Category Archives: Schools

USD 234 Will Close Schools January 13-14 Due to COVID-19 Virus

USD 234 Board of Education Building, 424 S. Main

The 1,860 Fort Scott school students will get five days off from school starting tomorrow, thanks to the pandemic.

USD 234 Superintendent Ted Hessong said because of the high student absenteeism and a high level of transmission of the virus, Fort Scott schools will be closed tomorrow Thursday, Jan. 13 and Friday, Jan. 14.

Ted Hessong. Submitted photo.

“These two days will count as snow days for tracking of hours on the academic calendar,” he said. “Remote Learning will not be utilized on these two days.”

The two days of school cancellation are followed by the weekend, then a  pre-scheduled staff professional development day on January 17.

“This closure is needed to assist in slowing down the spread of the virus and to give students and staff who are not feeling well time to recover.  We hope these five days away will help people,” he said.

“School activities will be canceled for January 13, 14 and 15,” he said.

“We will continue with the scheduled professional development day on Monday, January 17, and activities will resume on Monday,” Hessong said.

Masks will be required in all buildings on Tuesday when students return on the18th, he said.

“We will monitor numbers regarding the mask requirement next week,” Hessong said.

The Test to Stay and Learn virus testing program provided by the district and Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas will be available for students on Tuesday, he said.

Hessong provided the following graphic:

Student Absentee %  Tuesday, January 11 Wednesday, January 12
Fort Scott High School
143(absent)/573 = 25% 154(absent)/573 = 26.9%
Fort Scott Middle School
161(absent)/455 = 35.4% 150(absent)/455 = 33%
Eugene Ware Elementary 103(absent)/357 = 28.9% 106(absent/357 = 29.6%
Winfield Scott Elementary
82(absent)/385 = 21.3% 80(absent)/387 = 20.7%
Fort Scott Pre-School 10(absent)/90 = 11.1% 13(absent)/85 = 15.3%

 

USD234 News Release

Monday, January 10, 2022

 

Members of the USD 234 Board of Education met at the Winfield Scott Cafeteria on Monday, January 10, 2022, for their regular monthly meeting.

Vice-President Kellye Barrows opened the meeting.  The board approved the official agenda.  The board also approved the consent agenda as follows:

 

A.    Minutes

B.    Bills and Claims

C.    Payroll – December 17, 2021 – $1,463,866.84

D.    Financial Report

E.     Activity fund accounts­­­­­­

F.     First Day of Second Semester Enrollment Count Report

 

There were no comments in the public forum section.  Rob Harrington, Bourbon County Economic Development Director, presented information regarding the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan.  The board approved the Interlocal Agreement with the City of Fort Scott.

Brenda Hill, Fort Scott KNEA President, gave a report to board members.

Scott Kimble, Fort Scott High School Principal, shared information on Individual Plans of Study for students.  Principals from each building shared written reports.  In addition, reports were given by Dalaina Smith, Director of Academics; Ted Hessong, Superintendent of Schools; and Gina Shelton, Business Manager/Board Clerk.

Board members approved the updated CDC and KDHE recommendations for the Operations Guidelines.  The board also approved the following:

 

·       KASB Board Policy updates

·       Resolution 21-10 – Establish Election of School Board Officers

·       Resolution 21-11 – Establish Regular Meeting Dates

·       Desktop Computer purchases

·       Agreement of Cooperation and Partnership between USD 234 Special Education and SEK-CAP Head Start 0-5

 

Superintendent Hessong discussed ESSER III updates.  Board members shared comments and then went into executive session for preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property.  The board returned to open meeting and then went into executive session to discuss personnel matters for nonelected personnel and returned to open meeting.   The board approved the following employment items:

