District Growth Continues its Nearly 50-Year Trend

Oct. 3, 2014 ~ The Olathe School District enrollment grew by 233 students from September 2013 to the official count date of Sept. 22, 2014. The district's enrollment is 29,404 for the 2014-15 school year. This information was shared with Board of Education members during their monthly meeting on Oct. 2.

Assistant Superintendent Erin Dugan and Executive Director of General Administration/Elementary Programs Brent Yeager presented the enrollment update. It was shared that 15 percent of students receive special education services; 12 percent are students with disabilities and about 3 percent receive gifted services. About 3,000 students in the district are English Language Learners. Fifty-five languages are spoken by students in the district. The amount of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch equals 28.48 percent.

Food Services

Director of Food Services Scott Kingery and Nutrition Coordinator Nichole Burnett provided the board with an overview of changes to the school lunch program due to new nutrition regulations. For instance, last year there were no regulations on sodium content or a la carte items. This year, sodium must be less than 1,230 mg, and a la carte items must adhere to guidelines on everything from calories, fat, sugar, sodium and whole grain content. In general, menu items must be 100 percent whole grain rather than 50 percent which was last year's guideline.

They reported on how changes in the menu affect school lunch purchases. For example, elementary students are becoming familiar with new menu items and secondary students are trending toward more combo meals instead of buying their lunches solely with a la carte items.


  • The 2014 Olathe Public Schools Alumni Association Wall of Honor recipients were recognized. They are the late Donald K. Ashlock, John P. St. John Memorial High School Class of 1944; John Douglass, Olathe High School Class of 1970; Hazel (Blackwell) Hendrix, John P. St. John Memorial High School Class of 1952; Jeff Meyers, Olathe High School Class of 1977; Gary A. White, Olathe High School Class of 1960; Shannon Wickliffe, Olathe East High School Class of 1994; and Ruth Ann Hackler, Distinguished Person of Honor.
  • Selina Liu of Olathe East was congratulated on earning a perfect 36 ACT score.
  • Maddie McCracken of Olathe North High School was named Second Team All American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and All American Scholar Athlete.
  • Reagan Hathaway of Olathe Northwest High School was named First Team All American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
  • Scott Carpenter, in the district's Business and Finance Division, earned the Certified Public Procurement Officer credential.
  • The Kansas Association of School Boards Leadership Academy Training Program 2013-14 Certificate of Achievement was presented to Amy Martin, Brent McCune and Rick Schier.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, departmental reports and student trips.
  • Approved revised curriculum for the high school web and digital design courses.
  • Approved bids, contracts or agreements for student transportation/facility usage agreement, trade bids for Olathe West High School, tennis complex scoreboards, replacement of network electronics and hardware, technology service and maintenance agreements, 3,000 replacement laptops, 40 iMac computers for Digital Photography, and three additional trucks for the Operations Service Center maintenance staff.
  • Approved modifications to several Board of Education policies including School Improvement Program, Acceptable Use Policy, Disruptive Acts at School, Safety, Classified Employee Evaluation, Short Term Classified Leave, and Student Health Services.
  • Approved a resolution calling for a mail ballot election asking voters to permanently establish the board's Local Option Budget authority at 33 percent of the district's state financial aid.
  • Received information on future action items including Olathe Head Start documents; student trips; construction management services for four elementary renovations; schedule for middle school construction projects; and schedule for aging facilities projects including new flooring, lighting, and doors and windows.
  • Received written information on the Head Start directory's monthly report, student health services annual report, and weighted grades/courses modification for 2015-16 freshmen.
  • Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters, employer-employee negotiations, and consult with an attorney.
  • Returned from executive session to accept the negotiated agreement with the Olathe National Education Association.

The complete agenda and supporting documents are online at http://www.boarddocs.com/ks/olathe/Board.nsf/Public.