The USD 413 school board amended the district’s use of funds and approved new middle school sports and personnel changes Thursday night in a special meeting at the board office.

The original budget included $99,500 for professional development and $366,500 for career and postsecondary education. Board members voted 6-0 for the amended budget of $200,500 for professional development and $666,500 for career and postsecondary education.

The district needed to increase the total amount of expenditures in the two funds in order to legally expend those amounts for the fiscal year.

Superintendent Dr. Kellen Adams explained that while it may seem that increasing these funds results in additional expenditures, that is actually not the case. Instead it represents a change of where those specific expenditures are charged.

“In both instances, these were expenditures that were previously charged to either the General or Supplemental General fund, but are now being charged to the more appropriate fund (Professional Delopment for items related to staff development and Career and Postsecondary to courses and instruction specific to those courses),” Adams said. “The net expenditures remain the same. To help maintain fund balances in both of these funds with new expenditures, transfers from the General Fund are made.”

New sports for Royster Middle School were also approved, including girls and boys tennis and girls and boys cross country. The board voted 6-0 on both in separate votes.

Tennis at Royster has been an interest for students the past few years, so much so that administrators and teachers doled out sign-ups to gauge interest. On a consistent basis over the past few years, close to 30 students have signed up, and as a result the middle school organized tennis meetings and even a club for the fall and spring. The average number of students attending was 25, which was almost an even split between girls and boys.

This interest turned into the board having real conversations about where students can compete at should tennis be approved. It was decided that Highland Park and Chanute Community Sports Complex tennis courts will be used by RMS.

For competition, right now Royster would go up against Parsons, Pittsburg and Independence Middle School teams, while other schools in Winfield and Wichita are open to the possibility of competing versus RMS.

The girls will compete in the fall, while the boys will play in the spring.

Interest for cross country at Royster was the same, which materialized into the same process of how middle school tennis developed. 

Board members devised a plan for cross country middle school athletes to compete at Katy and Santa Fe Parks. Competitors for cross country are expected to be Anderson County/Garnett, Fort Scott, Iola, Pittsburg, Southeast Cherokee and Pleasanton. The season will begin in the fall.

Adams said he wanted to get started on this process.

“We want to begin making the necessary preparations for scheduling, transportation, finalizing the hiring of coaches, etc., etc., I’m sure you understand,” Adams said. 

The next step for these sports to be officially added will be for administrators of RMS to file with KSHSAA. When this takes place, it is expected for these sports to begin in fall of 2020.

Other business

The board also approved capital improvement projects Thursday, with a separate vote of 6-0 for all projects. Those projects include the CHS bell system, Chanute Elementary courtyard drainage, Royster Stadium track resurfacing with asphalt only, carpet, RMS remodel, CHS gym floors, exterior door repairs, CHS office remodeling and CHS track resurfacing.

The CHS track should be completed by Aug. 1, but construction will likely run congruous with graduation if the ceremony takes place July 10.

“We would do our best to make sure things would be cleaned up and otherwise, but you may very well have the track surface off or equipment somewhere,” Adams noted.

The following personnel were also approved: 

Assistant softball coach Charles R. Emling and CHS English teacher Melissa Fosnight resigned. Dawne Burchett is the new RMS library aide, while Staci Cunningham is the new CHS assistant musical director. 

Stephanie Oliver went from a second grade teacher to a Title I teacher at CES. Jennifer Rausch transferred from CES classroom teacher to CES teacher on special assignment. Jerrod Richards switched from RMS assistant football coach to RMS head football coach, and Steve Slane moved from food service worker to mail-food delivery employee.

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