A.    Early retirement of Tami Campbell, high school social studies teacher, effective August 1, 2022

B.    Early retirement of Kelly Toll, middle school science teacher, effective July 1, 2022

C.    Resignation of Jenna Bunn, Winfield Scott paraprofessional, effective December 29, 2021

D.    Resignation of Akasha Clements, middle school paraprofessional, effective January 7, 2022

E.     Resignation of Jonny Larsen, Eugene Ware/Fort Scott Preschool Center custodian, effective December 21, 2021

F.     Resignation of Kourtney Harper, high school paraprofessional, effective December 16, 2021

G.    Resignation of Laura Gulley, Eugene Ware paraprofessional, effective January 24, 2022

H.    Employment of Zach Hart as a Winfield Scott paraprofessional for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

I.      Employment of Lena Phelan and Codee Weddle as Winfield Scott paraprofessionals for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

J.      Employment of James Harrison as a high school paraprofessional for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

K.    Employment of Bobby Reed as a four-hour bus driver for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

L.     Resignation of Alvin Metcalf as a middle school wrestling coach, effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year

M.   Resignation of Kelly Toll as middle school cross country coach at the end of the 2021-22 school year

N.    Employment of Lindsey Davis as a teacher mentor for the 2021-22 school year

O.    Employment of Amy Harper as high school math team leader for the 2021-22 school year

P.     Retirement of Mary Mauer, Eugene Ware fifth grade teacher, effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year

Q.    Resignation of Judith Davis, high school paraprofessional, effective January 21, 2022

 

The board adjourned.

 

Student Scholarship Opportunity

Students invited to apply for leadership opportunities and scholarship

Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative’s strong tradition of promoting youth leadership will continue with $500 scholarships and entry into an exclusive in-person leadership conference this summer.

Two current high school sophomores or juniors who live in households served by Heartland will take part in an all-expenses-paid trip to the Kansas Electric Youth (KEY) Leadership Conference and will receive $500 scholarships to further their education.

The KEY Leadership Conference will be held in Topeka in early June and will provide leadership learning opportunities, engaging speakers, and team-building activities. Student-leaders from across the state will tour the Kansas State Capitol and other local attractions. Those selected for this experience also can apply for the Kansas seat on a national youth leadership council.

If you know of a student with strong leadership potential who is ready for new experiences, would like to network with other student leaders, and is willing to learn more about themselves and their communities, encourage them to apply for this incredible leadership opportunity.

The application form can be found at www.heartland-rec.com and must be completed and returned by Friday, Feb. 11.

For more information, contact Doug Graham at dougg@heartland-rec.com or (620) 724-5526.

Fort Scott’s Middle School: Masks Required

USD 234 Board of Education Building, 424 S. Main
USD234 Superintendent Ted Hessong said in an email that as of Friday, January 7, the school district had 29 student active cases and nine staff cases.

 He gave the statistics of the number of COVID positive students and staff/total number of students and staff in a building as of Friday:

Fort Scott High School= 1.52%
Fort Scott Middle School= 2.26%
Eugene Ware Elementary School = 1.88%
Winfield Scott Elementary School= 1.30%
USD 234 Preschool = 2.00%
“According to the district’s gaiting criteria, any building that has a positivity rate over two percent and the community spread is over 30 new cases, that building will need to wear masks until the positivity rate falls below 2%,” Hesson said.  “Therefore, the middle school is required to wear masks at this time until the building positivity rate falls below 2%.  The preschool is not required to wear masks at this time because they have a lower student/staff population, but we are monitoring that building’s numbers.”
The school district has provided a way to follow  USD 234’s COVID Attendance Dashboard, he said, and this information is updated daily in the afternoon.
To view the state’s COVID-19 data:
Kansas has had 566,000 cases of the virus and 7,124 deaths. Bourbon County has had 3,192 cases and 44 deaths reported, according to https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=latest+covid+stats+for+bourbon+county+ks
from the New York Times.

