USD 329 Board Meeting | Paxico Middle School to close after school year

Emma Alderman | news editor

The USD 329 board met January 11, and focused on the closing of Paxico Middle School and the results of the bond survey giving to community members. Here are some highlights from the meeting.

Principal Hutley Report 

WHS will stay with two guardians at sporting events until discussions with county health and board. “We will stick with up to two parents per participant regardless of what (KSHSAA) says until we have discussed it with the health department and have time to roll out a plan if there is a different one,” Hutley said.  

Principal Craighead Report 

A first grader tested positive on January 11. That room will be deep cleaned and the first grade will continue with the modified program. They will return to normal on Tuesday January 19. “They’re deep cleaning the first grade classroom and the annex. We’re going to go on to the modified program like we did before. It will be this week and by the time we get back to school Tuesday it will be back to normal,” Craighead said. 

Closing of Paxico Middle School 

“We’re going to close it to help cut district expenses by reducing district building square footages at the end of the 2020 school year,” Superintendent Brad Starnes said. 

The fifth graders will be placed at Alma Elementary school or Maple Hill Elementary School. The sixth graders will be placed at Wabaunsee Junior High. Research has been done and there is room for these moves. The plans for where the fifth and sixth graders will be moved to are not set in stone and could be changed.

“So based on what has been published in the paper and the resolution itself we are not tied to the specifics to what happens after it closes,” Board member Jim Vapita said. 

Results of the Bond Survey 

 About 400 people out of 2000 voters have responded to the survey so far

 The biggest issues about the bond reported in the survey were a tax increase, tearing down WHS limestone building, closing Maple Hill Elementary, closing Ohio street in Alma, not sharing a detailed plan.

 “It’s nice to hear from those willing to fill it out what direction they’d like us to head because that’s what we need to know,” board president Justin Frank said. 

Superintendent Discussion

 A survey of USD 329 staff found 78% are willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine. 13% said they would not take the vaccine, and 9% said they might.

Resignations

 At the end of the school year Marilyn Workman will resign as the Wabaunsee High School counselor and Tracy Capoun will resign as the high school head volleyball coach. 

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