Alva Review-Courier -

South Barber approves proposed budget and new bleachers for the gymnasium

• Elementary Open House is Aug. 26: meal at 6:30, open house at 7 p.m.


August 14, 2019

South Barber's Board of Education met Monday night for their regular August meeting with vice-president Bryan Quick calling the meeting to order in the absence of president Mark Pollock. All other members were present including: Melissa Simpson, Ryan Molz, Mike Miller, Mariah Doherty and Deb Helfrich. Seated at the head of the board table was Superintendent Dr. Mylo Miller and Deputy Board Clerk Luke MacKinney. Grade 7-12 Principal Brent Shaffer attended as did the new Elementary Assistant Principal Kaynette Scheck.

The annual public budget hearing was called to order at 7 p.m., prior to the regular meeting. No members of the public attended to voice an opinion or ask questions. The board unanimously approved the proposed budget for the 2019-2020 school year. General fund expenditures total $2,474,401. Total expenditures are $5,678,119.

The amount of 2019 tax to be levied is $1,881,841 at an estimated tax rate of 43.76 mills. This is a reduction in the mill levy, which was 45.755 last year.

USD255's Local Option Budget (LOB) was 17.755 last year and dropped to 15.760 for 2019-20, the superintendent said.

Regular Meeting Business for USD255, New Bleachers and More

Craig Lipsey with Hussey Seating made a presentation to the board in July about new bleachers for the gymnasium. Monday night the board approved purchasing new bleachers from Hussey. The cost is $125,318 plus about $6,000, depending on who removes the old bleachers from the gym.

The original price was $138,900 and then Hussey offered discounts, etc., if South Barber can allow installation of the bleachers to begin by March 30. Miller and Principal Shaffer said that is a tight window between basketball season and prom (which is typically held in the gym.)

“Our gym is a focal point of our district,” Quick said, mentioning graduation, numerous programs and more besides athletic events held there. After the unanimous yes vote, Quick added, “This is a good move for our district.”

In other business, the board approved payment of current bills totaling $240,641.94.

Skylar Cowan was hired by the board as the head high school girls volleyball coach. They accepted Cowan's resignation to coach the Lady Chieftain's basketball team.

The Elementary Open House is Aug. 26. A letter will be mailed soon to parents describing the evening events. A meal is served at 6:30 p.m., with the open house beginning at 7.

Principal Shaffer said enrollment is mostly complete and “pretty much as expected.” High school enrollment is 46 (with one foreign exchange student), which is down slightly, Shaffer said. But junior high enrollment is up to 29, he said.

The first football game for the Chieftains is Sept. 6 at Cherokee. High school volleyball opens Saturday, Aug. 31, in Kiowa with Attica and Skyline.

High school girls tennis is in Kiowa on Sept. 3 for JV and Sept. 5 for Varsity. Junior high football and volleyball are to have games Sept. 5 with the location to be determined.

Superintendent Congratulates Many, Tells of Grants and Gifts

Dr. Miller said he just received confirmation that South Barber USD 255 was awarded the Civic Advocacy Award for 2019 by the Kansas State Department of Education. Students and staff will be recognized in Topeka on Sept. 17 and presented with a banner of accomplishment.

Olivia Pla took the first national AP (Advanced Placement test) for South Barber in AP Spanish Language and Culture and scored the top score of '5.' The AP test is a national test scaled 1 to 5 and students who score a 3 or higher usually earn college credits. Pla earned a potential of 16 hours of college credit. The superintendent credits South Barber Spanish teacher Suzanne Walter for having a rigorous curriculum and also Principal Shaffer for supporting the AP program in his high school.

In Kansas, 342 students took the AP Spanish and Culture Test, Miller said. Of those, 2% scored a 1 (the lowest score) 12% scored a 2; 34% scored a 3; 35% scored a 4; 18% scored a 5, including Pla. Globally 188,336 students took the AP Test Spanish and Culture Test - 2% scored a 1; 10% scored a 2; 29% scored a 3; 34% scored a 4; and 25% scored a 5.

The superintendent congratulated Kiowa High School 1969 graduate Cheryl Knorp/Miller who is a paraprofessional at USD 255. She received Paraeducator of the Year recognition from the South Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative.

Dr. Miller said South Barber's new vocal music teacher Cathy Cox received a generous donation of $2,306 for wireless speaker systems for both the elementary and junior/senior high school sites. He thanked the General Store in Kiowa for donating the money and said that Treasurer Roxie Blunk delivered the check and good news.

The Kansas State Department of Education's Safe and Secure School Department awarded South Barber USD 255's grant request for security cameras at both sites funding $4,675.

The U.S. Department of Education Rural Education Achievement Program awarded South Barber $27,436 for the 2019-2020 academic year. The superintendent said the purpose of the Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program is to provide rural LEAs with financial assistance to fund initiatives aimed at improving student academic achievement. The past 15 years South Barber has received over $250,000 in funding to assist educational initiatives in the district. The superintendent thanked Central Office and Board Clerk Julie Johnson and IT Director and deputy board clerk Luke MacKinney for their work on this project.

Suzanne Walter (South Barber USD 255 Art Teacher) received a check for $130 for use in art supplies for completing the Norene Ketcherside Art Symposium recently in McPherson.

Published school supply lists 2019-2020 are updated at the following link on the school's website: Additionally, the supply list is at Walmart in Alva and can be found on their website:

Miller encourages South Barber student participation in the South Central Community Foundation “Youth Making A Difference.” The application is at this website: He said this is a great opportunity for South Barber 9-12 grade students to gain experience with grant selections, network for scholarships, build friendships and resume experience.

The superintendent thanked board member Mike Miller for all his hard work with the recent Monty Thompson Memorial Golf Outing. The Monty Thompson Foundation’s generous support has directly impacted the classrooms in South Barber USD 255 in the amount of nearly $90,000 in the last 10 years.

Dr. Miller thanked the local pharmacy in Kiowa for donating boxes of tissues to the school sites.

The superintendent praised Kaynette Scheck, who is a fourth-grade teacher and Elementary Teacher of the Year. Scheck is now the assistant principal at the elementary. He thanked her for showing in the Celebrity Show in Hardtner at the Barber County Fair. He also thanked former longtime South Barber Ag Teacher Fred Gillig for participating in the events. Miller also recognized outgoing ag teacher Kyle Jacobs for his help to students at the fair and incoming ag teacher Tommy Hutson for his assistance with the kids and their livestock entries.

South Barber's weight room got a deep cleaning last weekend. The superintendent gives “a big thank you” to Rudy and Nicole Perez, Football Coach Matt Cantrell, and students who are in the summer weights and conditioning program who helped.

Miller and the entire board expressed thanks to the custodial staff and others who have gone “above and beyond” to make the school sparkle for the new school year. They also thanked the teachers for their “hard work” this summer in getting ready to make the best learning experience for their students.


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