a new track and a depot/shelter house (with new year-round bathrooms). The preschool students colored pictures of a train and then told the fourth graders what they liked about trains and why they would like a new train in the City Park. The fourth graders then took this information and wrote letters of support for the grant including “quotes” from our preschool students. A huge thank you goes out to Ms. Rice and preschool teachers Jenny Brase and Carrie Ficke for organizing this project. Thank you also to Jenny Stewart (Friends of the Park) for bringing this opportunity to our students.
To reinforce the importance of reading ‘fluently’, the fifth grade team hosted a “Fluency Day” for their students on November 25. When we speak of a student’s “reading fluency”, we are actually referring to several components—the student’s ability to read words accurately, rapidly, and automatically, as well as the student’s ability to read expressively, with appropriate phrasing, and with intonation. Students rotated through several stations to practice and promote their reading fluency skills including read alouds, nursery rhymes sung to music, “phrasing” practice, rebus stories and poems in the computer lab, choral reading, and participating in a Reader’s Theater!
The West Site Council participated in a demonstration of the Kansas Computerized Assessment system at our December meeting. Thank you to third grade teacher Kandy Williams for facilitating this session for the Site Council.
First Semester Extended School Day ended on Thursday, December 4. Students in Grades 3-5 ESD have received 27 hours of additional instruction this fall. The students have worked hard and should be commended for their efforts! Thank you to ESD supervising teachers Angie McCune, Cheryl Stallard, and Cathy Woodyard.
Mrs. Flinn, Mrs. McCune, Mrs. Stallard, and Mrs. Woodyard from West and Mrs. Long and Mrs. DeHart from Central, will travel to Kansas State University in December to present to the “Teaching as a Career” classes. We use this opportunity to recruit potential Extended School Day para-educators from a large pool of KSU pre-service teachers. Almost all paras that have worked for ESD have come directly from KSU. Approximately 80 pre-service teachers have been hired as ESD paras that were part of the K-State classes we have presented to. This has been an excellent arrangement for our school district, as well as for these pre-service teachers. Many of the ESD paras we have employed have become Emergency Substitutes in our district, as well. They have been provided useful training opportunities, as well as mentoring from some of the best teachers in our district, in addition to the opportunity to work with students before they become classroom teachers. We have been highly impressed with the level of professionalism, dedication, and responsibility these young people have demonstrated while working for USD 320 in ESD.
The students and staff of West Elementary have joined in the “Spirit of the Season” by collecting for the Wamego Christmas Bureau again this year. Each grade level has been assigned specific items to collect for donation. Third grade is collecting new children’s books, fourth grade is collecting paper products, and fifth grade is collecting personal hygiene items. The whole school is also doing a non-perishable food drive.
The Early Riser’s Choir had a number of opportunities to perform during the holiday season. On Thursday, December 11, the Early Riser’s "toured" the area, and performed at two different venues. Their first stop was at the Westy Care Home in Westmoreland and their second stop was at the Manhattan Town Center. On Tuesday, December 23, they will perform at our annual “West Elementary Christmas Extravaganza” in the West gym.
Our annual Winter Extravaganza will be held Friday, December 21 beginning at 9:00am in the West gym. There will be singing, sharing, talent, and celebrating for all!
We will recognize students that reached the “Exceeds Standard” and “Exemplary” levels on the Kansas Assessments last spring in an all school assembly on Tuesday, January 6 at 2:30pm. Students that reached Exemplary will also be recognized at the WHS basketball game on January 6 between the varsity games.
Wamego Middle School:
The annual magazine sale kicked off October 4 and concluded October 20. The goal was set at $10,000 total sales, and at last count, sales totaled $9000. The top two sellers were Dakota Bartell (8) and Eion Blanchard (7), who will be receiving a bowling party. The next group of sellers earned lunch at the mall with Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Jennings on November 21: True Mussetter (6), Ethan Artzer (6), Kyle Wilson (8), Wyatt Totten (7), Kaylin Daniels (6), Jason Haman (7), Anthony Klecan (6), and Ruthie Martin (7). Thanks to all our students for their hard work! Thanks to all our parents and patrons for their support!
The winter sports seasons kicked off late in October. Thirteen eighth grade and 15 seventh grade girls (helped by four managers) are out for basketball. They are coached by Monica Kabriel, Jill Tanner, Rachel Fath, and Julie Baer. The 25 boys on the wrestling team are coached by Jared Daniels and Miles Bidwell.
