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USD 308 Approves New State-Mandated Non-Resident Student Enrollment Policy, Bids to Replace Flooring in McCandless and Morgan Elementary

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By Lucky Kidd

 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — A name change for Hutchinson STEM Magnet School at Allen may be in the works. This is a part of a rebranding proposal presented to the USD 308 Board of Education Monday by Jessica Thomas, the first-year principal of Hutchinson’s science, technology and mathematics magnet school. She said there was a feeling people were not aware of what they are and what they do.

The goal of the re-branding is to increase awareness, more applications and higher enrollment. The desire is to include the Allen name and the STEM theme in the new name. Teachers and students are being asked to give their suggestions as to that name, with stakeholders also having input on this. It’s anticipated a new name could be brought to the Board by spring break.

The USD 308 Board approved a new state mandated non-resident student enrollment policy. The policy requires each district to determine capacity of each building, from which the number of out of district students it will be required to accept.

The policy has a number of priorities set out for non-district enrollment, among them things such as a sibling already in the district, military or homeless children, children of employees of the district, among others. If there are more students applying that spots available, a lottery process will determine who gets in.

The Board approved bids for replacement of flooring at McCandless and Morgan Elementary Schools. The project, to be done by Country Carpet at a combined price of just over 290 thousand dollars, will at McCandless involve replacement of existing flooring in two classrooms, the cafeteria, and the hallway by the new gym with LVT style flooring, following up on work in the rest of the building earlier. At Morgan this involves replacement of existing carpeting in 42 classrooms, the main office, and hallways with the new vinyl based flooring. The project is expected to be done over the summer.

The board also approved a contract with Johnson Controls to upgrade horn and strobe fire alarm signals in the gymnasiums at Hutchinson High Schools, enabling them to warn students and staff with strobe lights and audible messages in the event of a lockdown. This system is already in place at Hutch High’s shops and the Career and Technical Education Academy, and will be funded partly through a safe and secure schools grant.

Approval was given for revisions to classified staff and Hutchinson Virtual School handbooks. The classified handbook changes involve professional development and also sets the entry level wage for classified employees at 14 dollars an hour, while that for the virtual school adds language related to graduation requirements.

New interagency agreements for the Early Education Center and Transitional Learning Center were also approved, and the board approved submission of a Capital Funds Project Accelerator Grant application for child care projects as part of the Reno County Child Care Task Force.

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