Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2007

Board eyes hiring demographer

April 12, 2007

It looks as if the Baldwin Board of Education will be hiring a demographer to assist with the planning of its bond issue.

On Monday night, Supt. Paul Dorathy presented a packet of information from RSP Associates, a professional planning and educational consulting firm out of Olathe. This firm works with the DLR Group, the architectural firm the board hired in February.

The information included an overview of RSP, along with the planning tools it can offer to the district.

"They can give us all sorts of information, it just depends on how much you want to pay for," Dorathy said. "They can do a lot of things, but they aren't free."

The school board has several options when it comes to choosing the reports and information it receives from RSP. One option includes an enrollment report and official district maps. That will cost $17,000.

The other option includes the enrollment report, official district maps and facility planning report.

According to the packet, the enrollment report includes detailed analysis of the district enrollment, information about the types of growth, information about the residential development activity expected in the district, 10-year enrollment forecast, tables with low, mid and high projections for each facility in the district, maps that identify future growth areas and maps of current boundary and facility enrollment history.

RSP also offers a boundary report that can range from $6,000 to $20,000, demographic report for $6,000 and a facility staffing report for $6,000.

Several school board members did say they would like to see a map of the building boundaries that includes enrollment numbers, in case it would want to adjust the boundaries to send more students to Marion Springs Elementary School and Vinland Elementary School.

"We are trying to get as much information as we can about where the population is going overall," Board Member Scott Lauridsen said. "Since we have attendance centers, it's nice to know if we have some idea where the population is going to grow. That information is critical. It's still just an estimate, but having that at least gets you some basis to start working from. That is what we are looking for."

Lauridsen said the board has no plans to change the boundary lines, but wants the information in case it has to make that decision in the future.

"Part of it is if you want to keep attendance centers open, you need to be able to support a student-teacher ratio and a baseline number of students," Lauridsen said. "One of the mechanisms that districts have used forever is to redraw the attendance boundary lines. That's a common practice, but whether that's addressed here or not remains to be seen."

The board suggested purchasing the enrollment report and demographic report, while disregarding the maps. Dorathy said he will find out if that's possible and report back to the board at its next meeting on April 23.

In other business Monday, the board renewed its contract with Rainbow Experience Preschool, which is located in the same building as the District Office and shares resources with the district.

The board did raise the price from $400 per month to $450 per month. Dorathy said some of that is because of increased Internet usage and charges. The board approved the contract unanimously.

Early in the meeting, Gus Wegner, MSES principal, announced that former MSES teacher Charlene Potter was selected for the Kansas Teacher's Hall of Fame 2006 class. There will be a story about Potter's teaching career in an upcoming issue of the Signal.

After the executive session Monday, the board approved its personnel report. That included the hiring of Jonathan Affalter (Baldwin Junior High School assistant track coach), Kayla Pringle (Baldwin High School assistant softball coach), Stacy Smith (BHS language arts teacher) and Nikki Burnett (BHS chemistry teacher and BHS assistant volleyball coach).

The resignations included Connie Wehmeyer (curriculum director), Delbert Pringle (transportation driver) and Kelly Brown (BHS assistant softball coach).

The school board also voted 7-0 to give the curriculum director duties to Dorathy. The meeting was recessed until 7 p.m. April 23 at the District Office.

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