Patrick Richardson

Managing Editor

Columbus Unified High School may be leaving the Southeast Kansas League.

The Unified School District 493 Board of Education discussed the possibility of moving to the CNC or Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee league next year at Monday‘s board meeting.

Superitendent David Carriger told the board he had been contacted by officials of the CNC who had made it known they would act favorably if Columbus were to petition to join.

Carriger noted travel costs would be approximately halved if Columbus were to join the CNC.

However, Athletic Director Todd Napier said there are several sports which Columbus offers, including wrestling, which are not offered by the CNC. Napier said athletes would still have the opportunity to compete for state championships in those sports but would not have the chance to compete for league titles.

Additionally, Head Football Coach and Interim CUHS Vice Principal Dan Grundy said the move could hurt teams competitively when they still had to face SEK schools in districts after playing a slate of much smaller schools.

The board took no action on the proposal but did ask for more information.

The board also voted to extend the contracts of each of the building principals for one more year with the exception of Dan Grundy whose contract was extended until such time as the board may decide.

The reason for the difference is vice principal Tony Shearburn is acting as principal while Principal Steve Jameson is on military leave until after the first of 2012. Grundy is acting as vice principal until Jameson returns, at which time he will return to his regular duties. 

District Technology Facilitator Randy Miller presented the board with a five year technology plan for replacement of equipment, new purchases, and yearly recurring expenses. The plan, which was developed by a committee of teachers, community leaders, parents and technology staff has a projected budget of approximately $200,000 each year.

There was also some discussion of activity passes for students and teachers. Students are required to show their activity passes in order to enter any school activity for which admission is charged. If they do not have their pass, or have lost it they are required to pay the admission fee — in the case of athletic events $4 — which is then put toward the replacement of the card.

It was noted the requirement applies to staff members as well but has not been enforced for staff.

The board voted 7-0 to require staff to show ID cards at events or be charged to enter.

In other business, the board:

• Was updated by Carriger on eight current House and Senate Bills being considered by the Kansas legislature. Carriger summarized the eight Bills which could affect education, educators, or school funding.

• Voted to allow the two classrooms meeting Federal Emergency Management standards for a tornado shelter at Park School to be opened by civil defense during non-school hours for the community in the event of a tornado warning. No animals would be allowed in the building and civil defense would be responsible to secure the building following the emergency. 

• Voted to hire a third baseball coach.

• Voted to hire a third softball coach.

•  Accepted the retirement resignation of Jane Ann Sarwinski as elementary instructor and to allow her the retirement bonus.

• Accepted the resignation of Missy Carnahan as Junior High assistant volleyball coach and;

• Accepted the retirement resignation of Jo Kalert as school food service director.

The board will next meet 7 p.m. April 4 at the board office.