Student recognition

Board of Education members and administrators give fist-bumps to students and staff recognized at Monday evening’s meeting. The meeting was held in the high school commons area, and recognitions included the television streaming crew of teacher Caleb Wood, state debate qualifiers, the elementary fifth grade leadership team and elementary school staff nominated for awards. Students of Karen Vance’s second grade made the signs on the front of the board tables.

GREG LOWER

Chanute Board of Education members heard disappointing news Monday evening from a report on student readiness for college.

Assistant Superintendent Tracy Russell gave the USD 413 report on teaching and learning provided by FastBridge.

The report said 84.7 percent of students are not where they should be to be ready to take the ACT test this spring, based on math predictors from fall and winter. It said 85.7 percent of high school students were not on track, 91.6 percent of middle school students and 61.9 percent of elementary students are not on track.

It also showed that 23.3 percent of elementary students and 45.8 percent of middle school students are at the lowest level for the Kansas Assessment Program taken in the spring.

Based on reading predictors, 67.3 percent of high school students, 65.7 percent of middle school students and 48.7 percent of elementary students are not on track to be ready for the ACT. It showed 30.4 percent of elementary students and 35.8 percent of middle school students at Level 1 for Kansas Assessments.

Although board members were critical of the results, they said the figures were only a snapshot of the larger situation. They discussed how early instruction for preschool children may improve the results.

Board members also reviewed a bid presentation for renovations to the planned new district office, but decided to take no action.

The school district is renovating the former Elks Lodge at 321 E. Main into an Education Support Center. The board met with representatives of DCS Services to discuss possible changes to the roof, but decided to go with the original specifications.

The proposal was to install a standing seam metal roof and relocate heating, air conditioning and mechanical equipment from the roof to the ground. 

The proposal would have added $186,500 to the $1.55 million project.

An alternative proposal would have only relocated the equipment for a cost of $112,713.

The board approved purchasing the former Threadworks buildings, the two adjacent on the west side of the new district offices. The buildings are in foreclosure and the district purchased them for $25,000.

The goal is to have the new support offices ready by the next school year, which Superintendent Kellen Adams said would free up space now used in the Lincoln Early Learning preschool center. Because of an anticipated increase in preschool students, Adams said he wanted to start a conversation about possibly expanding the Lincoln Early Learning building, and how the district may want to change the pre-K program.

Adams said in the past, preschool attendance has been limited by budget. Expanding the number of students would impact how much space a building renovation would require.

Board member Brad LaRue said he would like to see figures on the number of preschool students anticipated.

Board member Ross Hendrickson also talked about the family support given to preschool students who are at-risk. He  cited a scenario where a student begins to excel, but then is shunned by family members and dragged back into the poverty cycle.

Board members approved the 2021-22 calendar as presented. The calendar includes an early start, with the first day for students on Aug. 12 and the last half-day on May 20. Commencement is set for May 15.

They approved the election of the board chair and other officers at the start of the school year in July, rather than the calendar year in January.

Students recognized at Monday’s meeting included Jaydin Clounch, who was involved in getting a Special Olympics Kansas grant through FCCLA. The

$3,000 grant will provide equipment and uniforms.

Students in Caleb Wood’s high school television production class, who have provided livestreaming for sporting events and distance learning, include Jacob Adams, Isaiah Arthur, Kaleb Becannon, Jaron Bonczkowski, Susie Cunningham, Raegan Hare, Raven Hare, Davey Hight, Dyson Houseworth, Brayden Oliver, Samuel Ornelas, Brandon Pastor, Zane Roberts, Sawyer Reinhardt, Kai Ruggles and Alessia Segala.

State debate qualifiers included novice Brayden Swiler and Jonathan Falk, Alice Griffith and Airika Splane, Zoie Speaks and Jeanette Guernsey, and Andrew Woods and Vann Trester; two-speaker Emma Atherton and Britin Hanna, Hannah Furrow and Alex Rodriquez, Lexi Sierra and Brayden Oliver; and four-speaker Erin Maddy, Airika Splane and Alice Griffith, and Andrew Woods, Blaine Smoot and Brock Godinez.

Members of the Chanute Elementary School fifth grade Leadership Team were Kamber Chaney, Rylee Dent, Sarah Epps, Carson Grady, Nathan Guernsey, Rory Hamilton, Laney Holtzman, Brynna Peter, Kelton Ruark, Imerson Vaughn, Juda Wheeler and Ryan Wright.

CES staff nominated for awards were Taryn Sigler, Champion for Children award; Nicole Desmarteau, Kansas Social Worker of the Year; and Brytnee Kepley, Pittsburg State University College of Education Outstanding Educator.

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