0.jpeg

USD 251 Board of Education members toured a property at 558 Broadway St. in Americus, Wednesday, as a potential site for a district preschool.

The USD 251 Board of Education accepted the resignation of three more employees following a lengthy executive session, Wednesday evening, during a special meeting of the board.

The resignations came from district social worker Marah DeLong, English teacher Sarah Malcolm and head volleyball coach Ashlee Douglas.

They then approved the hire of Michelle Sieve as a music teacher and Shealee Crosby for an open elementary teaching position.

The board also continued discussions on development of a district preschool program following a walkthrough of 558 Broadway St. The district already owns the building.

Board members discussed what modifications and renovations would need to be made to the building in order to make it suitable for preschool use. Some of those renovations would include the addition of in-classroom bathrooms and a storm shelter.

Board President Matt Horton, who attended the meeting remotely, said he had also looked into playgrounds so the board could explore those possibilities as well.

The board will be discussing this more in the coming weeks.

Superintendent Bob Blair said, depending on how those discussions go, it was possible that the district could be looking at work beginning as early as the upcoming winter season.

“On my internal checklist, the playground would probably come last,” he said. “Graveling [the parking lot] would be first.”

(29) comments

out-thebox-side

Schools are placed or survive in the towns that have the greater populations and thus the greater student populations. One of the big reasons Dody wanted a school in the pasture was to maximize the state funds that are awarded to districts per kid they have to bus more than 2 miles to school. He said it himself.

It’s about time the school board wakes up and starts investing their hoarded capital funds into the repair of the existing buildings.

Also, does everyone have their blinders on? A lot of the resignations are because of what happened with the lesbian student, bus driver, and library aid. Whether they agreed or disagreed on what happened, there are still a lot of people that are upset over that. Some strong enough that they are choosing to continue their career elsewhere.

Rationa1

There's not much point in repairing the existing buildings. When you patch up a century-old elementary school or a 70-year old high school...you still have 100- and 70-year old buildings. Tear'em down and dissolve the district. Let the kids go somewhere that most of the adults in the district (other than the teachers) actually care about them. The voters in NLC seem to believe the kids don't deserve an education, anyway.

RealityStinks

Whoa where did this come from? Talking about buildings not teaching the NLC students. I seem to know for sure K State, KU, Emporia State are fairly old buildings and they seem to have a few years left in them. Do you know the quality of graduates NLC has given the community? Seems there are some highly qualified college graduates wandering around that have come from the district. I mean doctors , engineers, some high level positions that are in fortune one hundred companies. Now where do we need to go from here. Someone needs to do some research.

out-thebox-side

I agree. It’s not the buildings that teach the students, it’s the teachers. We have a lot of wonderful teachers and aides..... well, not as many as we did a month ago. Thanks Mr Horton and the rest of the school board for that.

Rationa1

Not complaining about the teachers, Box-side. Not complaining on the students or the graduates, Reality. Just saying the school board is failing the kids and the teachers and the voters who refuse to build modern buildings and who elect those same people to the school board are failing the kids. If the school board can't get it done and the voters won't let them get it done, dissolve it. We'll take the Americus kids and the property taxes from the Westar plant and consider ourselves lucky for it.

havesomehorsesense

Rationa1 - I think a lot of USD251 would gladly give you Americus. Now Westar - not so much!

havesomehorsesense

Maybe you should take a trip out of Lyon County sometime. Try Boston, lots of neat old buildings there. Thank goodness they saw they value in saving them.

Rationa1

Thanks for the recommendations. My wife and I both get our second vaccine doses this week. Maybe we'll have to look into Boston and other old-building communities for the summer.

As for USD 251, it more or less IS Americus. That's where the population is centered, and hence the votes. Not I don't really care to have those voters watering things down politically in 253. But their kids are OK. Let's get them out of the influence of that board.

RealityStinks

I do think that limits on board members may be nice. Also wonder why a building was needed for a preschool ..... oh guess the Reading school wasn't in Americus. And I'm sure the road for buses or vans to pick up preschool only go to Americus tool Do you see a vision the board has been stuck on for a few years. NLC only includes the city of Americus and the rest is expendable. I wonder how they are planning on closing NHHS .....oh I forgot one building for all grades and yes it would be in Americus. The people of Americus are great it's the board that is single minded when planning how the district can move forward. Now I'm waiting for the reply telling me how wrong this vision is.

