Unofficial summary of the Board of Education meeting held December 5, 2022.
Board member Bill Fletcher declared a conflict of interest and asked that check number 60199 included in Consent Agenda item "B. Approve payment of bills and transfer of funds” be pulled from the Consent Agenda for separate approval. The Board approved the Agenda and Consent Agenda as amended.
Fiscal Year Audit Report
Ms. April Swartz of Varney & Associates, reviewed the district’s 2022 fiscal year audit with the board. She gave clean opinions on internal control and compliance and reported that there were no statutory violations. Following her report, the Board took action and approved the 2022 Fiscal Year Audit as presented.
City of Shawnee Hickock-Zarah Improvement District/TIF
Alvie Cater, Assistant Superintendent of Administration & Communications, informed the Board that the Shawnee City Council voted on November 14, 2022, to move forward with plans to establish a redevelopment district, also known as a conservation tax increment financing district, in the Hickok-Zarah development area. The proposed area for the redevelopment district is bounded by K-7 Highway on the west, Shawnee Mission Parkway on the north, Martindale and Woodland on the east and 83rd Street on the south. It comprises 1,648 acres and contains the largest remaining tracts of undeveloped land dedicated to residential development in the community. Mr. Cater reminded the Board that representatives from the City of Shawnee attended the November 7 school board meeting and shared information about the redevelopment district. He said with action taken by the city to create the redevelopment district, the Board of Education has 30 days from November 14 to exercise its veto authority, should it decide to do so. No action was taken on this agenda item.
City of De Soto/Sunflower Redevelopment Expanded TIF
Alvie Cater informed the Board that the City of De Soto held a hearing on December 1, 2022, to consider an expansion of the already established Sunflower Redevelopment District. He said this expansion would include an additional 1,865 acres. The original redevelopment district was created earlier this calendar year that includes approximately 6,000 acres of the former Sunflower Army Ammunition site, located south of K-10 Highway. Mr. Cater reminded the Board that they did not exercise veto authority on this redevelopment district because the Board entered into a separate agreement with Sunflower Redevelopment, LLC, to address school district concerns with the proposed redevelopment district. The major concern being the potential inclusion of residential projects within the redevelopment district, which could increase student enrollment without providing an increased tax base to support any additional school capacity that may be needed. Mr. Cater said the agreement between USD 232 and Sunflower Redevelopment, LLC, gives the district the right to review any redevelopment projects that contain residential components and determine if there is an adverse impact on the district. An adverse impact is defined as an increase in student enrollment that would require additional school facilities. If there is an adverse impact, Sunflower Redevelopment, LLC, will withdraw the residential component from the redevelopment project unless both parties agree to a solution to mitigate the adverse impact on the district. The Board took action and approved the Addendum to Residential TIF Project Plan Agreement.
The Board received a comprehensive overview of continuous efforts towards improving the safety of students and staff of the school district from Alvie Cater and Rob Moser, Coordinator of Safety & Transportation.
Brian Schwanz, Executive Director of Secondary Education, gave the board a preliminary report on implementing Orchestra in the district. He shared findings in conversations he’s had with area districts that have orchestra programs, KC Strings (a business out of Merriam, KS) and USD 232 Instrumental Music Teachers. He showed estimated orchestra start-up costs (instruments, curriculum, HVAC for humidity control and staffing) and talked about program considerations (elementary/middle school/high school or middle school/high school, rehearsal space/classroom/shared space, storage, building/class schedules and a music store partnership). Mr. Schwanz also shared ideas for staffing/scheduling of an orchestra program. In conclusion he shared next steps (visit additional programs, continue conversations with the Curriculum & Instruction Department and band teachers regarding scheduling, conversations with the Facilities Department regarding space needs, conduct an interest survey with parents of elementary and middle school students, and continued conversations with area school districts. Board President Ashley Spaulding suggested that Mr. Schwanz conduct the survey of parents to gauge interest before proceeding with the next steps.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Education will be Monday, January 9, 2022, at 6:00 p.m., at the Board of Education / Administrative Office.
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