USD234 Agenda For Jan. 10

USD 234 January 10, 2022 Board Meeting

5:30 p.m. – Winfield Scott Cafeteria

  1. Open the meeting
  2. Flag Salute
  3. Oath of Office for newly-elected board members
  4. Consider official agenda
  5. Consider consent agenda
  6. Public Forum
  7. Consider Neighborhood Revitalization Renewal – Rob Harrington
  8. KNEA Report
  9. Presentation by Fort Scott High School administration on Individual Plans of Study
  10. Principals’ Report
  11. Director of Academics Report
  12. Superintendent’s Report
  13. Business Manager’s Report
  14. Consider KASB Board Policy updates
  15. Consider Resolution 21-10 – Establish Election of School Board Officers
  16. Consider desktop computer purchase (part of the initial ESSER II application)
  17. Consider Agreement of Cooperation and Partnership between USD 234 Special Education and SEK-CAP Head Start 0-5
  18. ESSER III Update
  19. Board member comments
  20. Executive session – for preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property
  21. Executive session – to discuss personnel matters for nonelected personnel
  22. Consider employment
  23. Adjourn

Free School Meals Expanded

Governor Laura Kelly Announces Expanded Free, Reduced-Price School Meals in Kansas Schools

~Kansas one of eight states to participate in school meal demonstration project~

TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly announced that Kansas has been selected as one of eight states to participate in a demonstration project utilizing Medicaid eligibility data to certify eligible students for free and reduced-price school meals.

“This project will expand free, reduced-priced meals for some of our most vulnerable students,” Governor Kelly said. “Our kids need reliable access to healthy foods to learn and grown, and this is great news for our state, students, and families.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service Mountain Plains Region made the announcement earlier this week. The Kansas State Department of Education is working in collaboration with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) on the project, said Cheryl Johnson, director of KSDE’s Child Nutrition and Wellness (CNW) team.

“Kansas is excited to be a part of this pilot project,” Janet Stanek, KDHE Acting Secretary, said. “This project will directly impact students on Medicaid and remove barriers to receiving healthy and nutritious meals while at school. According to the CDC, research shows that students who participate in the school meal programs consume more whole grains, milk, fruits, and vegetables during mealtimes and have better overall diet quality which ultimately has a positive effect on learning.”

The newest round of this demonstration project creates an important opportunity to further test the impact of Medicaid Direct Certification, which was first initiated through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

Seven other states were also selected to participate in this round of the project: Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The direct certification process makes it easier for children from low-income households to receive free and reduced-price school meals, according to the USDA. Historically, most students who receive free or reduced-price school meals have been certified based on information they submit in an application.

Families can also be deemed eligible because they participate in one of a few benefit programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Adding Medicaid to the list of benefit programs that can directly certify a student to receive free or reduced-price meals is a win-win for students, families, and school officials, according to the USDA. This means less paperwork for families and fewer school meal applications for school districts to process and verify.

Since 2012-2013, USDA has authorized demonstration projects allowing states to test direct certification with Medicaid. With the addition of eight states this week, 27 states are now participating in these projects, representing approximately 75% of students nationwide, the USDA said.

An evaluation by USDA found that these projects allowed more than one million students to be certified for free meals and nearly 260,000 students for reduced-price meals in school year 2017-2018.

“This is a win-win for Kansas students, families and school districts,” said Cheryl Johnson, director Child Nutrition and Wellness for the Kansas State Department of Education. “This means school districts have fewer school meal applications to process and verify, and families have less paperwork to complete. It also helps ensure access to nutritious meals for all students, which fuels them for overall success.”

“Direct certification works to ensure children in need aren’t mistakenly left behind, and can decrease errors in school meal program administration,” said Cheryl Kennedy, USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Mountain Plains Region administrator. “By eliminating applications, direct certification reduces the burden on families and schools and connects more children to the nutrition they need to succeed in school.”

For more information, visit the FNS webpage on Direct Certification.

About KSDE

The Kansas State Department of Education (www.ksde.org) provides leadership, resources, support and accountability to the state’s K-12 education system.  KSDE administers the state’s governance of education, standards and assessments, special education services, child nutrition and wellness, title programs and services, career and technical education, and financial aid. It is the goal of the agency to provide all Kansas children with equal access to a quality, high-level education that promotes student achievement and prepares all students for global success. 

