Millcreek Learning Center Serves Students of All Ages

Feb. 6, 2015 ~ Olathe Board of Education members heard that Millcreek Learning Center is a place where students of all ages can get a second chance in their education. A presentation about this unique education facility was made at the board's Feb. 5 meeting.

Millcreek Learning Center

The Millcreek Learning Center, at the corner of Park and Water streets in downtown Olathe, houses a variety of educational programs for students of all ages. Assistant Administrator for Alternative Education John Laffoon shared details of the four major programs.

  • Step Up is an adult diploma program that served 176 students in 2014 and had 21 successful graduates in 2013-14. So far this year, 15 adults have received their diplomas.
  • The Night School program provides opportunities for high school students to make up credits on a pay-per-class basis.
  • Extended Absence Services focuses on students who are temporarily unable to attend school due to medical or mental health issues. Eighty students have already been served this school year.
  • Off-Campus learning is a high school recovery lab that served about 80 students since fall 2013. Five students have graduated so far this school year.

Martin Luther King Jr. Contest

Athletic and Activity Director Tim Brady introduced one of the winners of the Martin Luther King Jr. contest presented by the district and Olathe Human Relations Commission. California Trail Middle School student Brian Beach won first place in the middle school written work category for his essay titled "Her."

This year's contest drew more than 5,000 entries from middle and high school students across the district. The theme of the contest was "Diminishing Fear," in honor of the courage shown by Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in December 1955.


  • Olathe Health Systems was recognized as a district business partner for its extensive support of several programs including the School Nurse Emergency Fund, athletic trainers, health and wellness programs, Play Hospital field trips for first-graders, and Bridging Education And Medicine (B.E.A.M.) program for secondary students.
  • Olathe North High School student Hannah Rogers earned the Best in Show award in the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrate Diversity contest presented by the district and Olathe Human Relations Commission.
  • Bentwood Elementary School teacher Christy VanGaasbeek is the district's nominee for the Kansas Teacher of the Year (elementary) Award.
  • Olathe Advanced Technical Center instructor Ken Gandy is the district's nominee for the Kansas Teacher of the Year (secondary) Award.
  • Olathe South High School teacher Scott Seeger is the district's nominee for the Emporia State University Master Teacher Award.
  • Prairie Trail Middle School orchestra teacher Page Mitchum was named 2014-15 Outstanding Middle School Music Educator by the Northeast District of the Kansas Music Educators Association.
  • Three middle school yearbooks have been selected as national samples by Taylor Publishing. Their sponsors are Susan Warner of Prairie Trail, Amy Gingrich of Frontier Trail and Melissa Erker of Santa Fe Trail.
  • Cedar Creek Elementary School Principal Tim Reves received the Department of Defense Patriot Award. Reves was nominated by David Glassman, a physical education teacher at Cedar Creek. Glassman is an Airman First Class in the United States Air Force and nominated Reves for the award because of his support.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda of routine items including meeting minutes, reports, board policy revisions and student trips.
  • Approved the purchase of new band uniforms for Olathe Northwest High School, trade bids for Olathe West High School and three middle school additions, exterior door and window replacement bids, light fixture replacement bids, window treatment replacement bids, trade bids for four middle school additions, and the purchase of Apple iPads for middle school use.
  • Approved a special meeting with City of Olathe representatives for 6 p.m. Thursday, March 26.
  • Approved the budget development goals and calendar for 2015-16 which includes budget reviews by the board in May and June, approving year-end transfers in late June, presenting a preliminary budget to the board in mid-July and holding a community budget workshop in late July. The timeline shows the budgets would be adopted, after a public hearing, at the August meeting.
  • Adopted a resolution asking the Kansas Legislature not to change the election cycle for local boards of education or change the non-partisan status of board elections.
  • Received information on a number of future action items including end-of-year special meeting, Head Start performance standards plans, Ricoh copier contract, 2016-17 district calendar, and student trips.
  • Received the Head Start director's monthly report.
  • Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters and employer-employee negotiations.

The complete agenda and supporting documents are online at