Eisenhower Elementary School Site Council President Shannon Beery briefs members of the Unified School District 207 Board of Education on the group’s activities during the Eisenhower principal’s report at the school board meeting Feb. 28 at the district office. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Charlotte Richter/Staff Writer

The Unified School District 207 Board of Education shared updates on Impact Aid, the new Patton Junior High School project and COVID-19 absence data among action item approvals Feb. 28 at the district office.

Eisenhower Elementary School Principal Cindy Wepking talks about the use of the Powerlab during her principal’s report at the Unified School District 207 Board of Education meeting Feb. 28 at the district office. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Impact Aid

Superintendent Dr. Keith Mispagel informed the board about legislative progress in advancing the bill to include the enrollment rate from the 2019-2020 schoolyear in Impact Aid eligibility requirements.

“Senate Bill 341, which is the legislation that allows districts in Kansas to receive 100 percent of the Federal Impact Aid, has advanced through the Senate Committee of Education with a unanimous vote and amendment,” Mispagel said.

Mispagel said Kansas is the only state in the nation remaining using Impact Aid to supplant state aid. Passing the bill would allow Kansas schools to receive full state and Impact Aid.

Mispagel said the unanimous passing vote in the committee was very positive. He also said the bill has not yet entered the full Senate, but the discussion continues. The Senate could receive the bill as early as this week. Mispagel said officially passing the bill would have a significant, positive impact on Fort Leavenworth and other Kansas schools on federal land.

COVID-19 Absence Data

Mispagel presented data to the school board representing the percentage of COVID-19-related student absences alongside the percentage of positive COVID-19 cases in USD 207 tracked daily from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28.

Unified School District 207 Superintendent Keith Mispagel and Chief of the Board Rich Holden listen to Eisenhower Elementary School Principal Cindy Wepking’s principal’s report during the USD 207 Board of Education meeting Feb. 28 at the district office. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Mispagel said the high points presented were still lower relative to county closures. The data also featured a drop in absences and cases coinciding with post and Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 guideline updates made by the school board in January.

“Schools, between the nurses and principals, continue to monitor and protect our families,” Mispagel said. “We continue to be successful with social distancing and the safety measures. It’s very positive, and we’ll continue to track the data each day. We’ll also continue to be in contact with Munson (Army Health Center) and post command as discussions continue, as well as with CDC updates.”

New Junior High

Jackie Williams briefs members of the Unified School District 207 Board of Education on what the Site Council’s Sunshine Committee does during the Eisenhower principal’s report at the school board meeting Feb. 28 at the district office. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Rich Holden, USD 207 Board of Education chief financial officer, presented updates on the new Patton Junior High School project. He said contractors plan to begin completing HVAC systems in the building within the next month. He said another contractor has begun installing technology and monitors in each grade-level hallway.

Holden said he will meet with contractors about furniture pre-installation toward the end of the month. He said furniture will begin to appear shortly after that.

The board also discussed the calendar for the upcoming schoolyear and approved software and security technology and repairs among other business operation items. The board also heard a presentation about Eisenhower Elementary School initiatives and achieved goals.

The next USD 207 Board of Education meeting is at 4:30 p.m. March 28 at the district office. The meeting is open to the public.

For more information and meeting access, visit https://go.boarddocs.com/ks/ usd207/Board.nsf/Public.

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