Skyline soon to be evaluated for accrediation success

Gale Rose
For two years, Skyline teachers and staff have been working to increase kindergarten readiness, encourage individual plans of study, measure social-emotion student factors, elevate graduations levels and follow post-secondary success.

For two years, Skyline staff has been working on the Kansas Education Systems Accreditation mandate to create changes that will meet the the KESA goals for producing successful high school students.

The KESA goals are: social-emotional factors measured locally; kindergarten readiness; individual plans of study for every student; high school graduation; post secondary success.

The Kansas State Department of Education and KESA are working together to support State Board Outcomes.

The time has come for school districts, including Skyline, to produce evidence of what they have been doing to meet the KESA goals and if they have been successful, said Skyline Superintendent Becca Flowers at the monthly Board of Education meeting on Jan. 13.

Skyline will have a visit from the re-accreditation team in April and they will want to see the results, in charts and data, of what the district has done.

This data is collected on a regular basis all the time to help the district meet the ultimate goal of every Skyline student becoming a successful graduate. Flowers said the data will be ready and she is confident the team will recommend re-accreditation.

The shelves of the Skyline commons area are full of books that came through a unique reading program. Skyline first grade teacher Beth Walters is one of the readers on the Skyline National Education Association Reading Circle. She presented a report to the Skyline Board of Education at their regular monthly meeting on Jan. 13.

Walters and other readers will read the books, that are furnished by various publishers, then write a report with recommendations which books should go on the recommended reading list. Books are chosen for all grade levels.

As part of this process, Walters gets copies of they books she selects and than donates them to the library and classrooms. This is Walters second year on the Reading Circle committee and the school has received hundreds of free books through the program, said Walters who is completing her second and last year as a reader.

Because readers get books for their school, being on the reading committee is a coveted position. It took Walters six or seven years to get on the committee.

"Everyone wants to get on the committee," Walters said.

The Reading Circle program is made possible through the Kansas National Education Association.

Skyline Superintendent Becca Flowers said the program was wonderful for the district and the knowledge about those books is shared across the state.

"We end up with a lot of books because of that," Flowers said.

While the new books are providing new reading for students, a new security system is providing a safer environment for students. The system was installed just before Christmas vacation and is ready to go. There will be a training session, including firing tactical mace, on Monday, Jan. 20 to familiarize the staff with the new system.

In school competitions, Tristan Harrold was the recent spelling bee champion and Payton Harts took second. In the geography bee, Jude Nelson took first place.

In a cost savings move, the district is now leasing a color copy machine to reduce costs. They were spending $2,000 a year in ink with the old copier contract, Flowers said.

A State Board of Education recommendation to make all school campuses tobacco and e-cigarette has been sent out. The district is currently auditing the school policy and looking at possible changes. No action was taken at this time.

Board of Education officers were elected with Rex Robinson as president and Rick Shriver as vice president.

The board appointed Mariea Briggs as food service designee.