USD 398 continues PAT funding

Staff writer

USD 398 Board of Education renewed membership and funding in Parents as Teachers and Schools for Fair Funding on Monday.

Parents as Teachers Coordinator Lori Soo-Hoo gave a presentation at the meeting. USD 398’s contribution to Parents as Teachers is $3,870. Thirteen families and 15 children are served in the district out of 115 families and 141 children in Marion County.

The board also decided to give $1,700 to renew membership in schools for fair funding.

The board also listened to a presentation from Marion County Special Education Director David Sheppard. Sheppard gave updates on cooperative regulations. The co-op is also using behavior experts and specialists on a team for autism intervention. Sheppard said the number of students diagnosed with some form of autism has increased in recent years.

“More and more we’re seeing behavior happening in younger and younger children,” Sheppard said.

In other business:

  • Superintendent Ron Traxson informed board members of a high water bill. He said custodians are searching for a leak.
  • Traxson told the board that the district was still scheduled for 1,132 instructional hours despite snow days, meeting the Kansas requirement of 1,116 hours of instruction.
  • The board approved the Peabody-Burns High School Business Professionals of America chapter to travel to the national BPA competition May 8 through 12 in Orlando, Fla. The district will supply two Chevrolet Suburbans for students to get to the airport. BPA member Garrett Schroeder said the chapter is raising $8,000 necessary for the trip with bake sales, car washes, offering house and yard work in the district, donut sales, and a Wendy’s night April 3 where 20 percent of purchases go to BPA. Eight BPA members qualified for nationals.
  • Traxson told the board that four PBHS students have applied to Newton Vocational Technical school, three for welding classes and one for automotive. Traxson discussed using Newton for vocational classes for the district. PBHS has one vocational teacher, Ryan Panko, and one aide that teaches the automotive class at the school. Classes at Newton would allow students to graduate with certificates as a welder or mechanic.
  • The board approved a trip for Adventure Club to Pagosa Springs June 7 through 14. The group of 10 students will mountain bike, kayak, hike, and ride a zip line in Durango. The group required the use of two Suburbans for the trip.
  • The board combined four scholarships into one award. The Barett, Rardorf, Hart, and Jensen award will be worth $127. Other scholarships include the Fitch award to be worth $125, the Far/Masonic award worth $110, and two Litton/Kleiwer awards worth $1,521 for a student going into an agricultural field. Shayla Clark and Glendon Parks will serve on the award committee.
  • Traxson went through the schedule surrounding the bomb threat at PBHS. The threat, for 12:34 p.m. March 1, was discovered on Feb. 14. On Feb. 21, about 180 letters were sent to district families, including those with only Peabody-Burns Elementary students warning of the bomb threat. The school was secured using three Kansas Highway patrol bomb sniffing dogs on Feb. 28. Traxson also said the student who was suspended for the threat has since admitted culpability in the incident.
  • A 2013-14 school calendar was approved.
  • The board approved stipends after a 10-minute executive session.
  • PBES principal Ken Parry said there will be an interagency meeting with police and Marion County emergency medical services to discuss the districts’ crisis plan at 7 p.m. April 2.
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