The "drug dog" has already made a visit to Pratt High School and Liberty Middle School and "found nothing that anybody shouldn't have had," PHS Principal Steve Blankenship reported to the USD 382 Board of Education Monday night.
The district has contracted with Interquest Canine Detection for unannounced visits during the school year, and while they didn't expect a visit quite so soon, it sends a message to students and parents that "we have very safe schools," said Superintendent Suzan Patton.
The district had used the Texas-based company previously, but had not renewed the contract for the last few years.
The dog did make some "hits," however, that turned out to be gunpowder residue left in a vehicle from a student's weekend dove hunting excursion or a couple of pain relievers in a bottle in a purse, locked in a car. The fact that the dog was able to scent those items impressed the students, Assistant Principal Curtis Nightingale said.
People who say, "the dog just didn't find it," will get an argument.
"If the dog could find Motrin in a purse in the middle of a parking lot, it will find anything that's there," he asserted.
Students had been told about the canine detection service in class meetings, so they knew what to expect. They were kept in classrooms when the dog searched all 450 lockers on the main floor of PHS and in downstairs locker rooms, as well as vehicles in the student parking lot at the school and at the nearby Blythe Fitness Center. In addition, the dog went into some classrooms to sniff bags and backpacks.
It is trained to sit when it detects something and is very docile, LMS Principal Tony Helfrich noted.
Patton reported on a partnership that is developing with the police and sheriff's department and the school. Undersheriff Jimmy White has had an initial visit with Blankenship to discuss some potential areas for an office at Pratt High for law enforcement personnel.
She also reported on a meeting Tuesday with Police Chief Gary Myers and Russ Rambat, director of public works for the City of Pratt, to discuss traffic flow at Southwest Elementary School.
Traffic problems were one of the "glitches" on an opening day that "in the grand scheme of things, went very well," she said.
Patton noted that as a result of a split in 4A athletic competition, Pratt has been awarded state tournaments for both softball and baseball, with softball to be played at Green Sports Complex and baseball at Stanion Field on the Pratt Community College campus.
"It will be very beneficial for the city of Pratt, and we have two great venues," she said.
The board adopted a resolution that should forever clear up any question of who designed the Greenback mascot logo that received recognition last spring as the most unique mascot in the state of Kansas and the second most unique in an eight-state region in online voting conducted by USA Today.
The resolution states, in part: "Whereas, Diane Baker Sevick was a graduate of Pratt High School with the Class of 1963; and whereas Diane designed the modern Greenback Mascot logo as part of the Homecoming celebrations during the 1961-62 school year....now, therefore, be it resolved, that the USD 382 Board of Education expresses its sincere gratitude to Diane Baker Sevick for her unique contribution to our district and the legacy of Pratt High School by officially recognizing her as the creator of the Modern Greenback Mascot, currently known as the Greenback.
Sevick passed away recently.
The board approved a list of personnel actions that will fill all coaching positions.
Jenni Pelland, LMS cross country
Levi Poindexter, LMS assistant boys' basketball
Alyssa Catron, LMS assistant track
Lance Fuller, PHS football and assistant baseball
Heather Adigun, PHS assistant volleyball
Steve Landry, PHS boys' golf
Kim Potter, LMS assistant girls' basketball
Crystal Kohman-Smith, LMS assistant girls' basketball
Elizabeth Holway, LMS assistant volleyball
Roxanne Vicars, district concessions
Mary Flemming, Beyond the Bell secretary
April Ward, Tina Norris, Linda Bolt and Pieper Jacobs, all for food service