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Buhler USD 313 BOE Sets Capacity for New Non-Resident Students for 2024-25 School Year


By Lucky Kidd


BUHLER, Kan. — The Buhler USD 313 Board of Education Monday night set capacity for new non-resident students for the 2024-25 school year.

The recommendation from Superintendent Cindy Couchman was accepted with one modification related to 5th grade, where due to available space at Buhler Grade School there will be eight slots for that grade. This modification was suggested by Board member Michael Green, who noted this would allow for more efficient use of that building’s capacity.

Three grade levels, 6th, 7th and 10th grades, will not have any slots available, with just one 9th grade slot open. The 4th and 8th grades, based on current enrollment projections, will have the most available at just over 20 each, with other grades for the most part having between ten and 15 slots.

There is still a bit of flux in the number of slots that will be available, as the district still is attempting to contact families currently in the district to determine if they will be coming back in the fall. In a separate action the Board also approved the Non-Resident Enrollment Request form.

The Board approved a recommendation from Ad Astra Academies director Erica Shook to expand their alternative school program to include 7th and 8th grades starting this fall. A number of families have expressed interest in enrolling in their programs if they could do so alternatively. This program includes an in-person component along with online classes. The only cost involved, and this might not be needed would be to move a middle school specialist position from 6/7th time to full time.

Couchman reviewed for the board two needs assessments school districts are required to prepare and consider as they develop budgets for the coming year. One of the assessments is a state assessment review, which takes a look at barriers that must be overcome for each student to achieve grade-level proficiency, along with budget actions to address and remove barriers and the amount of time estimated.

The second assessment is a building needs assessment, which reviews student needs, State Board of Education outcomes, curriculum needs, educational capacities, staffing, and facility needs along with other data. Both reports are done for each building in the district including Ad Astra Academies, and the state assessment review also looks at USD 313 as a whole.

In addition to a lengthy list of personnel items, the board approved updated job descriptions for two positions in the business office, adoption of a World Geography resource for middle school social studies, a food service bad debt reimbursement policy required by the federal School Nutrition Program, and out of state travel for a teacher and two students to attend the National KidWind Science Competition May 5-8 in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the event they qualify for it. The state competition is Saturday, and the next Board meeting will not be until after the national competition.