District board meeting recap Aug. 27

Grace Altenhofen, Editor-in-Chief

Starting today, the Mission is introducing a bi-weekly recap of each SMSD Board of Education meeting. The following is a summary of the August 27 board meeting.


  • Adoption of agenda; approval of minutes from August 13 meeting


  • Report by Superintendent Michael Fulton
    • Teachers across the district have won awards; SM East won a global citizenship award
    • Hocker Grove Associate Principal Laura Brogdon earned a PhD
  • Reports from Board Members
    • Laura Guy attended a Shawnee Mission Area Council PTA breakfast
    • Heather Ousley attended a Shawnee Mission Education Foundation dinner
    • Deb Zila represented the district at a Board of Directors meeting for the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB)
    • Mary Sinclair discussed the KASB Legislative & Government Network
    • Sara Goodburn took part in the KASB Nominating Committee
  • Public Comment Section
    • A representative from the Kansas Policy Institute congratulated the district on their ratings according to the institute; five SMSD schools improved their ratings
    • A parent of an SM West student discussed the lack of recruitment for the ROTC program, the gym capacity of Westridge Middle School being exceeded by growing class sizes, and teachers not updating Skyward in a timely manner
    • A representative from the Shawnee Mission Area PTA touched on several issues the PTA feels strongly about, including their opposition to arming teachers and the desire for adequate school funding
    • A member of Education First Shawnee Mission discussed the need for greater school funding and the group’s opposition to arming teachers
    • A representative from Game On For Kansas Schools expressed the need to educate the public about school funding, and how many things are paid for by local bonds rather than state aid
  • Superintendent Entry Plan
    • SMSD has some of the best high schools in the country
    • The district needs strategic planning; focus should be on academic preparation and personal responsibility
    • Students need to be college and career ready; time, structure and instructional strategies are the variables that need to be manipulated to get students there
  • Safety Program Evaluation
    • The district’s goal is to provide a safe learning environment by securing buildings and perimeters
    • Main focus is critical incident planning, comprehensive training, ongoing threat analysis and a culture of safety and care
    • There are now more critical incident drills per year and background checks for parent/community volunteers


  • Business and human resources consent agendas approved
  • SRO contract approved
  • Approval of board’s agreement with NEA
  • Approval of changes to school psychologists’ personnel policies
  • Approval of salary schedule and personnel policies updates for parent educators
  • Approval of administrative salaries; administrators to receive either 1% bonus or 1% raise
  • Approval of construction contracts
  • Approval to purchase three year subscription to Mosyle Manager MDM
  • Approval of revised Blue Cross plan


  • Comments from Board
    • Patty Mach discussed the Caring for Kids organization
    • Laura Guy emphasized the importance of the upcoming election and its impact on public school funding


The full agenda for the 8/27 meeting is below: