USD 489 board meeting discusses bond, repairs

BY ALICIA FEYERFERM

The USD 489 Board of Education met for their regular meeting on Monday. 

The Board opened the meeting with the approval of the previous meeting’s minutes, HRC agenda and minutes, personnel transactions, the 2022-2023 district calendar and the February financials. 

District Nursing Staff members Mary Ann Shorman, Lottie Porsi and Alaina Cunningham were recognized for their service of providing early morning COVID tests to students, staff and families, as well as helping with COVID vaccine and booster drives.

“We know it took a great deal of your time to help with these important things but because of your efforts many people benefitted from your service,” Superintendent Ron Wilson said. “On behalf of USD 489, we would like to thank all of you and let you know how much you are truly appreciated.” 

USD 489 parent Julie Eikenberry spoke during public comment asking for clarification about the recent ransomware attack at Hays High School.

“We did have a disruption to our system and we did send out a message,” Wilson said. “We’re going through a process to investigate this and as soon as we can have more information to update we will be doing that.”

During Wilson’s superintendent report, he encouraged individuals to look at the USD 489 Bond website and review the information before the vote on May 10. Tours will be set up for community members to view the schools ahead of the vote.

The Board approved a base bid for repair and maintenance for the Hays Middle School track. Wilson noted the appraiser said the middle school track was one of the worst he’d ever seen. These improvements will prolong the life of the track by seven to nine years.

Wilson said this was a good investment, even if the bond passes and the middle school becomes the new elementary. 

“It’s a good idea for several reasons,” Wilson said. “One is, we’ll be utilizing that track for three more years because that’s the timeline of how the bond may work. We’re utilizing it, but it’s really not even probably usable at this point. It’s a little dangerous.”

Wilson elaborated saying even if the middle school eventually becomes an elementary school, having a usable track can be helpful in P.E. classes or as a general wellness activity.

The bid was approved along with similar bids for repair and maintenance for the Hays High School Track and Tennis Courts. 

The Superintendent’s Evaluation Process, Board Member Self-Evaluation Process and New Board Member Onboarding Process were reviewed. 

A recording of last night’s meeting can be found here https://youtu.be/pUhitzIkdcg.

The next meeting will be held on March 7.

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