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USD 308 BOE Hears Presentations, Denies Allen Name Change Request and Asks for Marketing Plan to Rebrand School


USD 308 eBoard Notes Feb. 12, 2024

By Hutchinson Public Schools


HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Hutchinson Public Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, February 6th, 2024, at 6 pm, located at the USD 308 Administration Center, 1520 N. Plum. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on February 26th at 6 pm at the same location.

Three presentations were heard at the top of the agenda:

Graduation Requirements: Hutchinson High School Principal Ryan Ewy and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Sheila Berridge presented to the board. These changes will not impact current HHS students, as they are being implemented for the class of 2028, currently eighth graders. The new requirements come from the Kansas State Department of Education. The changes require two post-secondary assets for graduation. Students will elect to focus on academics or workplace experience. The presentation was intended to inform the board and did not require board action.

Head Start Assessment Data & Selection Criteria: Head Start Director Ashley Webster presented to the board. The information included a community assessment performed by K-State. The study encouraged Head Start to increase its capacity to meet community needs. Webster also spoke about the five-year grant application that is currently in progress. The presentation was intended to inform the board and did not require board action.

Technology Purchases/Renewals: Jason Reed, Director of Technology, informed the board of upcoming technology purchases and the bidding process. These purchases include relicensing annual software packages and hardware. He explained the e-rate process required. E-Rate provides discounts for telecommunications, Internet access, and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries. Discounts range from 20 to 90 percent. The item was approved in the Superintendent Consent Agenda.

During the Superintendent Update, Dr. Dawn Johnson provided her take on bills currently being considered in Topeka. With many bills still in committee or in various stages of consideration, it is challenging to determine the overall impact these bills would have on USD 308. Addressing the Board vacancy, Dr. Johnson stated that the open position is now available for applications and will close on March 1st at noon.  

Deputy Superintendent Krystal Young presented a Parent Teacher Conferences Update. During this time, Young presented historical data outlining elementary, middle, and high school attendance trends at parent-teacher conferences. The board discussed shifts in attendance and possible driving factors, including timing, communication, necessity, and weather. The presentation was intended to inform the board and did not require board action.

There was a single board action item on the agenda- Allen Name Change, presented by Jessica Thomas, Allen Principal. She presented the process that staff and students used to refine name options for the school and the various names by which the school is known. The request was denied by the board, but they asked Thomas to continue to work alongside Dr. Johnson to create a marketing plan to grow and rebrand the school. Allen currently serves approximately 200 students.

Immediately following the regular meeting, the board held a Study Session. The session allowed the Board to dive deeper into the district’s five main areas: curriculum and assessment, finance, special education, operations and maintenance, and human resources. Assistant Superintendents were on hand to answer the board’s questions.