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Charlotte Richter | Staff Writer

During the Unified School District 207 Board of Education meeting Nov. 22, Superintendent Dr. Keith Mispagel said the district will continue the practice of granting full credit for students departing district schools after Dec. 3, 2021, and May 13, 2022,
which are the last two weeks of each semester.


“We will continue the practice of allowing a two-week buffer for students attending
school from Dec. 3 through May 13; (they) will be able to receive full credit for the semester without attending the last two weeks due to a move or permanent change of station,” Mispagel said.


Mispagel said the Kansas State Department of Education does not require districts to
grant credit to students; however, the board supports the decision so that families who
cannot stay through the end of the semester are not penalized.


“What I advise families is when making flight or travel plans, check with the district
first,” Mispagel said.


He also advised families to be aware of enrollment requirements and the start and end
dates of school semesters in new locations.


Mask requirement clarification
Mispagel said USD 207 will update mask guidelines on the USD 207 website to clarify expectations following an administrative leadership team meeting and questions from
the community.


“We, as the board is aware, follow the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
recommendations on safety measures as well as masks types,” Mispagel said.

He said the website will include mask requirements such as cloth masks that fit properly that are made from opaque, multi-layered or tightly woven fabric with a nose wire. Gaps between the face of the wearer and the mask are not acceptable. Masks with a single
layer of fabric and masks with vents are also unacceptable. The website will also detail requirements for disposable masks.


The suggestions and descriptions added to the website will be excerpts of guidelines
from the CDC; there are no new guidelines, only a new resource to check mask requirements for USD 207.


“This is just to clarify what our mask type standard is, which aligns with the CDC reference sheets,” Mispagel said.


Impact Aid outlook
Mispagel provided an overview of legislative conversations that he has had with legislators and the Governor’s Military Council about Kansas federal Impact Aid determinations in equalization funding.


“Kansas is the only remaining state that chooses to use federal Impact Aid as part of
the state aid calculation for equalization,” Mispagel said. According to KSDE, “In Kansas, the School District Finance and Quality Performance Act provides the formula for computing state aid for unified school districts in Kansas.


When a Kansas school district loses property tax revenue due to federal lands, the state aid is automatically increased to make up for the loss of this revenue. Instead of deducting 100 percent of the federal Impact Aid, Kansas only deducts 70 percent of the federal Impact Aid. Due to the formula, the school district receives the state aid, plus the 30 percent of Impact Aid.”


USD 207 exists on federal property, therefore, the district operates with less local revenue in the equalization school funding formula because it is exempt from local
property taxes re-emphasizing the need for Impact Aid.


Mispagel said he provided input to the Governor’s Military Council on Purple Star
programming, and the significance of Impact Aid use in Kansas relative to supreme court
case Gannon v. Kansas and equitable funding requirements. He said the discussions
explored how the national education environment might change should Kansas choose not to include Impact Aid.


Mispagel said retired Lt. Gen. Perry Wiggins, executive director of the Governor’s
Military Council, presented examples of how Impact Aid affects military decision-making.
In one of his examples, military operations could opt away from Kansas as a result of
its Impact Aid designation and other decision-making standards.


“(Impact Aid in Kansas) is legally counted the way it is; Kansas is not violating any
statute. There are actually statutes that allow Kansas to (include Impact Aid). The discussion is ‘how does the state consider changing it?’”


Mispagel said he presented multiple potential outcomes to Sen. Jeff Longbine, including changing the wording of the statute detailing the allocation of federal Impact Aid
and state aid in the equalization school funding formula.


Other updates
USD 207 is exploring options to replace the current core switch or the central hub
of the wireless and wired district networks.

According to a memorandum from USD 207 Director of Technology Services Liddell
Hobin and Assistant Director of Technology Services Brett Duvall, the current core switch,
Cisco C4510, was purchased in 2014 and is within its service contract but qualifies as
“end-of-life” by Cisco. USD 207 has updated the components of the core switch frame-
work over time, but the system’s end-of-life status provides an opportunity to upgrade to
more advanced technology.


Board members also discussed the addition of two new buses in the district and
attendance to the Military Connected School Administrator Summit for July 2022.


The next USD 207 Board of Education meeting is at 4:30 p.m Dec. 13 at the district
office. The meeting is open to the public.

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