Election 2008 was a smashing success! Eighth grade students, who had registered the population of WMS and created a polling center in the library, manned the polls and counted the votes. WMS residents, by 64%, wanted to see Mr. McCain as our President. Math students conducted an exit poll and graphed the demographic data collected from voters. The students finished the project with a debriefing session the next day, evaluating their project and performance. It is an experience our students will not ever forget! Thanks to Mr. Topliff for his guidance and providing this outstanding school-wide experience.
November 4, Mrs. Jennings and Dr. Thomas Vontz (assistant professor of education at KSU) toured the building and answered questions for his two teacher guests from Kazakhstan who are part of the Civics Mosaic Project funded by USDE. Tokpakova Gauhar and Mussabekova Gulzhan were amazed by the technology available to our students, as well as the manageable class sizes. They asked many questions about how we intervene with students who are challenged by learning issues or behaviors. They were also very interested in our system of state assessment. We did visit the sixth grade social studies class, where Maddie Vontz had the honor of welcoming her guests in both the Kazak and Russian languages.
FCCLA traveled to B&B High School on November 5 for the District D Fall Leadership Academy. They joined nearly 400 other FCCLA members, advisors, and guests to “Rock It Out with FCCLA.” Students participated in a service project, were inspired by motivational speaker Matt Glowacki, and heard from their district officers. WMS FCCLA was awarded an Active Chapter Award for last year. Students who attended included Kayla Ayres, Becky Biswell, Tessa Buxton, Katherine Flanagan, Roxy Hopkins, Noah McManus, Amanda Metzler, Bryce Rincon, Emily Stratton, Shannon Sweet, Amber White, Stacey White, and Madison Wiegers. FCCLA advisor is Mrs. Jill Selland.
This is the year for amazing assemblies. On November 7, the WMS student body listened intently while Mr. Julian Siebert (father of para educator Teresa Wells) told his story about the year he spent as a prisoner of war in Germany during WWII. He spoke honestly about his experience, and the students were amazed by his story. He also brought along a few mementos to share, including two pictures, one his official portrait in his dress uniform, and a second taken when he was captured. The honor choir students (Laura Furney, Michaela Sievers, Lakyn Rowden, Eion Blanchard, Andrew Schermoen, Carrie Kiker, and Brian McCarty) opened the assembly with a beautiful a capella version of our National Anthem. Mrs. Partridge shared the history of Veteran’s Day. Thank you to the social studies team for putting together another outstanding assembly for WMS!
Students from the three school districts served by the USD 320 Special Services Cooperative attended an "International Summit" November 10 at WHS as part of an enhanced learning activity that they have been participating in since the beginning of the second quarter. Each of the students “govern” a country in which they must meet the resource needs of their country each week. Each country started the game with a set number of resources and population, some resource rich, others began resource poor.
The students are able to access a map and other essential elements of the game, which was created by Marc Stratton and Jennifer Nider, enhanced learning facilitators for the cooperative, by logging into an online site created for the game. Students can view the latest version of the map, which shows each country's location, resources and population. Students then can devise strategies for trade. They also use a "talk line" to communicate with each other on a number of issues that include the formation of alliances and wars. Each continent on the map represents a group of students that meet together each week. The "International Summit" was the first opportunity for all of the students participating in the activity to meet as a whole group. At the summit meeting, students had the opportunity to submit, discuss, and vote on proposals, much the same way the United Nations does when it meets. Students voted on 20 proposals, 11 of which passed. A few examples of proposals that passed included the resolving the ownership of resources located in international waters, allowing each country the right to address the summit body, and the value of each country's vote when voting at the summit. The ultimate purpose of the game is to allow for learning through discovery and cooperation, and to encourage students to take on leadership roles in defining the world in which they live. The unit is planned to continue for the remainder of the year, with additional phases and summit meetings to be introduced as their “world” evolves.
KAYs kicked off the Make A “Mac” Difference Week with an all-school assembly on November 13. KAY board members performed a skit, which outlined the collection and a surprise for the winning homebase. Deb Kiker, clinic administrator for Community Health Ministries, spoke to the students about how their efforts help CHM each year, sharing that last year the mac and cheese was came in handy when they had to open shelters during the ice storm. From November 17-25, students and staff were invited to bring boxes of macaroni and cheese to support the CHM. The goal for this drive is to get 500 boxes of mac and cheese. As of November 21 the students and staff had collected 407 boxes, with two collection days to go!
The eighth grade team treated the student body to an All-Sports Assembly on November 20. The “WSPN Sports Show,” anchored by Mr. Johnson and Mr. Petermann, took us through great stories on girls’ basketball and wrestling. Thanks eighth grade team.
