The future of adding baseball and softball at skyline will be determined in January at the monthly Board of Education meeting.

The future of baseball and softball at Skyline will be decided at the first Board of Education meeting in 2018. The Board heard more discussion on the matter at their regular monthly meeting Dec. 11.

In order to be ready to play ball for the 2018-2019 school year, a decision must be made in January in order to be ready to play.

It will cost the district from $25,000 to $27,000 to get the program started and Superintendent Becca Flowers is keeping a close eye on Topeka and the legislators to see how the funding issues are resolved.

High School Principal Herb McPherson said the number of students interested in playing baseball and softball has grown since he took his first poll.

One major issue with baseball and softball is the state championships are both held on the same weekend as track state championships so if students are involved in both programs, they would have to choose which sport to compete in at state and they would have to decide early in the season. If one student on a relay team decided to attend state baseball or softball, it would create a problem for the rest of the relay team members.

Right now there are 60 students interested in doing spring sports. About one third of the students would like to be involved in both track and baseball or softball, McPherson said.

There should be enough students interested to support both programs. Students are very active in sports at Skyline. There are 100 of 180 students participating in basketball.

Skyline parent Pat Egging wanted to know how many grade school students got McPherson's survey for the program. He wanted to know how much support for baseball and softball would be coming in the future. He also wanted to know how many parents didn't know about the possibility of a baseball and softball program.

"I just want to find out what support there is," Egging said.

McPherson said students in grades 7-12 got the survey and 50 out of the 130 surveys he sent out did not get a response.

Skyline parent Chris Berens said that some students that had transferred to Pratt to play baseball would come back to Skyline if a baseball program was instated.

In Topeka, the educational finance committee has made no progress in meeting the mandate from the Kansas Supreme Court. With the possibility of closing schools on the table, getting schools more funding is not an option, it has to be done, Flowers said.

Their decision could impact funding for a baseball and softball program at Skyline.

Books, books and more books. Beth Walters, Skyline first grade teacher, has been able to add hundreds of books to the Skyline library as part of the "Reading Circle" program through the Kansas National Education Association.

The story books cover all grade levels and genres and Walters is one of the people who gets to help decide which books go into a Reading Circle catalog and which ones are on the top 10 list.

Teachers in the decision list are sent hundreds of books to read and they get to keep the books when they are finished.

Books are received from January to November and there are lots of them. Walters received over 900 books and 400 of them were for grades K-2. Walters reads the books to herself and to her students to get a thumbs up or down. Then she submits her choices for the catalog and for the top ten.

Hundreds of books go to the school library and Walters keeps a few for her classroom. Any unwanted books go to Ark Valley UniServe, a KNEA service that provides resources for teachers and keeps them informed about legislative action that impacts education.