Vmae39

You are right about trying to move everything to Americus!! They want everything in Americus so when it comes time to say “hey we need new K-12, they can argue that Elementary and preschool are here so we need new middle school highschool here.” It’s called North Lyon County for a reason!! If you only want to consider Americus, they can join Emporia.!

justme

I don't disagree with your thoughts on the vision; however, I think if a consolidated centralized location could have passed it would NOT have all been in Americus. Being from the Reading area, I would have loved not having to drive all the way to Allen to pick up my kid when I could have stopped just a couple of miles north of the Orchard. Apparently I was the only parent who would have preferred that plan over having everything moved to Americus.

Vmae39

Justme.. I agree with you. I would of loved the orchard area also. Don’t think anything will pass if specifically in one town.

havesomehorsesense

Have you ever looked at a map of the 251 district? The geographic center isn’t the orchard. It’s more like Admire. Admire would have been a fairer location and it already has some infrastructure in place to save money rather than building in your pasture. The orchard location was selected because it’s not IN Americus but close enough to still keep the Americus vote and to perhaps entice people out of Emporia because your enrollment was already tanking.

Rationa1

While you make a good point that Americus is not the geographic center, it is the center-of-population. Placing schools buildings in Admire only inconveniences everyone. Placing them in Americus inconveniences the fewest students, saves the district oodles of money on busing costs, etc. If Admire wants the school, they need to recruit more residents. Same with Reading, Miller, and Bushong.

havesomehorsesense

Reading had a plan for all the teachers to receive dyslexia training and an offer from a specialist to refer students to the school. The board shut the school down. Kind of hard to recruit when your hands are tied. Each time a school in USD251 has been closed the head decreases and never rebounds.

Rationa1

You're changing the topic again, Horsey. We're discussing population centers, not what to do with an empty building. Now, my memory isn't the best in Lyon County, but what I remember is that this inventive plan for the Reading building didn't come about until after the school board made its decision to close that building. But let's accept your position for the moment that the board shoulda taken the teachers up on that plan. If that's the case, it kinda proves my earlier point that the board is failing the teachers and the kids. Where does 251 get the board? It gets the board the voters elect. Look, I sing the praises of our little sibling to the north (and to the south) when they do good things. Don't expect me not to criticize them for their unforced errors.

Elrod

Horsesense I think you can throw yourself in that category as being bossy and opinionated. I’ll see you for yourself in a category if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

havesomehorsesense

Agreed. I am opinionated as is everyone that contributes to these comments. God rest her soul, my mother was a teacher. As far as bossy, that means you feel you have authority over someone. Unhappiness comes when others don’t believe you do.

havesomehorsesense

Maybe instead of voting on all those bond issues they should have been voting on ‘term limits’ for their board members.

Vmae39

Totally agree with term limits!!

Rationa1

USD 251 has term limits: they're called "elections." If the voters get fed up with the school board's shenanigans, they get to limit the board members' terms by voting them out. It's becoming clear that the citizens in NLC deserve everything they're getting from their school board, because they know what they're getting and they elect those folks anyway. It's appalling how it is affecting the students there.

Vmae39

So sad the district is losing great teachers!! Maybe the board needs to take time and see why they are losing all these great teachers! In every meeting all you ever hear about is building this or that but what about what teachers need and teachers concerns!!!

havesomehorsesense

There are exceptions, but largely as a group, it has been my experience that teachers are the most overly opinionated, bossy people around. I’m not sure you can make them happy?

DrPepper

Sure you can. By being a supportive involved parent. Teachers are expected to teach your children not only academics but morals, manners and work ethic. All for little pay and little respect. Plus with Kansas republicans doing their best to strangle public schools financially for 20 years.

DrPepper

There’s one on that list that should never have been hired in the first place. Flirting with middle and high school male students is so disturbing. It’s about time.

Rationa1

Don't make insinuations, Doc. If you have knowledge and evidence of inappropriate behavior, report the person involved.

DrPepper

Oh we complained alright, wasn’t just my family but 2 others. It was swept under the rug. Written reports disappeared. Administration lied about the meetings held with us. We transferred our children out. My son later came to me and called what happened to him as “grooming.” At the time a few other parents said they thought their 8th grade boys could “handle it.” They seemed to think since it was a woman creeping on boys there was less harm than a man towards girls.

Rationa1

Good for you. I am sorry your family had to go through that. I am glad you made the situation known.

JohnJohn

This is extremely concerning. Why not share the name of the staff member?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.