Report Updates Board on Construction Projects Across the District

May 2, 2014 ~ During their meeting May 1, members of the Olathe Board of Education heard about the vast number of district construction projects already under way or scheduled to begin this summer. These ranged from the new Millbrooke Elementary School to secured entrances at several elementary schools to construction of additional storage space at the Food Production Center and the new Technology Support Center.

Chief Financial and Operations Officer John Hutchison and Construction Manager Greg Thomason updated the board on the progress of these myriad projects, which were funded by voter-approved bond issues in 2007 and 2013. Hutchison shared that work on the design of High School 5 continues. He also highlighted that construction on new secured entrances at 20 elementary schools in the district are expected to be completed by August 2014.

Three-Year Technology Plan

Executive Director of Technology Rita Lyon and Director of Instructional Technology Connie Smith presented an update on the district’s new three-year Technology Plan which will be filed with the Kansas Department of Education. They explained that having a technology plan allows for periodic review of policies and goals, and provides the means to assess needs and measure progress. The federal government requires districts to have a technology plan in order to qualify for e-Rate funding, a discount program focusing on affordable telecommunications and information services in schools and libraries.

One of the required components of the new plan is a summary of progress from the prior technology plan as well as the formation of new components covering three areas: district technology infrastructure goals and objectives, curriculum integration goals and objectives, and technology professional development goals and objectives.

National Teacher Day Presentation

Calin Kendall, president of the Olathe-National Education Association, shared with board members that May 4-10 is Teacher Appreciation Week and Tuesday, May 6 is National Teacher Day. He introduced Kansas Teacher of the Year Tiffany Richard, who teaches biology at Olathe East High School. Richard made a presentation about the importance of strong teachers and the value of teachers who go above and beyond the classroom expectations.


  • Robert Brogden Auto Plaza was thanked for its dedication to the Olathe Public Schools as a longtime business partner.
  • Retired Olathe South High School teacher Kathleen Wilhite was recognized as the 2014 Kansas Master Teacher.
  • Laurinda Culpepper of Walnut Grove Elementary School and Tammie Milke of Olathe North High School are state finalists for Kansas School Counselor of the Year.
  • Sunnyside Elementary School earned the Kansas State Department of Education’s Standard of Excellence Designation.
  • David Kearney, principal at Sunnyside, earned the Kansas School Counselor Association’s Principal Advocate Award.
  • Jane Jones of Pioneer Trail Middle School received the Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators’ Executive Assistant of the Year honor.
  • The Olathe East dance team was named National Dance Champions.
  • See photos taken during the meeting

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, reports, Head Start plans, and a student trip.
  • Approved a number of bids, contracts and agreements including a land lease agreement with Verizon Wireless at Mission Trail Middle School; duct work replacement at Havencroft, Prairie Center and Washington elementary schools; tennis complex bids for College Boulevard Activity Center; drainage easement at College Boulevard Activity Center; trade bids for renovations at Fairview, Northview and Westview elementary schools; structural steel Sbids for renovations at Black Bob, Scarborough and Walnut Grove elementary schools; removal bids for asbestos containing materials at Northview and Westview; band instruments for Millbrooke Elementary School; demolition bids for renovations at Fairview and Westview; replacement classroom furniture for aging facilities; and the technology plan through June 2017.
  • Appointed board member Brent McCune to serve on the Kansas Association of School Boards’ (KASB) nominating committee, and board member Rick Schier to serve on the KASB legislative committee.
  • Approved the 2014-15 facility usage fees which will be the same as the 2013-14 charges.
  • Approved three student trips.
  • Received information on future action items including Olathe Head Start plans, etc.; bids to demolish the metal building at Millcreek Center; bid to replace the elevator at Olathe Northwest High School; general insurance policy renewal; milk-based products and juice bid; textbooks; salary reimbursement agreement with KidsTLC; School Resource Officers agreement; designated transportation safety variance areas for Millbrooke Elementary; Health Partnership Clinic pilot project; bids for air conditioning locker rooms at both sports complexes; and Kansas Association of School Boards and National School Boards Association fees.
  • Received the Head Start director’s monthly report.
  • Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters and employer-employee negotiations.

The complete agenda is available at