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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Prairie View board extends administrator contracts

The Prairie View USD 362 Board of Education on Monday, Dec. 13, voted to extend administrators contracts for another year. The administrators were already under contract for the 2023-24 school year, and the board’s action keeps them under contract for the 2024-25 school year.

Those receiving the contract extensions include Superintendent Rex Bollinger, Assistant Superintendent and High School Principal Joseph Hornback, Middle School Principal Andrea Richardson, La Cygne Elementary Principal Tiffany Ellett, Parker Elementary Principal Mark Staab, and Student Services Director Beth Sandness.

The board also hired Aaron Rice as maintenance director for the district. Rice takes the place of long-time director Bobby Johnson, who tendered his resignation in November. .

The board also accepted the resignation of long-time softball assistant coach Vic Roche. Roche has also served as a principal and teacher in the district.

Tisha Scherman, Kyra Uphoff and Megan Stroup were hired as substitute teachers.

In other business, the board:

  • Was informed by Bollinger that funding for special education was expected to be one of the top education issues discussed by the Legislature in the coming session, which starts in January. Bollinger included information about special education funding, including an analysis by the Kansas Association of Special Education Administrators that said that the Kansas State Board of Education says those programs are currently underfunded by $109 million by the state, leaving districts to cover the additional cost. At the same time, the number of students eligible for special education programs continues to grow. Out of 912 full-time equivalent students attending school in the district, 214 students are on individual education plans (IEPs), an indicator of the number of students in special education classes.

  • Approved a calendar for the 2023-24 school year. Classes will start Aug. 16, 2023, with the winter break beginning on Dec. 20, and the final day of classes on May 23, 2024.

  • Learned that comparing attendance numbers for the Buffalo Attendance Matters program over the past month is difficult because so many students were sent home because of illness.

  • Learned from Activities Director Mark Hough that assessment of the fall athletic programs would begin after the winter break.

In written reports, the board:

  • Learned that the district curriculum council had been established. Members include Brandi Staton and Linda Sylva from La Cygne Elementary, Kayleigh Ford and Misty Pope from Parker Elementary, Carissa Uphoff and Kara Speer from the middle school and Tamala Snyder and Aaron Law from the high school.

  • Learned that Parker Elementary enrollment is up to 228 students, an increase of 19 students since the beginning of the school year.

  • Learned that middle school students participated in the school’s first Day of Service. Activities included creating blankets for people in need, creating cards to send to nursing homes, building cleaning by students, outside trash pickup, and a movie highlighting gratefulness in things that matter for the students.

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