Board Hears About Array of Elementary Programs

Dec. 5, 2014 ~ The Olathe Board of Education meeting on Thursday, Dec. 4 featured an overview of current focus areas in the district's 35 elementary schools.

Executive Director of General Administration/Elementary Programs Brent Yeager presented information about the vast array of elementary programs such as ALICE, iPads, Rachel's Challenge, Fuel Up to Play 60, student leadership, and positive behavior intervention and support, to name a few.

The district's 35 elementary schools serve 13,859 students. In addition to excellent classroom curriculum, these students are provided with:

  • Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (ALICE) training in case of an armed intruder situation.
  • One iPad for every two students to enhance the learning experience and help prepare students for their future with electronics.
  • Kindness and anti-bullying lessons through the Rachel's Challenge program.
  • Fuel Up to Play 60 exercise challenge that encourages students to be active at least one hour per day. Olathe was recently the only district in the metro area to receive a $10,000 grant from Fuel Up to Play 60 and the Kansas City Chiefs to continue promoting healthy eating and physical exercise.
  • Leadership opportunities including The Leader in Me initiative at Forest View Elementary, which is being conducted with the help of a $47,000 grant for the next three years.
  • Examples of positive relationships through the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support efforts districtwide.
  • An array of clubs to develop their skills and interests.


  • The Olathe Public Schools Foundation was honored as a valued business partner of the district for its ongoing support of many programs.
  • The district's Back to School Outreach program for homeless children was recognized for being named the Outstanding Project for the 2014 National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.
  • The district's United Way executive committee members — Jennifer Curry, Beth Esco, Becky Vrbas, Nancy Cheatham and Eric Punswick — were recognized for their efforts to coordinate a districtwide drive.
  • Community Liaison Heather Schoonover received the Chairperson's Award from the Olathe Human Relations Commission.
  • Indian Creek Elementary School counselor Cristi Wightman is the Kansas Counselor of the Year.
  • Mike Chrostowski, instructor of the district's Culinary Arts program, received the Cutting Edge Award from the American Culinary Federation.
  • Olathe North High School students Disha Dasgupta and David Nelson earned perfect 36 scores on the ACT exam.
  • Olathe North musicians Marisha Madhira and Carolyn Culp were named to the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, which will perform at halftime of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game on Jan. 3.
  • Darby Gertsema, a gymnast from Olathe East High School, was honored as the 6A state all-around and vault champion.
  • The Olathe East volleyball team was recognized for its 6A state championship title.
  • The Olathe East boys soccer team was honored as the 6A state champions.
  • The Olathe East girls cross country team was recognized for its 6A state championship title.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, reports, student trips, and Head Start procedures.
  • Approved a three-year career and technical education agreement with Blue Valley USD 229, beginning Aug. 1, 2014.
  • Approved various permanent utility easements at California Trail, Chisholm Trail and Prairie Trail middle schools.
  • Approved trade bids for building additions at California Trail, Chisholm Trail and Prairie Trail middle schools.
  • Approved a carpet bid for replacement carpet at Bentwood, Briarwood, Brougham, Clearwater Creek, Green Springs, Heatherstone, Mahaffie, Pleasant Ridge, Rolling Ridge, Sunnyside and Tomahawk elementary schools.
  • Approved a bid for 70 computer workstations for the Aerospace and Engineering and Computer Aided Drafting courses at Olathe Northwest High School. Some are as replacement computers and others are for program growth.
  • Approved the purchase of 70 iPads to replace equipment being used by elementary principals and Instructional Resource Teachers who are supporting the elementary iPad initiative. Fifty of the iPads will replace older iPads. The older units will be re-purposed, and 20 additional units will supplement the current elementary program.
  • Authorized district staff to proceed with the schematic design of renovations at Mill Creek Center using Hollis + Miller Architects.
  • Approved the audit reports for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014.
  • Renewed the district's capital outlay resolution, not to exceed eight mills, and not to exceed a period of five years.
  • Received information on a number of future action items including middle school language arts instructional materials, Head Start performance standard plans, Olathe Northwest replacement band uniforms, white copy paper bid, digital projector bid, 2015 legislative positions, and student trips.
  • Received the Head Start director's monthly written report and an update on fall parent-teacher conference participation.
  • Adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel matters and employer-employee negotiations.

The complete agenda and supporting documents are online at