District board meeting recap April 22

Grace Altenhofen, Editor-in-Chief

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The following is a summary of the April 22 SMSD Board of Education meeting.


  • Adoption of agenda; approval of minutes from April 8 regular meeting


  • Report by Superintendent Michael Fulton
    • Melissa Molteni from Corinth Elementary and Natalie Johnson-Berry from SM North were named SMSD Primary and Secondary Teachers of the Year
    • At the Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair, two of the three top prizes were awarded to SMSD biotechnology students
    • SM North sophomore Hananeel Morinville was awarded the Princeton Prize in Race Relations
    • Prairie Elementary student Amelia Suptic was named a Top Three winner in the Kindest Kansas Citian Essay Contest
    • Merriam Park Elementary Instructional Coach Dustin Springer was honored on field at a Sporting KC game
    • At the eMagine animation festival, nine SMSD students placed in the Top 10 of their respective categories
    • SM North’s NJROTC took home several awards from nationals in Pensacola, Florida
    • Blanca Reyes from Little Horizons Early Learning Center and Amy Frick from Ray Marsh were named SMSD All Stars


  • Strategic Planning Update
    • The strategic planning committee is continuing their work in action teams


  • Reports from Board Members
    • Laura Guy gave an update on the strategic plan to SMAC PTA
    • Heather Ousley discussed SMEF’s distinguished leaders speaker series, the most recent of which took place April 17 at SM Northwest
    • Deb Zila said the district is currently accepting applications for in-house legal counsel


  • Chief Financial Officer Russell Knapp gave a budget update


  • Public Comments
    • Ryan Harms, an employee of SumnerOne, expressed his concerns that SumnerOne was unfairly discounted when SMSD chose Ricoh over them as a printer, despite SumnerOne giving a lower bid
    • Meagan Peters, a parent of a Rosehill Elementary student, said that three class sections have been cut from Rosehill for the upcoming school year, leaving the remaining classes close to exceeding capacity
    • Johnson County Commissioner Becky Fast said the county wants to support the district with mental health services and communicate about mental health issues
    • A Brookwood Elementary sixth grader voiced his concerns that his class spends too much time on their iPads, leaving them overexposed to technology


  • Lobbyist Stuart Little gave a legislative update


  • Chief Financial Officer Russell Knapp held a budget workshop regarding non-operating funds


  • The board briefly reviewed the results of the Climate and Culture Survey, which students from across the district took


  • The board discussed whether to implement Corwin Equity Professional Development to promote equity and unity in schools


  • Approval of consent agenda items


  • Approval of action items and discussion of proposed language changes to several board policies


  • Approval of change to lunch policy in which debt from students’ lunch accounts will be sent to collections at the end of each semester, rather than at the end of each year


  • Comments from Board


  • The board dismissed to executive session to discuss litigation, negotiations and personnel matters
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