Energy Conservation Results in Significant Savings

Nov. 7, 2014 ~ Olathe Board of Education members learned during their November meeting that there are many ways to reduce energy costs in a district with more than 60 buildings. They received a report stating the district saved $536,548 on utilities from August 2013 through July of this year.

Chief Financial and Operations Officer John Hutchison shared the report about the district's work with Cenergistic to conserve energy while maintaining and improving comfort and safety throughout the district. By monitoring the lighting, heating and cooling systems, and establishing an energy conservation culture among employees, the district can realize significant savings.

For the period of August 2012 through July 2013, the district spent $5,130,094 on electricity, natural gas and water. Since collaborating with Cenergistic last summer, the district reduced its electric costs by $372,030 despite an average unit cost increase of 8.4 percent. The overall cost of natural gas also fell by $96,212, despite a 6.2 percent average unit cost increase. Water and sewer consumption was also down by $68,276 although the cost per gallon rose an average of 9.5 percent.

Independence for Special Education Students

Lanie Fasulo, director of Special Services, told board members about the district's student independence initiative which aligns with both the district's vision statement and the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards of enabling all students to become independent. Student independence is promoted at the district level (professional day focus, new educator focus, parent seminars), the building level (building level training, special services coordinator discussions with building teams), and the student level (assessing independence skills, setting goals to address deficit skill areas).

American Education Week, Nov. 17-21

Calin Kendall, the district's representative to the Olathe-National Education Association, and a teacher provided a brief history of American Education Week. Madison Place Elementary third-grade teacher Kim Palcic talked about the importance of public education and shared a video taken in district classrooms.


  • John Deere was recognized as a business partner because of its involvement with the Adopt-A-School and Youth Mentor programs as well as support of the Olathe Public Schools Foundation.
  • Olathe East High School senior Henry Zimmermann was honored for being named to the 2014 National Association for Music Education All-National Concert Band Honor Ensemble.
  • Alyson Lewis of Pioneer Trail Middle School received the Special Educator of the Year Award from the Kansas Council for Exceptional Children.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, reports, Head Start documents, and student trips.
  • Approved a three-year career and technical education agreement with Kansas School for the Deaf.
  • Approved a temporary construction easement to Westar Energy for Olathe West High School.
  • Approved bids for resinous flooring (seamless epoxy flooring) at seven elementary schools.
  • Accepted bids for site concrete and asphalt paving at Olathe West.
  • Appointed board members Rick Schier and LeEtta Felter as delegate and alternate delegate to represent the district at the Kansas Association of School Boards' delegate assembly in December.
  • Approved revisions to Board of Education policy IDAE, the student data privacy act.
  • Received information on a number of future action items including bids for workstation computers in the Computer Aided Drafting program at Olathe Northwest High School, Head Start documents, student trips, audit reports for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014, capital outlay resolution, replacing aged iPads for principals and instructional resource teachers, and a request for qualifications for architectural/engineering services for renovations at Mill Creek Center.
  • Received the Head Start director's monthly written report.
  • Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters, employer-employee negotiations, and consult with their attorney.
  • Returned from executive session to adopt the resolution authorizing Unified School District No. 233, Johnson County, Kansas (Olathe) to participate in the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative and Matters Related Thereto.

The complete agenda and supporting documents are online at