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USD 489 reports loss of 44 students

8/21/2012

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

In a short agenda Monday, the Hays USD 489 Board of Education heard positive numbers regarding enrollment.

Thursday was the first day of the new school year, and Superintendent Will Roth reported on the enrollment numbers. However, the numbers aren't official until the 20th day of classes.

Administrators expected to lose approximately 100 students because of the closing of Kennedy Middle School at the end of the 2011-12 school year, but that hasn't been the case.

"We gained 56 students back, so we're down 44 from last year," Roth said Monday morning.

Every elementary school has bigger classes, and except for Kennedy, which closed, no school lost students, he said.

Total enrollment on the first day was just more than 2,800 students.

"Kindergarten is our biggest class. There's 275 kids enrolled," Roth said, noting that grade level is the largest by at least 25 students.

The district's three largest elementary schools -- Wilson, Roosevelt and O'Loughlin -- each have 70 kindergarten students. Lincoln has 44 and Washington 19.

With kindergarten classes continuing to grow, some sections close as maximum class size is reached.

Each year, it becomes more important for parents to specify at kindergarten roundup which school they want their child to attend.

"After we close a section off, (parents) have to look at another school," Roth said.

Board members also voted 6-1 to accept a bid from Kansas Truck Equipment Co., Wichita, to purchase a 33-passenger bus for $89,830.

Greg Schwartz, board vice president, voted against the motion but declined to comment.

In other business, the board:

* Entered into two executive sessions with administrators and Bill Jeter, the board attorney, one for 30 minutes and one for 15 minutes, to discuss negotiations with Service Employees International Union.

* Accepted resignations from Sarah Nuss, head volleyball coach; Troie Schmeidler, Hays High assistant cook; Lisa Waldschmidt, Westside special ed para; Coleen Schields, Lincoln special ed para; DeLynn Rice, Washington teacher; and Linda Meder, bus driver.

* Approved a transfer for Katty Terwort, Washington ELL para to Early Childhood Connections para.

* Approved provisional employment for Terry Blide, bus driver; Samuel Omoarelojie, HMS/Learning Center computer lab supervisor; Terri Tramel, O'Loughlin school secretary; Stephanie Jahnsen, O'Loughlin principal secretary; Dennis Hahn, O'Loughlin computer lab supervisor; Michelle Quinones, Learning Center computer lab supervisor; John Keller, O'Loughlin special ed para; Laurie Toepfer and Kristie Hockett, TMP special ed paras; Carol Hayes and Sarah Rages, Hays High special ed paras; Christin Nunnery, Hays High interim head volleyball coach; Ramon Lazano, Hays High girls' tennis assistant coach; Jim Maska, Hays High boys' soccer assistant coach; and Jami Applegate, Hays High volleyball assistant coach.