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September 2015

USD223 SUPERINTENDENT’S NEWSLETER

September, 2015

  

USD223, Hanover Schools and Linn Schools are off to a great start for the 2015-16 school year.  Our beginning of the year numbers overall are up slightly in the district compared to last year’s numbers.  Hanover Schools (K-12th grade) have an increase of nine students from last year for a total of 139 students.  Linn Schools have an enrollment of 173 students which is down six students from last year.  Thus, the total for the district is at 312 students which is up three students from last year’s count of 309 students.

Prior to the new “Block Grant”, the “official” Kansas student head count date was September 20th.  That date may still be used if the courts overturn the judge’s decision that the “Block Grant” is unconstitutional.  September 20th will still be the count day for all KSHSAA (Kansas State High School Activities Association) for all state sponsored activities at Hanover and Linn Schools. 

We have a number of new staff members joining our district this year.   At Hanover Schools we have the following new staff members joining our USD223 team:

Colby Cormack – 7-12th social science teacher

            Austin Steinfort – Vo-Ag substitute (part-time)

            Larry Pfeifer – Vo-Ag Substitute (part-time)

            Chandra Heiman – TLEC paraprofessional

            Lynette Miller - TLEC paraprofessional

            Lori Gerleve – Assistant cook

 

At Linn Schools we have the following new staff members:

Zach Lackey – Health and physical education teacher

Jeannie Woltje -6th grade teacher (part-time)

Briauna Loshe – TLEC paraprofessional

Tracie Meier – HS assistant volleyball coach

 

The 2015-16 school budget was published in the local newspapers last month and was approved by the Board of Education at their August 10th board meeting. Even though the state has changed its funding for school districts, USD223 is still being progressive for their student’s education. The district’s total expenditures including Local Option budget will be $5,401,678.  The mill levy increased slightly, less than one mill (.582) from 47.004 to 47.586 mills. A mill this year will generate considerably more money for the district because the General Fund assessed valuation of USD223 property has increased $4,315,379 compared to last year.   Even though our district has a slight enrollment increase, student numbers will not generate more money for us as in years past due to the Block Grant. Until this year, the State of Kansas did pay school districts $3,838 for every student that was enrolled in your district on September 20th.    

 

Also because of the Block Grant, school districts will not receive any additional money for “weighted funding”.  The state did allow schools/districts to receive additional money for students to help provide “equal” education for all students across the state of Kansas.  Schools districts could obtain additional money if they had students that qualified in the following categories; ESL (English as a Second Language), vocational, at-risk, non-proficient, special education, transportation, and low enrollment – but not this year.

 

The communities of Barnes, Hanover, and Linn have a long-standing tradition of support for education. Rigor, relevance, and relationships are standards are reflected in our educational system.  The definition of a "quality" educational program continues to evolve in USD 223. We are striving to become an organization that sustains continuous progress towards our strategic priorities and educational mission of providing a quality, equal educational opportunity and a comprehensive foundation for the life-long learning process for all students. By placing greater emphasis on the intrinsic value of learning and redefining roles and responsibilities in relation to the organization, we are restructuring our use of time and resources.

Our school activities will begin the week of September 1st for both schools.  Please check the school calendars or on the district web site (www.usd223.org) for the time, date and place for each activity and join us in supporting your local teams!  It is my goal to ensure that our schools continue to provide the exceptional educational experience for our young people as we prepare for them for their next step whether that is college or career.  I welcome dialog as to how we can continue to improve our district.   I can be reached by phone at 785-763-4231, by e-mail at bcordel@usd223.org or by mail at USD223 District Office, 212 N. Tripp, St. in Barnes, KS. 

Brian Cordel

USD223 Superintendent of Schools