June 14, 2021
Lawrence, US 67 F
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Preview: Lawrence school board meeting, March 22

The Lawrence school board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday and begin in executive session (meaning it’s closed to the public) for 30 minutes to discuss employer-employee negotiations with possible action to follow. There will be another executive session toward the end of the meeting to discuss nonelected personnel. Any action on executive session items must be taken in the public portion of the meeting.

Here are some noteworthy items to keep an eye on from the rest of the agenda.

Key points — the board will: 

  • Consider the Board Policy Committee’s draft Board Governance and Operating Procedures, intended “to enhance and facilitate a positive board culture.” The full board will consider this draft for adoption at a future meeting.
  • Hear a report from staff on the English to Speakers of Other Languages program.
  • Consider approving a five-year capital improvement plan. See the breakdown here. (That item is part of the consent agenda, meaning it will be approved with a list of several other items unless a board member or member of the public asks to pull it for discussion.) 
The board will consider these purchases and contracts:
August Rudisell/@KsScanner The First Student bus barn in Lawrence is pictured in this file photo.
  • A five-year contract extension with First Student including a flat, 3.5% increase each year to allow for competitive driver wages and replacement of more than half of the 90-bus fleet. During the first two years of the extension, First Student will unveil tablet technology for drivers, “which will allow real time tracking of students for their parents and administrators,” according to the agenda. The district has contracted with First Student since 1996.
  • Contract for $20,778 for purchase and installation of classroom LED displays and projectors at Free State High School and Liberty Memorial Central Middle School (paid from 2017 bond project fund). 
  • Agreement to purchase and install six backboards in Lawrence High School’s main gymnasium and four ceiling-suspended backboards in the west gym, totaling $43,375 (paid from 2017 bond project fund).
Special recognitions:
  • National Merit Scholars at Free State and Lawrence high schools. 
  • Staffers of the Lawrence High School Red & Black yearbook, which was named as a finalist for the 2020 National Pacemaker awards. 
Personnel changes: 
  • Retirement of David Cunningham, executive director of human resources and chief legal counsel, after 14 years of service. 
  • Promoting Samrie Devin, director of human resources, to executive director of HR, and Sarah Hamlin, human resources supervisor, to assistant director of HR operations, both effective April 5.

Click here for the full agenda and related documents on the district’s website.

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The board president will invite comment on topics not on the agenda at the beginning of the meeting. Public comments on agenda items are allowed after the board has had the opportunity to discuss each topic. To submit written commentary or to participate via WebEx, email patroncommentary@usd497.org prior to audience participation time on the agenda. Patrons will receive a link to join the videoconference by phone or computer.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the district encourages the public to watch a live broadcast of the meeting on Midco Channel 26 or via livestream here

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