Just the Facts

Have you heard something about the district or one of its schools and want to know if it’s true? Check out Just the Facts for the most accurate, up-to-date information on things happening in the Olathe Public Schools. Do you have a question for the district or do you need to verify something you’ve heard out in the community?

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Feb. 22, 2017 ~ What is the policy on when I need to keep my kids home when they are sick?
Olathe Public Schools follows exclusion recommendations published by the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) regarding how long to keep children home when they are sick. The one-page document is available on the health department's website. According to the recommendations, students with a fever are to stay home until fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. Similarly, students should be free of vomiting and diarrhea for 24 hours before returning to school. School nurses err on the side of caution when illness is prevalent in the community, such as during flu season or when a stomach virus is circulating in our community. Our goal is to keep students at school who can be at school, and to keep students home from school during the period of illness when they are most likely to spread germs to others. Lastly, we encourage everyone to have a flu shot annually as the best measure to take to lessen the spread of flu in our schools and community.

Oct. 25, 2016 ~ I understand there are some students at my child's school who have head lice, but they weren't sent home to be treated. Shouldn't they be treated before returning to class?
School nurses often answer questions about head lice, and help parents understand the common myths about how they are spread. Classroom transmission is extremely rare, so notes are not sent home with students unless a large number of students in the same class have head lice. Sending a note home with all students in a classroom can cause unnecessary panic among parents, even leading to treating unaffected children with potentially harmful substances when no lice are present. Our school nurses will work with individual families to identify close contacts of the affected students. Research shows that head lice can only be spread by head-to-head contact, which is not common in school. Read the Head Lice Refresher for Parents in PDF format

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Feb. 10, 2016 ~ What is the earliest I can drop my student off at school?
Elementary schools open their doors at 8 a.m. except for Y Club sites which open at 7 a.m. At the secondary level, each middle or high school may have different practices regarding how early students may be dropped off. Please check with your child's school for more information.

Jan. 28, 2016 ~ What areas of the district are growing the most? Where do you anticipate future growth?
Currently the greatest enrollment growth is in the northwest area of the district and projections show this will continue to be an area of steady growth for the next five years. For example, Forest View Elementary and Cedar Creek Elementary are projected to grow by 200 and 140 students respectively between now and 2020. Mission Trail Middle School may see an additional 300 students in that period, and Oregon Trail Middle School is anticipated to see an additional 200 students in the next five years. District staff will continue to closely watch incredible growth of the northwest quadrant of the district.

Jan. 14, 2016 ~ Why can't bond dollars be used to pay for operating expenses?
Bond money cannot be used toward operating expenses, such as salaries. Bond funds, according to Kansas statute, can only be used on capital projects such as building construction and maintenance projects. That means that any money raised through an approved bond issue cannot be used to pay for additional teachers or to lower class sizes. However, the money is used to create better learning environments for students in the district.

Oct. 29, 2015 ~ What are teachers doing when students don’t have school, but teachers have “professional days”?
There are eight days of professional development in this year’s calendar. The Kansas State Department of Education and other state licensing agencies require all licensed/certified staff to take part in professional development in order to maintain their certification. Whether teachers are learning about iPads as instructional tools or staying up to date on curriculum standards, the professional development days are filled with valuable learning time for teachers which ultimately impacts student learning in the classrooms.

Oct. 12, 2015 ~ How can I find a tutor for my student?
The first step is to check with your child's teacher or school office for a copy of the tutor list which is available on the district staff intranet. The tutor list only includes district educators, substitute teachers or retired teachers who have signed up to be tutors, and includes their area of certification, including grade levels and subject. The list is a resource for parents but should not be considered a recommendation of any tutor. Arrangements for tutoring and fees are made directly between the parent and tutor. District buildings may not be used for tutoring.

Sept. 24, 2015 ~ My scout group needs a place to meet on a regular basis. Does the district rent its gyms or multi-purpose rooms to public groups or organizations?
School facilities may be rented by individuals, groups and organizations having an address within district boundaries if they meet established guidelines. Facilities may not be used for commercial interests, political purposes, or for-profit groups. The district's swimming pools and athletic fields may also be rented by the public, if they are not being used by our teams. Visit the Facility Usage website for fees, agreements and an online request form.

Sept. 15, 2015 ~ What are the boundaries for Olathe West High School?
Boundaries for Olathe West haven't been created yet. District staff will lead the development of boundaries with numerous community input sessions beginning in January 2016. The Board of Education is expected to vote on boundaries for Olathe West in late spring 2016.

Sept. 8 ~ With the struggling economy does that mean that the district won't be growing as much in coming years?
The district has grown in student population since it was consolidated in 1965. It is projected to continue its growth through 2040.

Aug. 31, 2015 ~ Can the district sell land to raise money?
The district currently owns a few pieces of land throughout the district that it purchased to build future schools. The district has been growing since it was consolidated in 1965 and is projected to continue to grow through 2040. It's important for the district to buy land when large pieces become available in areas that are projected to have dense population growth. As the area becomes more developed, large pieces of land that are big enough for a school to be built are becoming harder to find. It's important that the district purchase these pieces when they become available. Selling the land now would make building schools more challenging later.

Aug. 24, 2015 ~ How can the district afford iPads during budget reductions?
In June 2013, patrons of the district approved a bond issue, part of which was earmarked to increase access to technology in the district. By law, the district cannot use bond dollars for operating expenses. This money can only be used for construction projects and technology initiatives, not staff salaries or overhead expenses.

Aug. 17 ~ If I live near the district boundaries, but not within the boundaries, can I still send my children to Olathe schools?
School districts in the state have set boundaries. Unfortunately, only residents who live within the Olathe School District boundaries can attend schools in the district.

Aug. 13 ~ I keep hearing about the district having budget problems, but the budget looks $52 million bigger this year over last?
Due to changes by the state Legislature, districts in Kansas are now required to include its Kansas Public Employees Retirement System money and the capital outlay and LOB state aid in the total operating budget, which it hasn't been done before. Previously these figures were part of a separate fund. So it might look bigger, but is actually frozen below 2014-15 levels.