Eugene Ware nominates students to district choir

The Eugene Ware Elementary School Choir Trio L-R: Izzy Martin, Madi Ross, Braley Harrington. Submitted photo.

Fifth graders Braley Harrington, Izzy Martin, and Madi Ross were nominated to perform with the Southeast Kansas Music Educator’s Association Elementary Honor Choir for the 2021-2022 school year.

Students have eight rehearsals outside of the school day to prepare and memorize five pieces of music. They will perform with
the best 5th and 6th-grade singers from Southeast Kansas in Chanute on January 15th.

Eugene Ware Elementary School Quartet L-R: Madi Ross, Izzy Martin, Braley Harrington, MJ Harper. Submitted photo.

USD234 Press Release for Dec. 13

Fort Scott Middle School, 2019.

 

Members of the USD 234 Board of Education met at the Fort Scott Middle School Commons on Monday, December 13, 2021, for their regular monthly meeting.

President James Wood opened the meeting.  The board approved the official agenda.  The board also approved the consent agenda as follows:

 

A.    Minutes

B.    Bills and Claims

C.    Payroll – November 19, 2021 – $1,470,719.34

D.    Financial Report

E.     Activity fund accounts­­­­­­

F.     Donation of wrestling mats

G.    High School Swim Team fundraising applications

H.    Increase in adult meal prices for breakfast and lunch

 

Jamie Armstrong, outgoing board member, was recognized for her years of service.  There were no comments in the public forum section.  Brenda Hill, Fort Scott KNEA President, shared information with the board.  Principals from each building shared written reports.  Ted Hessong, Superintendent, gave a report.  In addition, Superintendent Hessong gave an ESSER III update.

Andrea Scott, Fort Scott Preschool Center Principal, gave a presentation on the Fort Scott Preschool Center.  Board members shared comments and then went into executive session to discuss personnel matters for nonelected personnel and returned to open meeting.   The board approved the following employment items:

A.    Resignation of Kaytelynd Keller, Winfield Scott paraprofessional, effective November 16, 2021

B.    Retirement of Alvin Metcalf, Sr., middle school teacher aide and middle school coach, effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year

C.    Resignation of Lacey Graham, bus driver, effective November 3, 2021

D.    Retirement of Pamela Milton, Eugene Ware paraprofessional, effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year

E.     Resignation of Alexandra VanSickle, Winfield Scott first grade teacher, effective December 16, 2021

F.     Resignation of Maggie Johnston, high school paraprofessional, effective November 23, 2021

G.    Resignation of Annyssa Davenport, high school paraprofessional, effective December 16, 2021

H.    Resignation of Gregg Sweet, Eugene Ware paraprofessional, effective December 10, 2021

I.      Leave of absence request from Caitlin Shrewsbury, Eugene Ware third grade teacher

J.      Change in work agreement for Wendy Budd, Winfield Scott paraprofessional, from a 7.5-hour day to an 8-hour day for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

K.    Employment of Judith Davis as a high school paraprofessional for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

L.     Employment of Adrianne Wisdom as a high school paraprofessional for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

M.   Employment of Charlie Hensley as a high school auto tech teacher aide for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

N.    Employment of Jennifer Herring as a Winfield Scott 6.5-hour cook for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year; Employment of Jennifer Herring as a 2-hour bus driver for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

O.    Employment of Shaunn Pytlowany as a four-hour bus driver for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

P.     Resignation of Tyler Bell, high school assistant wrestling coach, for the 2021-22 school year; resignation of Abigail Duffy, high school JV volleyball coach, effective November 8, 2021; resignation of Kelli Davis, high school freshman volleyball coach, effective November 8, 2021

Q.    Employment of Brendon Blackburn as a high school assistant wrestling coach for the 2021-22 school year

R.    Employment of Tyler Ericson as a Winfield Scott first grade teacher for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

 

The board adjourned.

