Board Receives High School Data Report

Sept. 5, 2014 ~ Olathe Board of Education members learned a great deal about high school students, seniors in particular, during their regular meeting on Sept. 4. Three district administrators shared high school data and the results of the 2014 graduate survey which will be analyzed to help the district continue to meet its vision of "preparing students for their future."

Deputy Superintendent Alison Banikowski, Director of Assessment and School Improvement Mary Matthew and Director of General Administration/High School Programs Eric Punswick covered topics ranging from ACT scores to graduation and attendance rates. They also had data about the number of National Merit scholars, those taking advanced courses in high school, and seniors' comments about the district in general.

Among the findings:

  • ACT composite, English, reading and science scores increased from 2013 to 2014.
  • The number of National Merit finalists rose from 10 in 2013 to 13 in 2014.
  • The class of 2014 was offered $43.8 million in scholarships, compared to $36.6 million for the class of 2013.
  • 64.76 percent of 2014 graduates completed one or more weighted-grade courses compared to 61.23 percent in 2013.
  • 77.91 percent of graduates enrolled in or completed a College Now course compared to only 63.18 percent the previous year.
  • There were also significant increases in the number of students taking advanced placement courses, AP tests, and scoring a 3 or higher on the AP exam.
  • 88 percent of students in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program took the ACT exam, and 91 of the 106 AVID seniors were enrolled in advanced courses during high school.

Results of the senior survey continued to show positive feedback about how the district prepared them in various areas such as study skills/time management and financial aid/scholarship availability. This type of feedback will help district leaders, Banikowski said.

Plans for this school year include implementing strategies to meet student needs, implement a new weighted grade system, implement and study instructional technology, and continue to focus on college and career readiness.

Banikowski also mentioned the 21st Century High School Programs (Public Safety and Green Technology) to be offered at Olathe West High School when it opens in 2017, as well as the Degree in 3 program that allows students to earn their bachelor's degree in three years. This is a collaboration between the district, Johnson County Community College and the University of Kansas Edwards Campus.


  • Dozens of Seniors Serving Schools and Youth Mentor volunteers were recognized for their outstanding dedication to the district and earning Presidential Volunteer Service Awards. Each individual donated at least 100 hours to the district last year (bronze award) and some more than 500 hours (gold award).
  • School Resource Officer Brent Kiger was named the Kansas SRO of the Year by the Kansas Juvenile Officers Association.
  • Executive Director of Elementary Personnel Cathy Donovan received the 2014 Herb Salinger Personnel Administrator of the Year Award from the American Association of School Personnel Administrators.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, reports, and 2014-19 Professional Development Plan for submission to the Kansas State Department of Education.
  • Set a special meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25 to participate in a focus/study session.
  • Approved bids, contracts or agreements for white copy paper, site utilities for Olathe West High School, an electrical easement for Olathe West, and systems furniture for the Employee Services Department which is relocating within the Education Center.
  • Received information on future action items including student field trips, curriculum, technology service and maintenance agreements, board policy revisions, local option budget election, Operations Service Center vehicle and equipment bids, change order for the tennis complex, laptop computer bid, student transportation/facility usage agreement, network electronics bid, and Apple computer bid for Olathe North High School Digital Photography lab.
  • Received the Head Start director's monthly report and facility usage annual report.
  • Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters and employer-employee negotiations.

The complete agenda and supporting documents are available online at