The Skyline Board of Education voted Jan. 8 to add baseball and softball to the sports curriculum. The sports will begin in the 2018-2019 school year.

Play Ball! That's a sound that Skyline students will hear in the 2018-2019 school year after the Skyline Board of Education approved adding baseball and softball to the school curriculum for the next school year. The Board approved the action at their regular meeting on Jan. 8.

It took several months of research and a lot of information gathering from students and parents and other schools with baseball and softball programs. In the end, there was enough interest and support plus available funding to proceed with the new sports programs.

There are still details to work out including scheduling the use of ballfields for practice, working games into the schedules of other schools, hiring a coach plus purchasing the necessary uniforms and equipment.

"There are challenges to overcome," said High School Principal Herb McPherson.

Board members Rex Robinson and Rick Shriver both said they had no negative feedback on adding baseball and softball.

With all the positive feedback from students and parents, there shouldn't be problem sustaining track and baseball and softball at Skyline, McPherson said.

Skyline Skyline FFA members Gracie Bricker, Kayley Cook and Kami McComb reported to the BOE on the National FFA Convention they attended in 2017 in Indianapolis, Ind. 65,000 attended from all 50 states, Puerto Rico U.S. Virgin Islands.

Cook said they learned a lot and made a lot of new friends. They visited with several colleges including Kansas State University.

They traveled to a dairy farm and pig farm. They took part in an escape exercise. They were locked in a room and by using clues in the room, had to figure the way to get out. The Skyline girls did very well and got out of the room in 28 minutes and just missed setting a record for escaping by 10 seconds.

One of the most important lessons from the convention was a better use of time and not be on social media all the time, Cook said.

Ryan Kinsler, Skyline FFA sponsor, said the event was a great learning opportunity and he wanted to take more students next year.

Each of the members said they had a great time, learned a lot and would definitely go back again.

Flowers said the state Legislature has a lot to get done on funding education and they don't have a lot of time to get finished. She said they need to have a funding bill passed and presented to the Kansas Supreme Court by March 1.

It's estimated the Legislature needs to come up with $600 million to meet the Supreme Court decision. One way to get the money would be for everything else to take an 18 percent cut across the board. But there are studies that show that education doesn't need all that money so the Legislature has some very serious decisions to make and not much time to do it, said Skyline Superintendent Becca Flowers.

Plans for summer school are under way and projects are under discussion for a vegetable garden and more robotics. Work is also underway for the 2018-2019 pre-K and Kindergarten pre-enrollment.

High School Principal Herb McPherson said the band and choir trip to Florida was great public relations for the district. A lot of people saw the performances and were very pleased.