Safety and security upgrades at Iola schools are progressing, but not without some frustration, Scott Stanley, director of operations, told USD 257 board of education members Monday night.
CDL Electric Company, Pittsburg, won the bid for the security system installation. Out of all the bidders CDL was by far the lowest, quoting the work at $27,324. As part of the contract, CDL was to provide all installation and software training.
Brett Linn, technology director, has taken on some of the installation and has had to learn the software from outside sources.
“Sometimes you get what you pay for when you go with the lowest bidder,” USD 257 superintendent Brian Pekarek said.
Though there is some frustration with the installation, Stanley is still feeling good about the progress.
“Overall, the installation is going very well,” he said.
USD 257 has yet to pay CDL for the work and is talking about charging the company for the training and installation Linn has been doing.
The high school and middle school software will be ready to be turned on this week.
PEKAREK was able to bring some good news to the board from Topeka.
Mediations ordered by the Kansas Supreme Court in a school funding lawsuit will come to a head on Oct. 8 when a hearing has been scheduled.
Kansas is appealing a January ruling to increase the state’s annual spending on schools by at least $440 million. The lawsuit was filed in 2010 over whether the state of Kansas is fulfilling its obligation to adequately fund public schools.
The board voted to renew its contract with the Schools for Fair Funding in 2014.
“We have been with it this long,” board member Mark Burris said.
The contract will cost the district $8,114.10, which covers dues and an additional assessment for litigation support.
IN OTHER news:
JB Turner & Sons, Topeka, won the bid for roofing projects with a bid of $61,913. Boren Roofing was offered a chance to present a bid but did not submit one.
The next board meeting on April 22 was approved to be moved to the Bowlus Fine Arts Center in order to hear and see concepts regarding the vision of the Bowlus in the future.
The retirements of Larry Regehr, McKinley physical education teacher, and Pam Powers, first-grade teacher at Jefferson, were approved.
The hirings of Chelsea Welch Gumfory, Iola Middle School math teacher, Caitlin Roberts, Iola High School science teacher, Cindy Huelett, food service, Nancy Ellington, substitute cook, and John Perez, custodian, were approved.
Louise Merriman’s resignation was approved.
Iola school assessments are taking place this week.
Elementary school principals were pleased to inform that at last week’s kindergarten round-up they each received roughly 30 new students.
Iola High School principal Stacey Fager said the two History Bowl teams are making progress in their fundraising efforts to compete Washington, D.C.. A contribution from the Whitehead Trust was accepted.
Iola Middle School principal Jack Stanley said that due to the weekend’s weather today’s track meet was moved to April 22. Middle school students will have a full day today and the early release day will be transferred to the later date.
The middle school history bowl team is also on its way to raising necessary funds. After a little over a week of fundraising the students have raised $1,000.