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Preview: Lawrence school board meeting, June 28

The Lawrence school board will meet for a work session about progress on the district’s strategic plan at 5 p.m. Monday, June 28, at 110 McDonald Drive. The board’s regular meeting begins at 6 p.m.

Public attendance is welcome but could be limited due to COVID-19 safety measures. Temperature checks, masks and social distancing will be required.

The agenda includes an executive session (meaning it’s closed to the public) near the end of the agenda for 10 minutes to discuss negotiations for a fair and equitable contract, with a possible vote to follow.

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Key points — the board will:

• Hear a report on the 2021-2022 budget prep and approval process, including new legislation passed in 2021.

↪ Context: Kathy Johnson, executive director of finance, will update the board on the upcoming school year’s budget process and the closing of the current fiscal year’s books. The district experienced an enrollment drop of nearly 650 students during the 2020-2021 school year, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Johnson has estimated a $1.2 million budget shortfall for the school year ending June 30.

• Discuss changing the board’s meeting schedule.

↪ Context: The board meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. Members will discuss the possibility of changing the schedule to an in-person meeting the second Monday each month and a virtual meeting on the fourth Monday if necessary. The board could vote on the change at its July 12 meeting. Find a draft of the meeting calendar here.


Below is another noteworthy item from the consent agenda. Items on the consent agenda are considered altogether in one vote unless a board member or the superintendent requests that an item be removed and voted on separately.

Give district administration permission to make budget transfers and use contingency reserve funds if necessary.

↪ Context: A memo from the agenda packet says the authorization is necessary because of the timing of board meetings for the fiscal year ending June 30.  Due to financial contingencies from declining enrollment and the disputed utility bill from the region’s cold spell in February, it might be necessary to use contingency reserve funds to close the 2020-2021 school year in statutory compliance. The balance of the fund is $1.2 million. In July and August, year-end reports to the board will outline whether use of the funds was necessary.


Find the board meeting agenda and related documents here.

Watch the live board meeting via livestream here or tune in to Midco Channel 26 at 5 p.m. Monday for the work session and the regular board meeting at 6 p.m.

To sign up to share public comments in person or via WebEx, email patroncommentary@usd497.org before 5 p.m. Monday. Patrons will receive a link to join the videoconference by phone or computer.

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