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Bellevue Schools Approve Tax Increase, Other Changes

In a special hearing before its regular meeting Wednesday night, the Bellevue Board of Education settled on a general fund tax levy of 83.2 cents per $100 of real property
and 83.2 cents per $100 on personal property. The rate for motor vehicles and watercraft is 101.4 cents per $100 of value.

"We took the allowable 4 percent which raised the rate from last year," said Vanessa Groneck, school board chair. "We feel it is important to be able to use whatever funds are available for the programs for the students. We want to show our kids that education is important and they are important and that they deserve all the new programs we can put in place for them."

No citizens came to the hearing before the meeting, and the rates were approved.

In other business, the board approved an electronic pay stub program to do away with hand printed checks. The company they are going with is PSST, LLC, and they will help train the staff so they are familiar with the program. The cost for the first year is $3250, and subsequent years will be $2500. The board felt good about saving paper and time, and for anyone who depends on a printed record they can access their files online and print the necessary documents.

Cafeteria bids were awarded to Gordon Food Service, Borden Dairy, Klosterman Bakery, Pic's Produce, Delhi Foods and Atlantic Foods corporation for the 2015­-2016 year.

It was announced that the school enrollment is up slightly over last year's numbers, a good thing for the district. The board also has been approved for e­rate funding for any infrastructure projects in technology. Groneck said this will save the district thousands of dollars.

Dr David Rust, Director of Academic Services, gave an update on the new locks, which he said should be installed on all the exterior doors by November. All the personnel should also have their new identification badges by then.

The City of Bellevue was mentioned for its help in changing some of the signage to make it easier for students to catch the appropriate buses, and also for their help in getting the trees and shrubs trimmed around intersections.

The Middle school and the high school have adopted a new screening assessment program, called CERTS. This will replace the MAPS screening assessment in the middle and high schools, but MAPs will still be the screening system in the elementary school. The new system was adopted because it is more like the ACT testing system.

Finally, since it is a brand new school year, several of the new teachers and personnel were introduced at the meeting, so that everyone could become familiar with the new teachers.

Other notes:

Congratulations to Jenny Hazeres for receiving Level V from the KSBA Academy of Studies. Board Members are required to complete training each year to complete their obligation as a Board Member.  KSBA provides an Academy of Studies with many topics including mandated classes of Ethics, Finance and Superintendent Evaluation.  Our Board Members spend countless hours in meetings, obtaining required professional development, developing policies and procedures, attending student events and listening to constituents. Hazeres has joined many board members across the state in achieving Level V.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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