Jayhawk board delays action on paying county for SROs

Updated: Apr 11

MOUND CITY — Although the Prairie View USD 362 school board last week approved paying Linn County $12,000 annually for each of its three school resource officers (SROs), the Jayhawk USD 346 Board of Education did not follow suit this week.

Superintendent Shawn Thomas told the Jayhawk school board on Monday, March 14, that the county had not addressed concerns raised in an earlier meeting. Thomas said he had relayed those concerns to County Counselor Gary Thompson.

The districts from all three of the county’s school districts were set to meet with the commissioners last month, but that meeting was pushed back.

The superintendent also told the board that the district’s bus contractor, Cleveland, Mo.-based Apple Bus Co., had been acquired by First Student, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based company that has been acquiring smaller bus companies and now serves an estimated 1,000 school districts in several states.

Thomas told the board that the administrators of Apple Bus Co. will continue to serve under First Student and that the service would remain the same through the remainder of the school year. The school district will request bids for bus service for the 2022-23 school year.

Thomas also reported on a couple of repair projects planned for the summer when school is not in session and a repair to one that is happening this week. Roofers are repairing the leaking roof over the gymnasium at Jayhawk Elementary School (JES) this week, and plans are being made to refinish damaged flooring in the gym after school lets out in May. Also on the repair list is repairing the potholes in the concrete at Jayhawk-Linn High School (JLHS).

The superintendent also gave board members an update on several bills that are now working their way through the Legislature in Topeka, including a House parental rights and transparency bill (HB2662), a Senate bill dealing with transgender athletes (SB484), House bill 2466 that would promote computer science literacy among students.

The board approved the request by alumni Richard Morrell of Mound City to use “Jayhawk-Linn” for the name of a new alumni association. Morrell told the board he hoped to get at least 200 paying members to form the new non-profit organization.

In a separate interview, Morrell said he had contacted other school districts where consolidation of high schools created groups of graduates without an organized alumni group. He said he hoped to create a tax-exempt, non-profit association that could be used to help raise scholarship money for current Jayhawk-Linn students.

Following an executive session Monday’s meeting to discuss personnel, the board:

  • Accepted the retirement of Sharon Grigsby, a paraeducator at JES, effective May 26,

  • Hired Annie Humbolt to teach agriculture and be an FFA sponsor,

  • Accepted the resignation of Darla Swanson as JES kitchen manager and cook

  • Approved the transfer of Christy Thomas to be JLHS secretary, and

  • Hired Keith Harlow to be an assistant junior high track coach.

Following an executive session on teacher negotiations, the board appointed board members Kitty Rhynerson and Daniel Earnest to represent the board in upcoming teacher negotiations.

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