MOUND CITY – The Jayhawk USD 346 Board of Education agreed on Monday, April 11, that it would pay $12,000 each year to help underwrite the cost of the school resource officer (SRO) program in the district. The district has an SRO officer at Jayhawk-Linn Junior/Senior High School (JLHS) and one at Jayhawk Elementary School (JES).
The Linn County Commission late last year demanded that the three school districts pick up part of the cost of each SRO. Jayhawk district delayed paying the county until the questions it had about the agreement with the county were answered. Prairie View USD 362, which has three SRO officers, agreed to the conditions earlier this year.
According to the agreement, the money paid will go toward equipment for the SRO program.
The board also listened to a pitch by Opaa! Food Management Inc., with headquarters in the St. Louis area, to provide foodservice to the district. The board approved the process of sending out a request for proposals to contract with a foodservice company.
The advantages of contracting with a foodservice company like Oppa! Included purchasing power, input from students on menu selection, more food choices and the online availability of menus and nutritional information, according to the company representative.
An application for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) phase three grant is nearly completed, Thomas told the board. The grant is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding schools
An after-school program at JES, reopening the high school resource center and library, retention and premium pay for staff, and technology expenditures are items Thomas hopes will be funded by the grant.
Thomas also reported to the board that audits on the foodservice program and the enrollment had been completed. The foodservice audit had no write-ups or fiscal concerns, and the enrollment audit by the Kansas State Department of Education required reducing enrollment numbers by only half of a full-time equivalent student.
Genea Bruner, district school improvement services, reported to the board that the on-site visit from the Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA) team went well for year four in the accreditation process. She also reported that student state assessment scores were all encouraging and that ACT results from the free tests for high school juniors looked very good.
Thomas said that the KESA team gave the district very high marks, and he credited Bruner, the building principals, teachers and staff credit for those accomplishments. He said he was confident the district would be accredited again next year
The board accepted the retirement of Keitha Brown, long time secretary at JES, with regret. She will retire on July 1. It also approved the resignation of JES custodian Joe Cunningham as of May 26.
The board accepted the transfer of Manuel Garcia from being a library aide at JES to the same position at JLHS for the 2022-23 school year.