Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Bradley Elementary School was named one of the six Exemplary High Performing Schools in Kansas by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program for 2020.
Keith Mispagel, superintendent of schools, was notified of the award on Sept. 24 and shared the news with the Unified School District 207 school board during the monthly meeting Sept. 28 at the board office.
“Bradley’s nomination and selection culminates the academic excellence that the district prides itself on in all the schools and for an exemplary high performing school,” Mispagel said.
Myron Griswold, board president, said receiving the award is a great way to start the year.
“It’s a very prestigious award, but it takes a lot of hard work on the part of the staff and the parents and the students,” Griswold said.
As of Sept. 28, 1,528 students are enrolled in pre-kindergarten through ninth-grade, approximately 297 students less from August 2019. The numbers include those students enrolled in on-site and remote learning programs.
“One of the concerns I had this year was a decrease in enrollment,” Mispagel said. “Because of COVID-19, because of military transitions, mobility, it has come to fruition, unfortunately, as you see the decrease in students even from last year to this year.”
Mispagel also attributed the lower enrollment numbers to having to deny enrollment of non-resident students because of space limitations and previous families who chose to home school.
During the meeting, the board approved the establishment of a COVID-19 substitute teacher classified position for each school.
“What this means, different from what we had in the past, is a fairly deep pool of substitute teachers available, upwards of 60 this time of year … and we’re nowhere near that right now,” Mispagel said. “The on-the-spot opportunity to have subs in each of the buildings available is something I think is worth dedicating some time and position for, at least during this COVID transition.”
The full-time classified position would pay $160 per day and the candidate would fill in in the absence of the regular teacher on any given day both for on-site and remote learning at any given school. These positions would be eligible for the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System.
For more position requirements and to apply, visit usd207.org, and click the “Careers/Employment” tab and select “Job Opportunities.”
As of Sept. 28, the underground utility work at the new Patton Junior High School site has been completed. Weather dependent, the school will go vertical Oct. 1.
“You’ll start to see stuff above the blue fence,” said Rich Holden, USD 207 chief financial officer.
During the meeting, Ryan Wiebe, Patton Junior High School principal, updated the board on the goings on at the school. Wiebe talked about Site Council, the Parents at Work for Students (P.A.W.S.) program, and the FOUR Dots initiative.
He also spoke of the changes made to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. Along with maintaining six feet of social distancing and requiring face coverings for all, the school has maintained stable groups by having teachers change classrooms each period instead of the students. Additionally, there are now three separate entrances and drop-off and pick-up locations for walkers, car riders and bus riders.
Board members and other essential personnel practiced social distancing and wore face coverings during the board meeting. Some members of the USD 207 district office and other personnel attended the meeting via videoconferencing.
All board meetings are open to the public. For an overview of the meeting and the minutes, visit https://go.boarddocs.com/ks/usd207/Board.nsf/Public.
The next USD 207 board meeting is at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the district office.