Published in the Iola Register on Dec. 11, 2012.

USD 333 presented with clean audit

A clean audit report was presented to the Unified School District 333 board of education during its monthly meeting Monday night at the Concordia Middle School.
Denis Miller, Mapes & Miller LLP, Phillipsburg, told board members that there were no budget violations detected during the audit and that the district is in compliance with all Kansas statutes.
“It is about as good an audit report as we have given to you and other districts,” Miller said.
As he did the previous year, Miller did inform the board that the capital outlay fund is a little bit on the thin side.
Addressing other funds, Miller told the board that there were no budget violations in the local option budget (LOB) fund.
Miller also said that most schools have to supplement funds received for the food service program, but USD 333 did not have to do so.
The board was also informed that the district will probably pay off its general obligation bonds in another year.
The audit report was accepted by the board.
Superintendent of schools Beverly Mortimer informed the board that she has been working with officials from Cloud County Community College on some of the opportunities that have arisen from the passage of Kansas Senate Bill 155.
SB 155, signed in July by Gov. Sam Brownback, allows high school students to take tiered college courses offered at community colleges and technical schools tuition free.
Students only have to pay school fees and textbook fees.
Cloud County Community College offers a wide variety of tiered courses that Concordia students can take without having to pay tuition.
“If we can figure out how to make it work with our schedule it is free tuition,” Mortimer said.
Some of the areas of study in which tiered courses are offered include agriculture, allied health, criminal justice, art, business careers, communications, computers, early childhood development, management, journalism, sciences and wind energy.
“We teach some of the ag courses. The governor wants to do away with duplication so we are going to have to make some decisions with our scheduling,” Mortimer said.
Mortimer told the board that school officials will be meeting with high school sophomores and juniors next week to discuss the options that are available.
“Hopefully we can get kids starting to think about what they want to do when they graduate,” Mortimer said.
Mortimer discussed with Cloud County president Danette Toone the possibility of a student’s earning a high school degree and an associates degree from the college at the same time.
“It is not going to be a walk in the park, but it is possible,” Mortimer said.
Three fields of study in which earning both degrees is possible include wind energy, agri-biotechnology and business administration and general management.
“We offer many of the general education courses they need,” Mortimer said.
Earning both degrees could require taking online classes, evening classes and possibly summer classes.
“We have to make sure they are meeting their high school requirements while they are doing that,” Mortimer said.
Also during the meeting the school board positions that will be up for election in 2013 were discussed.
Those positions up for election include position 4 sub-district 1 held by Rick Limon, position 5 sub-district 2 held by Chuck Knapp and position 6 sub-district 3 held by Mary Beth Smith.
The filing deadline is noon on Jan. 22.
Limon and Knapp have indicated they will seek re-election.
Mortimer talked briefly with the board about the future of the Concordia Middle School building.
The building will close following the 2012-13 school year, and the fifth and sixth grade students will be moved to the junior high building.
“This will be our final meeting at this facility,” Mortimer said.
Mortimer told the board that she has had three parties inquire about the building.
“The bottom line is the board will determine how the building is disposed of,” Mortimer said, “You need to be thinking about what process you want to go through for this building.”
Under action items, the board approved the Learning Cooperative of North Central Kansas  handbook revisions.
Katie Struebing gave a K-6 technology presentation to the board.
Struebing is the K-6 technology director, the assistant principal at the Concordia Elementary School and the district testing administrator.