Board Considers Bond Task Force to Study Facility Needs

Jan. 11, 2013 ~ Following a report on the district's short- and long-term facility needs during their Jan. 10 meeting, members of the Olathe Board of Education discussed the possibility of a bond issue. A bond task force of community patrons will be established and report back to the board this spring.

Superintendent Marlin Berry and Chief Financial and Operations Officer John Hutchison presented information about facility and equipment needs for the ever-growing district. They also shared data on current and projected enrollment, the Capital Improvement Plan, safety and security needs, as well as the need for a fifth high school.

The task force is expected to meet in January and February with a report expected back to the board in March.

Student Information System

Executive Director of Technology Rita Lyon updated board members on the replacement of the district's Student Information System (SIS) which includes a variety of student-related data including schedules, health, attendance, and demographics.

The SIS helps district leaders know more about students for data-driven decisions, as well as internal, state and federal reports.

Replacing the 1980s-era software is necessary for a variety of reasons, Lyon said, and a focus group of staff and in-depth demonstrations by three vendors are part of the process to find a replacement system. The vendors' proposals are being evaluated, along with feedback from staff surveys about the products. Lyon anticipates asking for board approval of a contract at the Feb. 7 or March 7 board meeting. Installing the product, converting data, and training staff would probably occur through mid-2014, with everything fully functional by July 1, 2014.

Recognitions and Awards

  • Mission Southside was recognized for its involvement in the district's Adopt-A-School program.
  • Prairie Center Elementary School teacher Michael Berndt was honored for having been named a Milken National Educator, which includes an unrestricted cash grant of $25,000 from the Milken Family Foundation.
  • The superintendent recognized the board in honor of January being School Board Recognition Month.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including various reports, student trips, and the Head Start Education, Family Partnership and Community Partnership Work Plan.
  • Approved annual bids for carpet and tile installation on various projects in the district, air filters, and concrete and asphalt projects; and a bid for phase two of replacing wireless hardware equipment and some wireless network management software.
  • Received information on future action items including the 2014-15 district master calendar, Not for Profit Corporation Dissolution form for Head Start, student trips, and the budget goals and calendar for 2013-14.
  • Received the written Head Start director's monthly report and a written update from real estate broker CBRE, Inc. on marketing the Millcreek Center campus property at 311 E. Park to potential buyers.
  • Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters, employer-employee negotiations, and the possible acquisition of real estate.

The complete agenda and supporting documents are available at