A team of eight teachers attended the Kansas Association for Middle Level Education symposium at Washburn Rural Middle School on November 14: Matt Allen, Curtis Chandler, Michelle Fassler, Marcia Gier, Jerry Johnson, Sue Partridge, Janet Stramel and Breanna Van Dyke. Mrs. Jennings is a member of the KAMLE state board. The teachers had nearly 100 breakout sessions to choose from in all subject areas and disciplines, including Professional Learning Communities, teaming, and instructional coaching. The symposium was closed by Bruce Hurford, Chapman Middle School principal and athletic director, who spoke on the challenge presented to their school system by the June 11 tornado and their recovery and successes so far this school year.
Wamego High School:
Amelia Fosen placed 3rd at District FFA Leadership School on November 12th in the FFA information Test Division. This was a 100 question test over FFA current and past issues. Our Chapter FFA officers competed in the FFA Ritual contest that same day and were only 20 points away from taking first place.
Kansas Association for Youth Board Members Andrea McMillan, Jessica Fritz, and Morgan Dillon attending the KAY Area 3 Regional Conference in Onaga on Nov. 10th. McMillan and sponsor, Jina Kugler, were asked to present one of the officer network sessions about programs and recreation. KAY is an organization to provide students an opportunity to learn to assume their citizenship responsibilities and to emphasize service to school, community, nation and world.
The district counselors attended the 59th Annual Fall Conference for Counselors "Empowering our Kids" on Nov. 6th at Emporia State University. Keynote speaker was Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees and Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads. Breakout sessions included information about support groups, aggression in gifted females, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Counselors, Art Therapy, Drug and Alcohol Assessment, and Bullying Prevention/Character Education Initiatives.
The 6th block Culinary Arts I class ran the Raider Restaurant last week. They took in revenue of $631.60. They sold fettuccine, tacos, taco burgers, brownies, and lemonade to the student body.
The WHS FBLA organization recently celebrated American Free Enterprise Day by delivering one dozen Otis Spunkmeyer cookies to various businesses in the city of Wamego. The FBLA members delivered to businesses within walking distance of the high school that had not received cookies in the past. The business owners seemed very pleased to be remembered on this special day!
Mrs. Hynek and the FBLA members are in the process of finalizing competition sign-up. Currently there are 85 members who have signed up to compete in at least three different competitions each! It looks like it is going to be a busy competition season for FBLA!
Cast and Crew of /Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket: Thank you so much for all of your hard work. You are all so talented and giving. The show was amazing! Also, thank you for Daniel and Rocket. They are the most memorable gift, ever. -Mrs. Topliff
The Wamego High School theater department will be donating nearly $400 to the Chapman High School theater department, thanks to our students who donated their time and talents in a silent auction. Thanks to everyone who donated, as well as to our outstanding students for putting together packages to auction.
On Monday, Nov. 10 and then again on Tuesday, Nov. 18 the Scholars Bowl team of Wamego High School hosted 2 Scholars Bowl Tournaments. 20 Kansas high school teams took part in over 2 hours of competition each date. Requiring days of preparation and hours of work the Scholars Bowl competitions needed the volunteer work of over 40 Wamego High School students each date and an equal number of faculty members. Participating schools overwhelmingly commented on the "super" effort of the students and faculty and consistently point out that the Wamego Scholars Bowl tournaments are the best of the Scholars Bowl season.
Maggie Clark, John Hazelwood, Tyler Douglass, Joe Yockey, Jennie Parker, and Stephan Palangi , students in Mr. Cook's Advanced Placement European History Class, toured the Nelson-Atkins Art Gallery in Kansas City on Wednesday, November 19. The Nelson-Atkins Art Gallery, besides being one of the great cultural centers in the Midwest, is presently hosting a special showing entitled "Art in the Age of Steam." This limited showing is only stopping in 2 locations worldwide, Kansas City and Liverpool, England. Depicting art from the rise of the locomotive in the early 1800s to present day the students were able to view original art from the Romantic, Impressionist, Post-impressionist, Expressionist, and Surreal eras. After their docent led tour of the "Art in the Age of Steam" the students then toured the art gallery individually to appreciate the additional offerings of the Nelson-Atkins Gallery. Viewing original masters provided the students with a unique opportunity to appreciate, critique, analyze, and evaluate the eras and artists. Every artist and era should provide an exceptional background for the students as they study European History and prepare for the Advanced Placement test in May of 2009.