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Hutchinson USD 308 Feb. 26 Meeting: Board Approves Strategic Plan, Address Details of Community Survey

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By Lucky Kidd 

 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — An updated strategic plan for Hutchinson USD 308 was approved by the Board of Education Monday. The plan is the result of work done during 2023, which included a community survey, from which a design team established a timeline for the strategic planning process.

A number of retreat sessions and other meetings were held along with a two-day board retreat where the board made decisions on where to focus their efforts. The four focus goals identified were resources, early learning, student achievement and culture.

That community survey indicated a slight majority wanted to keep the current grade alignment in place, a plurality was dissatisfied with virtual learning with the prevailing view being it works well for some students but not for others, and that top priorities indicated were academics, addressing mental health and substance abuse issues, professional development, and parental involvement and resources.

You can find the complete plan as part of the agenda packet for last night, which you can link to at www.usd308.com.

The Board approved renewal of liability, property, casualty and other insurance coverage through Fee Insurance Group that carries a 19.4 percent, or just over $93,000 hike from last year. A major driver in the premium hike was an increased valuation on district buildings, which while up 26 percent is still far below replacement coverage.

The Renewal through EMC also has a large increase for professional liability coverage, which is a small part of the package, while other areas saw slight increases dollar wise with one line actually showing a slight decline.

Multiple technology purchases were approved, the largest of which is replacement of student iPads, which are replaced every four years or so to meet the ever-increasing hardware specifications for the software used and the heavy use they get in the classroom.

Other purchases include 200 Chromebooks for paras and aides to replace four-year-old units, and replacement of various network switches at various buildings, which are more than ten years old and at the end of their life. All told, this involves a just under $958,000 expenditure. The board also approved disposal of outdated computer equipment of various kinds.

Relocation of playground equipment from the Grandview to Lincoln site for Reno County Head Start was approved. Head start classrooms have been moved from Grandview to Lincoln, where there will be more preschool classrooms next school year. The company that originally installed the playground at Grandview will handle the relocation to Lincoln, and as such if anything gets damaged in the process, they will take care of repair or replacement costs. The board also approved the annual Head Start and Early Head Start baseline grant application.

Among a number of personnel matters, the Board accepted the resignation of Assistant Superintendent of Finance Sheila Meggers, who is leaving at the end of this school year to become Superintendent of School in Shawnee Heights USD 450 near Topeka.