El Dorado’s Board of Education heard updates on the renovations that recently started at the Performing Arts Center, which is scheduled to be refinished by the end of next summer, as well as updates of technology usage in the classroom and with other programs.

But the BOE also made a subtle, yet major, decision regarding the school bond. An offer had been submitted to purchase one of the buildings that originally was scheduled to be demolished. The school bond was presented to the public with that promise, and while considering the offer would be a financial benefit, the BOE declined the offer and stuck with its original plan.

There was a likely potential that the interested party would not tear down the current building, but reuse how it sees fit.

“I don’t feel good about it, because a lot of people I talked to, that was a big thing for them,” said BOE member Tom Storrer.

BOE member Scott Starkey didn’t feel comfortable with the idea, either, especially considering the risk of hurting working relationships with others who might have been involved in the process from the beginning.

Simpson Construction, which won the bid for the bond construction, will be allowed to finalize demolitions as well as seek property appraisal when trying to sell the land itself.

Other items of discussion are as follows:

- Superintendent Sue Givens announced the district’s entry into the Homecoming by teasing a big surprise. She did mention that it would have a Disney theme.

She also touched on the district’s involvement with the Walnut River Festival, which is primarily geared for kids. The Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 in downtown El Dorado. The theme is “We can do it, the sky’s the limit!” The District will be involved with adopt a business, in which elementary schools will decorate windows of participating businesses.

- Givens explained the results of El Dorado High School’s latest ACT scores, which showed continued overall improvement. EHS outperformed the state average in math. She said that biggest improvements were in English and reading.

- The district updated the BOE on KansaSTAR, the web-based schoolwide Improvement Plan based on research and documentation.

The details of the plan included the following steps:

1) Leadership and Decision Making

2) Curriculum, Assessment and Instructional Planning

3) Classroom Instruction, which involves the C.H.A.M.P.S. and Class Dojo tools, and the Behavioral Intervention Team (B.I.T.)

4) Parent, School and Community, which has the objective to provide multiple school-to-home communications, such as Class Dojo or monthly activity calendars for certain educational areas.

5) Tiered Support, which involves screening and planning for interventions.

- Doug Jensen gave updates on technology programs utilized by the district. He said there is a new tech support site and teacher pages through Google, the latter of which allows teachers to place any information they want under their bios.

Jensen also gave an update on the iPad rollout. 1st graders now have them, which gives all students grades 1st through 12th an iPad specifically tied to them. Roughly one-third of the staff has received new iPads, as well. EHS and EMS are two of 350 schools in the world that are Apple Distinguished.

- Givens said that the renovations for the Performing Arts Center and construction for the two new elementary schools are going well as everything is on schedule. Asbestos abatement is well underway. Some Memorials have been removed from inside the building and on some of the trees, but the district is offering those back to the people who had a hand in donations.

The big piles of dirt at Grandview are ready to be donated to Butler Community College. When it’s removed, the practice field can get seeded later this fall.