Skyline leader keeps close watch on virus news

Gale Rose
Students needs are a priority to board of education members at Skyline Schools in Pratt.

Skyline Superintendent Becca Flowers told district board of education members at their monthly meeting March 9 that she continues to monitor the coronavirus situation closely. The district receives updates from the Pratt County Health Department which gets updates from the Kansas Department of Health and Education that gets updates from the Center for Disease Control.

“The risk in Kansas is low at this time but the school continues to take precautions to keep students safe from COVID-19 and from the flu,” Flowers said.

Staff uses disinfects throughout the school and students are reminded to wash their hands and cover coughs. If there are developments that impact the school, Flowers said they will notify faculty, staff, students, parents and the Board members.

"Just know, we're watching that very close," Flowers said.

Getting students ready to continue their education or go into the work force is Skyline's goal for all students. Flowers presented an update on Individual Plans of Study for students to the USD 438 BOE.

Each student is required to have an IPS that establishes which courses they need to take to meet their career goals for graduation. This is a digital portfolio and has to be continuously updated. Part of the IPS includes documenting a students involvement in school and community activities.

Each student is assigned to a teacher who acts as a career advisor. Once a month, the student meets with the teacher to make sure the student is sticking to the IPS and taking the courses necessary to meet their career goals.

It takes time to develop each IPS but once they are in place, they compliment every thing else they do at Skyline, Flowers said.

At least once a year, parents should also take part in a meeting so they know what is expected of their student. The IPS is a guideline but it's very flexible to fit each individual students career goals.

The IPS is one of the five outcomes outlined by the Kansas State Board of Education. The five goals are individual student IPS, kindergarten readiness, social and emotional development, high school graduation success and post secondary success rates.

The Kansas Legislature has paired two bills impacting education. HB 2465 expands tax credit eligibility for students to go to private school. This bill takes money from public education Flowers said public eduction does not favor that bill.

"We don't want the tax credit bill to fly," Flowers said.

In an effort to get it to pass, a second bill, HB 2526, has been added and is designed to change the finance formula for schools doing big projects. While the second bill won't help Skyline, it will benefit other school districts.

Food Service Director Maria Briggs has been getting rave reviews from Skyline students for her innovate menu changes. A student advisory committee has been making suggestions and Briggs is making them a reality.

One recent success was serving breakfast at lunch time. The students really really liked it and want to have it again. Briggs is also serving more from scratch items that is a big hit with the students and teachers.

"I hear tons of positive things out of our kids for her," Flowers said. "She's doing some awesome stuff."

In other action, the board approved the following contracts: Lee Kendall-baseball assistant coach, Zeke McPherson-baseball head coach, Chris Sanders-softball assistant coach, Lori Anschutz-softball head coach, Andrew Nation-middle school and high school head track coach, Chris Sanders-middle school track assistant coach, Lori Anschutz-middle school track assistant coach, Kenny Eddy-high school track assistant coach, Bob Lee-high school track assistant coach.

The board also accepted the resignation of Angie Tobin as middle school cheer coach.