• On-post school enrollment numbers down

  • Current enrollment numbers for the 2019-20 schoolyear were announced during the Unified School District 207 monthly board meeting Aug. 26 at the board office.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Current enrollment numbers for the 2019-20 schoolyear were announced during the Unified School District 207 monthly board meeting Aug. 26 at the board office.
    As of Aug. 23, 1,829 students are enrolled in pre-kindergarten through ninth-grade, approximately 50 students less from August 2018.
    “I don’t know, but I believe it is related to housing challenges to start the schoolyear in relation to the flipping of houses and doing some data break location placements,” said Keith Mispagel, USD 207 superintendent of schools.
    Mispagel said it is possible for more students to arrive as more families move onto Fort Leavenworth.
    Although overall enrollment numbers are down, the ninth-grade class has doubled from 2018 with 66 students enrolled compared to 33.
    “They are doing wonderful,” said Ryan Wiebe, Patton Junior High School principal. “They like being called freshman.”
    The final count date for enrollment is Sept. 20.
    Freedom Walk
    The 12th annual USD 207 Freedom Walk is at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 11 at Normandy Field. The theme is “Honoring Our First Responders.”
    SuAnn Grant, USD 207 deputy superintendent, said it will include as many first responders both on- and off-post as possible as the honorees. During the event, four students — a sixth-grader from each elementary school and a ninth-grader from Patton — will read their respective essays, “What Freedom Means to Me,” the Patton Singers will lead attendees in patriotic songs, and there will be a guest speaker who is yet to be determined.
    All students will walk to Normandy Field with the exception of pre-kindergarten students who will be bused.
    Emergency drills
    On April 10, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 128, made effective July 1, changing the number of safety drills in Kansas schools from 16 to nine. In 2018, each school was required to conduct four fire drills, three tornado drills and nine crisis drills.
    Mispagel said while adding crisis drills were positive, many superintendents across Kansas expressed concern that nine was overwhelming. Therefore, Kansas schools are now only required to conduct four fire drills, two tornado drills (one in September and one in March) and three crisis drills.
    “I’m most pleased with only the three crisis drills as opposed to the nine because I don’t believe in creating fear in the kids,” Mispagel said.
    Site Council openings
    During the meeting, the board approved the Site Council roster for each school as provided by the building principals. Members include a mixture of new and returning parents.
    Bradley and Eisenhower Elementary Schools and Patton still have openings for leadership positions.
    Positions for a president at Bradley, a vice president/secretary and sunshine committee chair at Eisenhower, and a vice president, and seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-grade representatives at Patton are all open. For more information, contact the respective schools.
    Page 2 of 2 - MacArthur and Eisenhower renovations
    During the meeting, the board approved two renovation projects, one at MacArthur and one at Eisenhower.
    This schoolyear, pre-kindergarten enrollment has increased causing MacArthur to add a third pre-kindergarten class. However, the special area for the younger students in the basement of MacArthur, which includes a special entrance and smaller restrooms, is only made for two classrooms of students. Therefore, the renovation will include the addition of two more classrooms to accompany the current pre-kindergarten classrooms so that all three classes are in the same area.
    Renovations are expected to be finished by the start of the second semester in January 2020.
    At Eisenhower, exterior LED lights will be installed on the north end of the school for increased visibility. The lights are expected to be installed mid-fall.
    MISA membership renewed
    The board approved the renewal of USD 207’s Military Impacted Schools Association membership.
    “MISA is a national organization of school superintendents … who serve school districts with a high concentration of military children,” according to the official MISA website. “MISA works on funding (Impact Aid), legislation, partnerships and programs for military families on the move.”
    Accomplishments of MISA over the last year include a $10 million increase in Impact Aid funds and Congressional support of special education funding.
    For more information about MISA, visit www.militaryimpactedschoolsassociation.org.
    All board meetings are open to the public. For a complete overview of the meeting and the minutes, visit https://www.boarddocs.com/ks/usd207/Board.nsf/Public.
    The next USD 207 board meeting is at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 18 in the Patton auditorium.
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