COLUMBUS - The USD 493 Board of Education meeting was temporarily moved to the Central Junior High School Eighth Grade Social Studies room for a presentation from the students who attended the Abernathy Trust History Trip to the east coast in December. Students presented a slide show and discussion of sites and events attended during the ten day educational experience.

After returning to the board offices, the district administrators presented preliminary plans for a community night in the district schools on from 5 to 7 p.m. April 4. Plans include parent conferences at the high school, class project presentations, technology presentations, general "life on campus" presentations with refreshments and facility tours for parents and community members.

Superintendent David Carriger presented the district vision, mission and goals process the board has been working on with the assistance of Kansas Association of School Boards Representative, Doug Moeckel and the next steps in the process establishing responsibility, timelines, and evaluation of the goals. Administrators have also been working on administrative goals with the assistance of Nicki Traul, a consultant from Greenbush.

Carriger presented the legislative update and governor's budget proposal highlighting several areas of significant changes to the educational process including elimination of special weighting factors which will cause further reductions in funding, and elimination of carry-over balances in certain funds. Possible changes in vocational course offerings, teacher performance evaluation and tenure were also discussed.

In other business, the board:

• Voted to extend the administrator's contracts by one year.

• Voted to hire Vhonda Meeks as central custodian.

• Voted to hire Jessica Clugston as central paraprofessional.

• Voted to accept the resignation of Emily Curry as Central Paraprofessional effective January 27, and:

• Voted to accept the retirement resignation of Sandy Daniels as Highland/Park Custodian.