USD 234 schools receive 16 yearly progress excellence awards

Friday, November 7, 2008

The USD 234 school district was recently awarded 16 Standard of Excellence (SOE) certificates.

Local school board members were presented with the certificates at the district's monthly board meeting on Thursday. USD 234 Superintendent Rick Werling explained to board members the schools in the district each met their Average Yearly Progress. Standard of Excellence awards are above and beyond the schools AYP status. In addition to the Fort Scott school district's awards, The USD 235 Uniontown school district also earned SOE awards, according to Kansas State Department of Education.

According to the KSDE, SOE awards are earned in the reading, mathematics, writing and history subject areas. Schools can secure SOE awards at specific grade levels or building levels. To receive an SOE award, the specific school must make AYP in the All Students group and must have an accredited Quality Performance Accreditation status.

Werling also presented board members with two separate awards, which were developed to recognize outstanding programs with a focus on health and nutrition. The local district's proactive approach to healthy living is one of the reasons the local district was recognized with the health awards. According to Werling, the school district was awarded three separate health-related grants in the month of October. The grants are being used to promote health and wellness in both students and staff.

"We are still looking for more grants," Werling said. "We take health and wellness of students and staff seriously. It affects the students' and staff's attendance. Why would we not want to be healthy."

Also at the board meeting, board members received an update on the progress of the new Learning Center, which will be located in the former Salvation Army store on the corner of Third and Scott streets; and the Early Childhood Center, which will be located in the annex of the former Fort Scott Middle School building on the corner of Fourth and Judson streets. Explaining to the board the progress that is being made in the construction of the new Learning Center, Werling said some of the work is being completed by the Fort Scott High School Construction Trades students. According to USD 234 Business Manager Alan Drake, the district is tentatively planning on having the two structures ready by August of 2009.

Members of the board discussed the minutes of the Oct. 20 special board meeting which was conducted for the purpose of developing a framework of thoughts and ideas to be considered by a committee which will review the FSHS student discipline policies for activities related to sports, dance team and cheerleaders. At the special meeting, the board appointed eight individuals to serve on the student activity discipline policies committee. Two board members, Matt Ida and Ken Rienbolt will serve on the committee with Werling, FSHS principal Bob Beckham, FSHS Activities Director Larry Fink, FSHS tennis coach Lynn Barr, FSHS boy's basketball coach Jeff DeLaTorre and FSHS cheerleader sponsor Lindsey Gulager.

In other business, the board approved the following employment matters:

* Hired Kayla Taliaferro as a part-time at-risk teacher at Eugene Ware Elementary.

* An adjustment to the contracts of Julie Fuhr and Julie Mewhinney, both Eugene Ware cooks.

* Maternity leave of absence for Karla Barrows.

The board also conducted the following business at Thursday's meeting.

* An extension of the Great West Health plan.

* Approved a lease agreement between the district and the Southeast Kansas Community Action Program for use of the building in which Head Start is operating.

* Reviewed the release time report, petty cash report and the audit report.

* Approved pay requests for Joplin Roofing Co., Inc. and Satterlee Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning.