District board meeting recap May 29


photo by Grace Altenhofen

Superintendent Michael Fulton gave an update on the strategic plan at the May 29 Board of Education meeting.

Grace Altenhofen, Guest Contributor

The following is a summary of the May 29 SMSD Board of Education meeting.


  • Adoption of agenda; approval of minutes from May 13 regular meeting


  • Report by Superintendent Michael Fulton
    • A group of Hocker Grove eighth graders placed first at the JAGK competition
    • Two SMSD students competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee
    • Indian Hills Middle School was named a 2018-19 KAMSA High Performing School
    • Two SM East students earned Blue Star awards for high school theater performance
    • Two SM East seniors placed first in policy debate at a Catholic high school debate competition
    • Summer Lunch Bunch begins June 3
    • SMSD partnered with K-State for a master’s degree program for teachers


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


  • Legislative Update
    • A state budget has been passed, which gives a clearer idea of what educational funding will look like for the 2019-20 school year


  • Reports from Board Members
    • Deb Zila said the application period for in-house legal counsel has closed and interviews will begin soon
  • Public Comments
    • Two current and one former SMSD teacher voiced their concerns that the workload is too heavy on teachers when they are made to teach six blocks per day instead of five, and encouraged the district to channel resources into cutting back the number of blocks teachers are expected to teach to five per day
    • A parent spoke about the one-to-one digital learning initiative and said that the district needs to review the data about how the initiative has impacted learning before they commit to renewing Apple devices/purchasing new ones


  • Program Evaluation–Sustainability and Community Engagement
    • The board heard a report about how the district has met the five priorities set by a 2016 youth summit regarding sustainability and community engagement


  • Approval of consent agenda items


  • Approval of action items including the renewal of the Skyward license, the purchase of insurance coverage and an agreement with the KCP&L Direct Renewables Program
  • The board dismissed to executive session to consider the appeal of a student suspension/expulsion


  • Comments from Board


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