School board meets new SRO at meeting
After the new School Resource Officer was introduced Monday night, the Baldwin Board of Education discussed several items, but most were tabled until later meetings.
Baldwin City Police Officer Kim Judy was introduced to the school board as the new SRO. Judy will replace Sgt. Greg Schiffelbein, who was promoted in early November after serving as an officer in the department which included his SRO duties.
"It was something that they were able to work out internally very recently," Supt. James White said. "I just found out last week that they were going to replace the current SRO with the new one."
During the meeting, the board discussed the private and home school policy, along with the superintendent's job description.
Board Member Ruth Barkley thought the board should hold off on taking any action with the private and home school policy.
"I think with the issues that have come up this year, there will be more and more students implementing into our schools," Barkley said. "I think this is very worthy of a work session."
After a couple other board members agreed, the discussion was tabled until the board's policies meeting. The first meeting will be on Jan. 23, with the others taking place the fourth Monday of the following months, until finished.
Another topic that was briefly discussed was the superintendent's job description.
Because Bill Majors, director of education services at Kansas Association of School Boards, was scheduled to meet with staff members from the district and patrons of Baldwin City on Wednesday, the board decided it better wait for their input.
"I don't want to appear that we are wasting their time by reviewing this tonight," Board Member Ande Parks said.
The board tabled the discussion for a special meeting next week. They will have the meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the District Office to determine the superintendent's job description.
The other new business at Monday's meeting was a presentation by Board Member Scott Lauridsen on administrative alignment.
"I personally believe it's something we need to do to drive more accountability into the district around the things we want to do better," said Lauridsen. "If you get accountability, you get results. If you don't, you don't get results because there is no one to go to."
Lauridsen began thinking of this idea while on a plane ride last week to Florida. He created a presentation that assigned duties to all administrators in the district, because it would give them fewer jobs while keeping every duty accounted for.
"I think we owe it to them to free them up and let them do their strengths," Lauridsen said. "Then we can assign those other duties to someone else."
Parks liked the presentation and idea.
"I thought you put a finger on something I have been trying to discuss for a long time now," Parks said to Lauridsen. "I have always said Jim (White) has too much on his plate as it is."
Lauridsen's idea would see the board hire an activities director and business manager to handle the duties suggested.
"This is not an all go or nothing thing," Lauridsen said. "At worst-case scenario this is hiring two positions, even though one of those is being handled fairly full-time by one individual."
White agreed with Lauridsen's idea, but he wants the board to act on it, not just talk.
"If we are going to do something, let's commit the resources to doing that," White said. "I don't want to just talk about it."
The board decided to table the idea until it figures out the superintendent's job description, because that is a major portion of the alignment.
"We do have the opportunity, with the new superintendent coming in, to realign a little bit. It's just an opportunity to maybe do some things differently."
Earlier in the meeting, the board voted to publish its renewal to keep the capital outlay mill levy rate up to 8 mills for the next five years with a 7-0 vote. White said the reason was because the state will add its funding up to 8 mills.
The board also voted 7-0 to reject the bid for the dirt work for the new baseball and softball fields, because the bid was higher than expected. Then the board voted to accept new bids for the dirt work with a 7-0 vote.
After the meeting, the school board approved the personnel report 7-0. The report included the resignation of board clerk Teresa Arnold. It also included the hiring of Baldwin High School counselor Natalie Schmidt, Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center fifth-grade paraprofessional Angie Spielman, Marion Springs Elementary School four-year-old at-risk paraprofessional Donna Kneedler and substitute bus driver Richard Grundon.
The board will hold its special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the District Office. The next regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at the District Office.