Insurance increases 1.64 percent at Centre
Centre board approved a Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance plan Monday that increases premiums by 1.64 percent.
The board has been encouraged by their insurance agent to join a pool of schools, but the consensus was to stay with the “grandfathered” policy that has served the district for years. A single pool policy would cost $600 compared with $439 with the current policy.
Ag instructor Jon Meyer reported the ag department offers four career pathways and has 22 classes taken by 64 students in seventh through 12th grade. Two new classes this year are on-the-job internship and research in agriculture. An aquaponics system is up and running.
“The facilities are great right now,” Meyer said.
After some discussion, a parking lot sealing bid for $13,368 was approved.
Sherri Pankratz, a Kansas Department of Transportation employee, voted against the bid, saying that local companies could provide a parking lot that would be cheaper, better, and last longer.
“Sealant just makes it look good, doesn’t make it last longer,” she said.
Terry Deines said the board has to go with what the district can afford. The parking lot was redone a year or two ago.
Virtual program coordinator Vickie Jirak gave a report showing that the 7-year-old program has added to the district’s spending authority.
“My personal goal is to always have a positive balance,” Jirak said. “I like to show what it’s done for the school.”
The board approved adding $25,000 to the $100,000 approved earlier for virtual advertising.
The board discussed food service and whether the district should go back to providing its own service. Superintendent Susan Beeson defended the OPA food service program, saying the food is “good and edible,” along with a salad bar, but she acknowledged the cooks lost work hours and benefits. The board asked her to look into restoring local service.
Beeson presented the idea of having a preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds.
“Everybody is talking about preschool now,” she said. “Preschool is a hot topic.”
Jesse Brunner said 3-year-olds wouldn’t be ready for it, but Anita Svoboda thought it was a good idea, especially for those who get little learning stimulus at home.
Beeson noted Brunner had a conflict of interest because his wife is a day-care provider.
Board president Rick Basore said he could see both sides of the issue. He observed that putting 3-year-olds into preschool could take income away from private day-care providers.
A request from the after-prom committee to use K-12 school facilities following the April 29 prom was approved.