 

USD234 Agenda for Dec. 13 Board Meeting

December 13, 2021 Board Meeting – 5:30 p.m.

 

Unified School District 234

Board Agenda

 

1.     Open the meeting

2.     Consider official agenda

3.     Consider consent agenda

4.     Recognition of Jamie Armstrong, outgoing board member

5.     Public Forum

6.     Fort Scott KNEA Report

7.     Principals’ Reports

8.     Director of Academics’ Report

9.     Superintendent’s Report

10.  Business Manager’s Report

11.  ESSER III Update

12.  Fort Scott Preschool Center presentation

13.  Board Member comments

14.  Executive session – to discuss personnel matters for nonelected personnel

15.  Consider employment

16.  Adjourn

Fort Scott High School Debate Takes First at Invitational

On Saturday, November 20, The Talking Tigers took a small contingency of six teams to compete at the Louisburg Wildcat Invitational.
In the open division, Joy Self and Lillian Collins placed sixth, Berkley Wood and Thade Yates placed fourth, while Anna Hall and Reagan Wells finished in first-place.
The Talking Tigers’ combined scores were enough for a first-place team finish in sweepstakes.
“Thanks for your hard work,” said teacher/coach Angella Curran. “Tigers. It certainly paid off this weekend.”

FSHS Swim Team Fundraiser: Fall Extravaganza

Fort Scott Middle School.

The Fort Scott High School Swim Team will have a fundraiser at the Fall Extravaganza on November 22 at Fort Scott Middle School.

They will be selling pulled pork stuffed baked potatoes or a pulled port sandwich meal.

Drinks will be available for sale also.

To learn more:

_Extravaganza MenuFlyer 2 pgs(1)

Shopping Extravaganza On Nov. 22

Monday, November 22nd is the VIP Fall Extravaganza that will be held at the Fort Scott Middle School in the Gymnasium & Commons Area from 5-8 p.m.

This is a one-stop shopping and dining experience.

Pick up baked goods for your Thanksgiving dinner, purchase holiday gifts, and hear holiday music – all in one great evening.

Donated items from vendors will be available as raffle prizes.

Participating Vendors:

*2 Southern Ladies / Jessica Cullen
Baked Goods / Hunter Parker
*Bids & Dibs / Angela Simon
*Color Street / Heather Geiger
*Cowboy Christmas Store & Murphy Boys / Jaymie Murphy
*Crystal’s Jewelry / Carolyn Crystal
*Custom Jewelry / Laura Howard
*Desert Bloom / Jimmie Hughes
Dixie’s Lilla Rose / Dixie Jackson
*Down Home Country Crafter / Cindy Hall
*Flying P Ranch / Abbie Powell & Jolynne Mitchell
FSHS After Prom 2022 / Amy Harper
FSMS Technology Products / Adam Feagins
*Funky Junktiques / Jennifer Cox
*Happy Little Candle Factory / Lori Craig
*Home Sewn Items / Micki Kraft
*Laree + Co. / Rachel French
*Locust Hill Lamanchas / Sue Reinecke
Mixed Media Mosaics / Cindi Lipe
*Paul L. Milks Photography / Paul L. Milks
*Plain Jane’s Soap / Heather Mace & Pamela Walters
*Redbud Farms & Nurseries / Tara Allen
*Shirt Shack / Billy Webster
*Sugar Bakery / Jessie Combs
*Sunshine Boutique / Georgia Brown
*The Purse Lady / Nancy Crawford
*The Spurred Mule Creations and Décor / Jessica Norwood
*Tiger Threads / Morgan Sage
*Tupperware / Shawn O’Brien
*Uppacreek Ranch / Doug Simpson
*Well Spring Acres / Penny Moore
*Wood Crafts & Art / Wilbur Fleming

*These vendors will be donating items to be raffled that evening.
Tickets may be purchased for $0.25 each. Winners need not be
present to win.

Monday, November 22nd
Fort Scott Middle School
Gymnasium & Commons Area
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Parking is available on the east, west, and south sides of the school.