School Board Welcomes Corey Burton


The USD 214 School Board met on Monday, July 11, 2022 with all members in attendance.

There was no non-action public forum and no correspondence. Corey Burton, Superintendent, shared about the consent agenda and some of the changes and concerns about the OPAA report. The meals for students have dropped off considerably since last year. The rule changed that students have to eat their meals at the designated locations instead of grab and go as in previous years. This change has contributed to the low numbers. Some days, the number of students has been in the single digits.

The board moved to have the monthly meetings back at Joyce School.

The consent agenda and its changes were moved and passed as stated.

Burton shared that every year the board has a resolution to extend the contract of the board officers in January. The motion was moved and passed to extend the resolution.

Burton shared that he would like to work on the district organization chart this school year. The organization chart gives a clear chain of command for curriculum questions and for items that are needed. The chart gives direction to understand the flow of how things should progress in the school district.

The was no new business.

For old business, Burton shares that the field house is looking good and on schedule. There are a few items that are on back order for the field house - shower heads and the rolling shutters for the concession stands. Burton does not expect these minor delays to slow the project down. The electricians, HVAC, and brick layers were working on the field house this last week. They were starting to pour the concrete on the flat work. Burton expects to be in the field house by the first football games.

For the HVAC update, Burton stated that some of the HVAC units are in. However, the contractor is waiting until all the units are on site before installing. Once the units are in, they expect the project to take a few days to install.

For the enrollment update, Burton made a chart and shared that information over a five year period for each school,

Hickok is down 62 students and Sullivan is down 99 students from where they were five years ago. They are seeing smaller classes in the lower grades. The district is down 177 students since the 2017-2018 school year. 89 students graduated from the high school in May and there are 90 student coming into the high school for the 2022-2023 school year.

Clay Scott, the president of the board, shared his concerns about the decreasing number of students. If we start with 90 students, what will the school end up with in the coming years?

Burton aslo shared that the school district has $2.4 million available in Esser III funds that the district has not touched. In order to get the funds, the school district has to participate in surveys, board discussions, and side councils.

In action items, Justin Coffey, Ulysses High School Principal, shared a few changes in the UHS handbook, The first change in the handbook will be the seminar class. Seminar class was held everyday for 24 minutes a day in the 2021-2022 school year. Seminar class is an unstructured time when students can study, hold club meetings, work on individual plans of study, social emotional learning, and when colleges and military come in to visit with the students. Coffey shared that they are wanting to keep structure during this class to keep students out of potential trouble. Seminar class will now be twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, for the 2022-2023 school year.

For the second change, Coffey is bringing back the final exemption policy. He shared that “the final exemption policy is not my favorite, but the attendance and chronic absentism numbers have been terrible. The last two years, it has gotten really bad.” Up to seventeen percent of the students missed ten percent of the school days in previous years. However, the most recent data shows that up to 34 percent of the students missed ten percent or more of the school days this last school year. The final exemption policy is an incentive to keep kids in school. If they show up to school, they are given the choice to opt out of the final if they keep their grades and attendance up.

Kevin Warner, Director of Student Learning, presented information on Dreambox. Dreambox is a math intervention program that will be used to help students who are struggling with math. It is private and indivudalized for each student. The cost for a one year license agreement is roughly $27,000. Warner shared that all the principals are on board with implementing the new program for individual growth in math. The motion was moved and passed for a one year license.

All the action items and their changes were moved and passed by the board.

After an executive session, the board accepted the resignation of Angelica Holguin, school secretary at Sulllivan Elementary.

The board offered contracts to Kevin Warner, USD 214 Assistant Superintendent/Director of Student Learning; Zach Romero, head 8th grade football; Dalton Kincaid, head 7th grade football; Freddy Romero, assistant 8th grade football; David Romero, head KMS boys wrestling; and Ayston Perez, assistant KMS boys wrestling.

The next board meeting will be held on Monday, August 8, 2022 at 7:00pm at the Joyce school building.


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