USD 250 is preparing to embark on a district-wide facility evaluation.

At the Board of Education meeting Monday evening, Superintendent Destry Brown said he had asked board members to provide names of individuals within the community who might be valuable as part of a group to help determine where the project goes.

"We’ve got people from a wide range of circles or groups within Pittsburg," Brown said. "About half of them have been contacted and have agreed to participate and about half of them have not been contacted yet."

Regardless, the process is gaining speed.

On Thursday, representatives from PBA Architects in Wichita will meet with Brown and assistant superintendent Brian Biermann to talk about timing for the first committee meeting.

The work will continue Friday.

"They will be touring the elementary schools," Brown said. "They haven’t been in the elementary schools yet, but when we started talking about master planning they felt like they need to be in every building."

The board also discussed educational opportunities both within and outside of the classroom.

Biermann presented to board members on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, which is addressing testing procedures and considering which tests should be used and how testing should be performed.

He also said the district recently hosted the Kansas Reading Roadmap Summit, which has a goal of increasing the number of children reading at grade level by the time they are third-graders.

This is done through a three-fold system including tutoring, after school and summer school literacy programs and parental engagement.

Currently, funds are anticipated for the coming year, but both Biermann and Brown said the tutoring and literacy programs are part of what the district intends to do, whether extra funding is available or not.

The board also heard a presentation on new clubs by Pittsburg High School activities director Doug Hitchcock, senior Reece Burns and freshman Kolton Darrow.

"We’re always looking to involve our students," Hitchcock said, adding that student response to a recent survey indicated high potential interest in a guitar club and an outdoor activities club.

"There’s a lot of kids who play guitar, whether they play in the jazz band like I have or bring a guitar to school," Burns said.

He talked about the potential interest by approximately a third of the student body and said the funding of an advisor and equipment would make a big difference.

Even more students expressed interest in outdoor activities such as fishing, camping and archery, and Darrow said it could be a club for anyone.

"Anyone who just goes outside and messes around outside," he said.

The request for each was a $2,000 initial budget with an anticipated $1,000 equipment budget in years to come. Guitar Club requested 1 percent of Schedule B as an advisor’s salary and Outdoor Club requested 2 percent due to more extensive weekend requirements.

In other business:

• Zach Fletcher, the district’s public relations officer reported on the district’s United Way fundraising and said the schools raised a total of $10,792.66, with Pittsburg Community Middle School leading the way with $3,236.50 in contributions.

• Board members also adopted new policies with updated wording regarding bullying and the district’s complaint process.