USD 333 Concordia Board of Education Reviews Possible Cooperative Agreement with Southern Cloud

USD 333 Concordia Board of Education
USD 333 Concordia Board of Education

The USD 333 Concordia Board of Education reviewed a proposed cooperative agreement between the school district and USD 334 Southern Cloud during its regular meeting on Monday, June 10th.

In May, the USD 334 Southern Cloud Board of Education voted to close Glasco Junior/Senior High School and Miltonvale Junior/Senior High School.  Kindergarten through 5th grades will remain in both communities.

USD 333 Concordia Superintendent Quentin Breese reported Monday that Southern Cloud Superintendent Roger Perkins recently approached the Concordia school district, along with the Beloit, Clay Center, Clifton-Clyde and North Ottawa County school districts, desiring to enter into Interdistrict Agreements by allowing 6-12 students residing in and currently attending USD 334 Southern Cloud to attend these neighboring school districts.

Under the proposed agreement, beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, USD 334 Southern Cloud will agree to encourage their students in grades 6 through 12 who reside in the Southern Cloud school district to attend USD 333 Concordia public schools.  USD 333 Concordia will agree to accept those students and provide educational programs and services.  USD 333 Concordia will receive from USD 334 Southern Cloud any and all of the general fund weighted base state aid plus all at-risk weightings, transportation weighting, and all other weightings the students 6-12 are entitled to under the Kansas School District Financing Act.

The length of the contract shall be for a two-year period.

The presented agreement would not apply to students who enroll in USD 333 Concordia under the state's new open enrollment rules.  Kansas House Bill 2553 is a state-level policy that allows students to select and transfer to a school of their choice, rather than attend a school based on where they live.  There are two types of open enrollment: inter-district, which allows students to select and attend another school outside their resident district, and intra-district, which allows students to select and attend another school within their resident district.

The new law requires school districts to permit any Kansas student to enroll in and attend their schools, beginning with the 2024-2025 school year.

USD 333 Concordia set its nonresident enrollment capacity in April 2024, announcing it will have unlimited capacity for qualified nonresident students at Concordia Elementary, Concordia Middle and Concordia Junior/Senior High Schools for the 2024-2025 academic year.  Students living outside of the USD 333 Concordia boundary must formally apply for nonresident enrollment.  An application is currently available.  The completed application must be received no later than June 30, 2024.

Superintendent Breese said the proposed agreement with Southern Cloud has been submitted to the Kansas Association of School Boards for review.  The USD 333 Concordia Board of Education could vote to enter into a cooperative agreement by their next regular meeting in July 2024.

"We're just trying to be a good partner to some of our colleagues to the south because that community is hurting right now.  Any time a community loses a school, it's hard on parents, it's hard on staff members, it's hard on families, and it's a challenge," Superintendent Breese said.  "We're trying to be as empathetic as we possibly can and help them make this transition worthwhile while also covering our bases to support USD 333."

The USD 333 Concordia Board of Education has moved its regular July meeting from Monday, July 8th to Monday, July 22nd at 6 pm.

The board has also scheduled its end of the 2023-2024 fiscal year closeout meeting for Wednesday, June 26th at noon in the Board of Education Meeting Room.

Superintendent Breese and the board also discussed holding their 4th Annual Community Education Retreat on Monday, August 5th at 6 pm.

In personnel items, the board voted 4-1 to approve the list of new hires, transfers, resignations and terminations of certified staff, which included the resignations of Leigh Gritten as a Learning Cooperative of North Central Kansas Gifted Teacher and Keaton Snavely as a Woods Teacher at Concordia Junior/Senior High School, and the hires of Ashley Nutsch as a Learning Cooperative of North Central Kansas Interrelated Teacher and William Connor as a Career & Technical Education Woods Instructor.  Connor previously served as a Para Educator at Concordia Junior/Senior High School.

Board member Jenny Parker cast the lone opposing vote.

Board members John Culley and Amber Lambertz were not present at Monday's meeting.

The decision came following a 10-minute Executive Session for Non-Elected Personnel with the board and Superintendent Breese.

The board also approved the transfer of Scott Hale to Head Custodian at Concordia Elementary School.

Jamison Nault was hired as a Custodian at Concordia Junior/Senior High School.

Drake Hake has been hired as an Assistant High School Football Coach.

David Strait has been hired as an Assistant High School Boys Basketball Coach.

Ashley Carlgren was hired as an Assistant High School Girls Basketball Coach.

Kate Burton was named the new Head Concordia Junior High Volleyball Coach.

Michael Roe was transferred from Assistant to Head Junior High Boys Basketball Coach.

In other action items, the board accepted the low bid from JR & Sons General Contracting, Inc. for Concordia Middle School parking lot improvements at a cost not to exceed $91,387.66.

Milk bids for the 2024-2025 school year from F&A Food Sales, Inc. were approved.

The board also voted to adopt an unpaid meal policy, approved its 2024 handbook updates, and extended school year contracts for the Learning Cooperative of North Central Kansas.