The USD 329 BOE met Monday for a special meeting to discuss the bond options. Discussion included a new option and questions for the previous bonds discussed. Here are some highlights from the discussion. Option 12 A new option was introduced to the board members. Option 12 is an $8.1 million bond that includes closing PMS and MHES, moving sixth grade to WJH and moving fifth and all elementary students to Alma. $4 million would be set aside for general maintenance for the buildings and of that, $800,000 would go to improving the AES kitchen.
After postponing a decision on a potential bond issue at its November meeting, the Wabaunsee Board of Education plans to discuss options at a special meeting 6 p.m. December 2 at the district office. HTK Architecture presented options to the BOE as possible solutions to building and maintenance problems. A facilities committee, made up of citizens from throughout the district, recommended an option that would close several buildings and consolidate elementary students in Paxico. The following list of options shows the potential costs, a list of renovations and changes and pros and cons of each option as seen by the Charger staff.
The new WHS schedule caused debate among students and teachers last year. After nearly a semester of the new schedule, opinions are mixed. WHS introduced a 7-period daily schedule for the 2019-2020 school year, after using a block schedule in previous years. The Charger polled sophomores, juniors and seniors to gauge the general feeling among the students most affected by the change. Incoming freshmen ran on a 7-period schedule in junior high, so this schedule was not new for them. The majority of students greatly preferred block scheduling, another large portion of students slightly prefer 7-period and 18 percent didn’t have an opinion.
The USD 329 Board of Education postponed voting for a proposed bond issue at Monday’s Board Meeting. The BOE put together a Facilities Committee to choose a solution to the district’s current facility issues. This committee presented Option 11 from a list of proposed solutions.
At the November 18th board meeting, the USD 329 school board will consider a bond issue that will have a major impact on the district. “It's been a long, thought out process that started with BOE discussions regarding aging facilities that were taking a lot of budget money,” superintendent Brad Starnes said. “It was hard to budget for and we didn't have the budget money to solve the problem.”
The Charger staff is reserve champion of the Kansas State Fair Scholastic Print Competiton. The competition, which takes place each year at the Kansas State Fair, requires teams of five high school students to complete a 4-page newsletter in one day. The teams have from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to interview, write, edit, photograph and design the newsletter. Two stories are assigned and the students come up with two others on their own.
Under new direction, the WHS band and choir will have its opening concert tonight at 7 p.m. “I’m really excited about finally getting to perform with the band and choir in our beautiful auditorium,” director Jaime Rogers said. “Both groups are going to make some good music tonight. We’re going to perform and it’s going to sound awesome.”
WHS introduced a new career and college readiness program called Xello this semester, to a mixed response. Xello is a new online program designed to help students plan for careers after high school. Students who do Xello complete lessons that help them figure out what their plans after high school will look like, whether it be trade colleges, universities or other alternate routes. Students also complete career, personality and learning style assessments so they can better understand their interests, skills and strengths.
With 139 students enrolled, Wabaunsee has been classified as a 2A school again this year. The Kansas State High School Activities Association, or KSHSAA, has updated the classifications of high schools in Kansas which will go into effect for all 2019-20 activities. With little change from previous years, athletic director Jeron Weisshaar said most sports will be minimally affected by this year’s classifications.