By TIM HORAN
“Are you ready for school to start?” seems to be the number one question asked among parents, students and teachers alike this week.
Abilene USD 435 said, ‘yes’ to answer that question at the regular Board of Education meeting Monday night.
Class lists were posted at 5 p.m. Monday at the three elementary schools. Fifteen new substitute teachers met with the Abilene Police Department, the school nurse and principals to go over procedures. New teachers met at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday for orientation.
“Everyone shows up Wednesday and we are ready to go,” said Assistant Superintendent Chris Cooper at the board meeting, referring to regular teachers as well as classified staff.
The teachers and their families will have a back-to-school hot dog feed Friday night starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Abilene Middle School.
Students start classes on Tuesday, Aug. 20 with early release times on that first day and Aug 21, too. The full schedule starts Aug. 22.
“We are hopeful we are going to be up a little this year,” Superintendent Denise Guy said of enrollment. “You really never know until school starts.
The capital improvement projects are almost 100 percent compete, Guy said.
This year the district implemented a uniform procedure process so parents with kids in multiple schools can follow similar procedures. Visitors to school will need to sign in, display a visitor’s pass and sign out. Substitute teachers will also be wearing school identification badges.
“They are simple procedures but they are consistent,” Guy said.
The board viewed a 30-second commercial about Abilene and the school district and a two-minute commercial which is posted on the school’s web page.
Cooper said that the district calendar can be linked with other calendars.
Parents, students and teachers can subscribe to just one school or the entire district, he said.
Abilene High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Will Burton said AHS had a Twitter account last year and now is on Facebook.
New Garfield Principal Dallas Meneley said his school also has a Facebook page.
“We are trying to hit all facets of our audience,” Guy said.
The Abilene school district web page is www.abileneschools.org.
The board also held a budget hearing in which no one showed up to protest. The proposed $9,429,895 budget is expected to be funded with a 45.703 mil levy on property taxes, the state allotment of $3,838 per the 14,090 students and $400,000 from the district’s savings account. The mil levy decreased slightly from 45.712. The board unanimously approved the budget for 2014.
The board approved changes to the policy manual. A board committee had been working on policy updates. Guy said that process is ongoing.
“From here on out we will probably bring some policy reviews to meetings,” she said.
The board approved hiring George K. Baum as a bonding service and Steve Shogren as the agent.
Gina Hullet will be the AMS seventh grade assistant volleyball and basketball coach.
The substitute teacher list includes:
Eric Beckman, Donita M. Bibbs, Angie Casteel, Lorna Davis, Debbie Elliott, J.M. Frey, Andrea Fuhrman, Zita Gillispie, Brandon Green, Marsha Hargreaves, Janis Haugh, Leesa Hettenbach, Amy Jackson, Wendy Klosterman, Cheryl Miller, Sarah Miller, Jennifer Morton, Shelli Panzer, Trent Sanchez, Angela Schlagel, Shari Smith, Karlene Taylor, Heather Unruh, Eric Wickman, Sharon Wilson and Denise Zawacki.