President Brenda Edleston started the monthly meeting of the Chapman Board of Education by presenting the consent agenda, which contains the monthly financial reports and the board did not need to approve any requests for transfer. With the consent agenda passed, the board moved on to old business covering discussion topics from the previous month. 

The council decided during their September meeting to discuss the USD 473’s Covid-19 protocols each month to see if any changes will be needed to protect students and staff. 

“We still continue to social distance them in the buildings as much as possible,” Interim Superintendent Kevin Suther said. “The administration and teachers have done an excellent job of trying that (distancing).”

The school district attempted to keep school as “normal” as possible with kids still being able to eat lunch together, but with the limit of three to four kids per lunch table. Students were given an opportunity to attend a dance outside. The schools will still be holding in-person parent teacher conferences. 

“We will have things like parent teacher conferences, where it is going to be in person,” Suther said. “We are trying to take measures where we show up on the screen the information and then we’re not side by side. So, the teacher will be at the desk and have the parents and the students further back in the classroom.”

Suther and other school administrators meet up weekly with the Dickinson County Health Department to get an update about county Covid numbers. 

Rural Center Elementary’s school nurse Tara Tiernan shared the recent numbers of active cases and quarantines for the district as of last Wednesday. In USD 473, they experienced no new staff positive cases and no staff quarantines. On the student side, they saw 12 positive students and 14 students needing to quarantine. 

“Our quarantine was at the lowest that it’s been for this year,” Tiernan said. 

The board moved forward with no new action and only planning to discuss Covid-19 protocols in further monthly board meetings. 

The next item of old business came from the Dickinson County Economic Development Corporation coming to the Chapman school board for a donation. 

Edleston checked with the Kansas Association of School Boards legal team to see what were the limitations of a school board donating tax dollars to a non-profit. 

“Since they’ve been called upon by Dickinson County Economic Development to make this donation and they advise against it after all it is tax dollars,” Edleston said. “If the citizens wanted to support that campaign, they would do it themselves and we continue to use their tax dollars for intended purposes.”

Last item of old business, Edleston shared a “Public Commentary Guide” created by the KASB. For the November meeting, the public participation will return onto the agenda, but requests to appear before the board need to submit their request to the Education Center no later than the Wednesday before the meeting date. The Chapman Education Center can be located at 822 North Marshall and they accept mail at P.O. Box 249. 

First item of new business, Rural Center Elementary Lead Teacher Cheri Simpson and Rural Center 1st grader Savannah Smiley presented the school’s new Smart Goals project, which falls into the Rural Center Elementary’s social/emotional curriculum. Smiley shared how the focus on creating attendable, measurable goals in school made her create the same types of goals at home. 

After Simpson and Smiley finished their presentation, the board was introduced to all the new teachers and instructors that joined USD 473. 

Following the introductions, the Building Leadership, including Stacy Smiley, Bari Stalder, Ashley Stearns, Katie Lindler and Jacquelin Dautel, presented their goal of increasing literacy in the district. One example of their game plan, the team hopes to implement school wide book clubs, so students can read and discuss books together. 

Once their presentation was completed, Chapman High School Vice Principal and Athletic Director Clint Merritt came up to the board to inform them about a NCKL update. In August, Rock Creek formally petitioned to join the conference and superintendents, from conference, will vote on Oct. 21 on whether to accept the petition. The vote must be unanimous for Rock Creek to be able to join NCKL. 

With former superintendent Jerry Hodson’s resignation, the Chapman school board will start their search for his replacement. KASB representative Gary Sechrist visited with the board about the organization’s work on superintendent searches. KASB will be assisting the school board in searching for the new Chapman superintendent. 

Last piece of the public agenda, the board voted unanimously to accept the personnel changes for Enterprise Elementary’s secretary position. Previous secretary Deb Sekulich resigned from the position and the school hired Katie Armstrong to take over. 

With all public issues handled, the board went into executive sessions until 9:28 and the meeting adjourned at 9:29 p.m. The executive sessions focused on non-elected personnel items and legal consultation for the board. 

 

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