New district policies dominate year-end USD 336 meeting
The Holton school wrapped up the 2015-16 school term on Monday evening, June 27, by approving a couple of new school policies and approving $10,881 in additional funds to cover asbestos removal at the old Colorado Elementary School.
The school board, by a 5-0 vote, approved a new policy that addresses modifications in work schedules that can be implemented by the district to ensure that school district employees get back to work as soon as possible after any injury.
Superintendent Dennis Stones reported to board members that USD 336 has a very high worker’s compensation rating number (1.1 to 1.2) compared to the average rating for Kansas school districts (.6 to .9), which is causing the district to pay more in worker’s compensation insurance.
“If we need to, we can give employees some different jobs, different responsibilities, to get them back to work as soon as possible,” Stones said. “We’ve had broken fingers, sprained ankles, falls on ice, scalding water, etc., and other injuries like that.”
Stones said the district continues to have safety meetings with school employees and also continues to display safety posters.
Another new policy approved by the board, by a 5-0 vote, involves the weight room at the high school.
The new policy requires that college students who are graduates of Holton High School sign a contract agreement with the district that prevents them from giving out a door entry access code to other people not authorized to use the weight room. The penalty for violating the contract agreement is a permanent ban from ever using the weight room again, it was reported.
“We don’t want to keep authorized people out, but we need to keep unauthorized people out due to insurance liability issues,” said Supt. Stones.
Stones told board members that some people from outside of the community, and from outside of USD 336, have been discovered using the weight room, which is not allowed.
The district charges middle school and high school students $15 apiece in the summer to use the weight room, at designated times with school staff present. The district charges college students, who are graduates of Holton High School, $30 apiece for use of the weight room over the summer at their convenience.
HHS graduates, who are no longer in college, and other adult HHS school patrons, are not authorized to use the weight room, it was reported.
Stones informed the board that some asbestos has been discovered in some 837 linear feet of a pipe system buried in a concrete floor and trench in the old Colorado Elementary School. The removal of this asbestos increases the total asbestos removal cost by $10,881, he said.
Stones said the company hired to remove the asbestos (Gerken) will use a special concrete saw to cut out the portion of the concrete that is said to contain asbestos.
Also by a 5-0 vote, the school board approved a motion to purchase 22 Epson projectors and related equipment from Kansas City Audio-Visual for $53,414. Funds for this purchase will be paid for out of the district’s budget for the construction of the new Holton Elementary School.
It was also announced that all projectors at the Colorado and Central schools are being moved to the new elementary school.
In a brief report on the construction of the new elementary school, Stones reported that central air-conditioning is keeping the new school at a consistent 72 degrees, which was allowing for ceiling tile and flooring work to progress nicely now.
In other business, the school board:
• Noted the absence of board members Bob Phillips and Shelby Patch.
• Approved bills totaling $649,270.98.
• Accepted the resignation of Jordan Krohn (Onaga High School special ed para) and approved the hiring of Abby Tanking (HHS para) and Jennifer Marek (HMS library para).
• Approved the new cafeteria section 125 plan through American Fidelity Insurance that is unchanged from previous years.
• Approved a bill of $16,000 by a 5-0 vote to pay for the cost of moving and returning the district’s mobile units to its owners in the Kansas City area.
• Approved a motion to allow the superintendent to transfer funds and establish accepted carryover amounts for the various school funds, including the transfer of funds into the capital outlay fund for HHS auditorium improvements and a new school bus.
• Approved a motion to close out the accounting books on June 30 to end the school term.
• Adjourned the meeting at 6:52 p.m.