The USD 383 board of education held their second October meeting on Wednesday night at the Robinson Education Center. Vice President Pat Hudgins presided over the board in the absence of president Marcia Rozell.

Board members approved multiple purchases including 100 new iPads and two iPad carts for Northfield and Lee elementary schools, and the purchase of a SMART board projector for College Hill Preschool. There was also a unanimous vote to increase the rate it will cost to utilize district facilities and athletic venues.

Assistant superintendent Eric Reid led a continued discussion of the school funding finance formula, as USD 383 continues to prepare their requests for state legislators as they prepare to revamp the existing school funding law. Reid and board member Dave Colburn both agreed the state should take districts like USD 383 into consideration when considering special circumstance funding for children of military members.

Alyssa Best, KSDE math consultant, and Jeanne Disney, director of secondary education, reported on some recent findings which may change the way mathematics are being taught in Kansas schools. Since 2010, it has been the expectation that all 8thgraders partake in algebra classes. Recent research suggests moving students in lower grade levels through mathematics too fast might be detrimental to their overall learning, and Best says accelerated math should only be considered for students who are hoping to take calculus before graduation.

Vickie Fix-Turkowski, director of adult education, also delivered a report on the 50th anniversary celebration of adult education in USD 383. Fix-Turkowski delivered a lengthy history of learning in Manhattan, which described how the community has innovated and advocated for learning for decades now. The Adult Learning Center will be hosting an open house beginning on Oct. 24 and lasting the entire week.

Andrea Adams, director of transportation, delivered the annual transportation report. Within the last year, USD 383 has implemented a new fueling system as well as radio communication upgrades. Adams says the transportation department has seen a significant uptick in applicants since the district raised unclassified wages last month. This week is National School Bus Safety Week. On Wednesday morning drivers received doughnuts and coffee as a sign of appreciation.

Board members also recognized written reports from ESOL and reviewed the written title and at-risk programs report.

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