USD 250 Superintendent of Schools Richard Proffitt shared with the board about upcoming meetings which the board can register to participate in and which include legislative advocacy. “It really is an opportunity to step outside the board room and have some influence, so I highly encourage you to do that if you want to,” Proffitt said. 

During his report USD 250 Assistant Superintendent Brad Hanson talked about a work session the board recently had about data on the district’s reading program. “We’ve had some really great meetings with our younger grade levels — kindergarten and first grade — one of the areas we are looking at improving upon with our resources is phonics curriculum and phonemic awareness,” he said. “These are two fundamental pieces in learning to read that we feel like have been lacking a little bit.” Hanson said there have been presentations on resources and more to come on how to go about these improvements. The school district has partnered with Pittsburg State University’s Center of Reading to help improve reading for third grade and up. 

The board approved a new head lice policy and bed bug response plan which is to make sure all of the schools in the district have the same plan. 

In a previous board meeting, the board had a discussion about Panorama, a technology platform “supported by research-based practices and surveys” that teachers and districts use to collect data on students which includes social-emotional learning, student success and feedback surveys. For example with chronic absenteeism, Proffitt said Monday, “If we look at their academic performance and it’s going down, and we see that they are really not making any progress in building some of those social-emotional capacities now we’re starting to see connections while beforehand we were just guessing.” Discussion was brought up again on Monday now that the board has had time to learn more about the program. The board decided to take action and approved to purchase the program which goes for $30,000 per year. The district plans to put this program into effect starting in January. More information will be shared at a later date. 

The district’s post secondary progress was shared by Proffitt during the meeting. Proffitt shared what the numbers meant. The board was also updated on the districts fleet, bids for passenger vans should be available Nov. 21.