Superintendent Sue Givens gave updates to three key programs at the El Dorado school board meeting Monday.
The first was the Kansas Parent Educator program, formerly known as Parents as Teachers, which now can utilize additional funding from the state through grants.
“It’s a matching-fund grant; 65 cents is what you have to put in for every dollar the state puts in ” Givens said.
The board has to apply for the grant within the next two weeks. The program, which has national standards, does everything from schedule play dates to home visits.
The second program is implementing a substitute-teacher call system. This is an automated service that will make calls to substitute teachers early in the morning when needed. Other districts, such as Wichita, have an online system as well, which allows subs to claim a job that gets posted.
“There are nine Districts in Butler County. Six responded to me, and they all do this already,” Givens said. “So for so many things that we are ahead on, this is an area where we can step it up. It makes it more convenient for teachers, for substitutes, our secretarial staff and administrative time.
“The return on investments is positive,” she added.
The final update is that El Dorado will look into contracting out the mentoring program for the district staff. El Dorado currently has a one-year mentoring program for new staff members with a second-year option, but the state now requires two years of this service.
It helps that El Dorado had its lowest turnover in seven years. The average during that timespan was 20, but this year’s was just 14. For hourly employees, it was only five this year; the high was 24 during that time period.
“We’re at a good point to do this,” Givens said.
Other topics discussed include the following:
-The School Board approved of Givens’ end-of-the-year budget adjustments, which clean up any nagging issues with the budget.
-The board approved some changes and edits to the district handbook, particularly due to old language or changes to state statutes.