Lawrence school board to weigh pandemic relief funds proposal, leasing rate for Kennedy Early Childhood Center

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The Lawrence school board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8 at 110 McDonald Drive. Masks are required due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key points the board will:

Vote on a proposal for use of $13.6 million awarded to the district in Elementary and Secondary Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds, known as ESSER. 

Context: The proposal represents the third round of funding requests for ESSER. If approved, the district would submit the application to Kansas State Board of Education and funding task force. The district can make amendments to the grant request later, according to information in the agenda packet. The district would need to spend ESSER III funds by Sept. 30, 2024.


Funding priority feedback from district stakeholders was received through a ThoughtExchange survey early in the school year. 

The proposal breaks down as follows:

  • $4.6 million: Two-year plan for staff retention incentive pay of $1,500 per year for two years, which the board approved at its Sept. 13 meeting
  • $4.17 million: Air quality studies and improvements
  • $1.37 million: Academic interventionists
  • $955,000: Early childhood and after-school care
  • $573,000: After-school tutoring/additional learning opportunities
  • $566,000: Class size reduction and elementary Title I funding
  • $499,000: Full-time certified substitute teacher in each building
  • $390,000: Social and Emotional Student and Staff Supports
  • $252,000: Instructional support and staff professional development to address learning loss
  • $244,000: Technology supports

Vote on approval of the Use of Space Agreement for the Kennedy Early Childhood Center, 1605 Davis Road.

Context: The Lawrence school board voted at its April 12 meeting to convert Kennedy Elementary School to an early childhood community center and transition 170 K-5 students to Cordley, New York and Prairie Park for the 2021-2022 school year.

The agreement, if approved, would be used in leasing classroom spaces to community partners. The cost to lease space at the center will be calculated using a three-year average operational cost of $6.46 per square foot, according to information in the agenda packet.

As part of the consent agenda, the ESSER III and space agreement proposals will be considered with other items unless a board member or the superintendent requests an item be removed and voted on separately.

• Meet in executive session — meaning privately — to discuss the evaluation of  Superintendent Anthony Lewis.

Context: The board conducts an annual evaluation of Lewis due in February, plus quarterly check-in sessions with Lewis. 

Find the full board meeting agenda and related documents here.

Watch the live board meeting via livestream here or tune in to Midco Channel 26 at 6 p.m. Monday. To sign up to share public comments in person or via WebEx, email before 6 p.m. Monday. Patrons will receive a link to join the videoconference by phone or video conferencing.

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Tricia Masenthin (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at tmasenthin (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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