Board Report Features Summer Construction, Bond Projects

April 3, 2015 ~ A $244.8 million bond issue approved by district voters in summer 2013 continues to have great impact on Olathe schools and students. Board of Education members listened to a presentation about summer construction and safety and security projects during their meeting on April 2.

Chief Financial and Operations Officer John Hutchison and Assistant Superintendent Erin Dugan described the wide scope of these projects planned for summer, as well as those bond projects that have been completed. Bond 2013 had four threads: Growth, Safety and Security, Technology and Aging Facilities.

Hutchison shared that in the Growth category of bond funds, the district has purchased land for a sixth high school and is currently constructing a fifth high school, located near Santa Fe and Hedge Lane, which will open in 2017.

In the Safety and Security category, doors have been placed in nearly all classrooms that didn't have doors. Only a few classrooms are left that will be completed this summer. Secured main entrances at elementary schools are all complete. Secured entrances will be completed at the district early childhood centers this summer, and secured event entrances will be constructed at seven middle schools in the district.

Dugan shared with the board information about safety and security enhancements. The district is working with a national security consultant in order to prioritize how safety and security bond money is used. So far, elementary school camera systems and buzzer entry systems have been updated, along with all new interior and exterior cameras.
Middle schools will get upgraded front door cameras and buzzer entry systems as well as interior and exterior cameras. High schools will get upgraded camera systems with networked video recording, some camera relocation and replacement in summer 2016.

In the Technology thread, the district has used bond dollars to catch up on replacement cycles of devices and has upgraded 50 percent of digital classrooms. In addition, access to technology has been increasing through a 2:1 iPad initiative at the elementary level that was put into place in fall 2014. A middle school 1:1 initiative is in the implementation stage for fall 2015. District staff is still studying options for high school-level technology.

More than 300 capital improvement projects have been included in the Aging Facility strand. Numerous projects were completed in summer 2014 and many more are scheduled for summer 2015. A sampling of what is scheduled for the coming months:

  • Installation of 151 single doors;
  • Installation of 144 double doors;
  • Replacement of 499 windows;
  • Installation of 1,994 light fixtures;
  • Replacement of 74,983 square feet of ceilings;
  • Installation of 77,316 square feet of epoxy flooring;
  • Replacement of 280,376 square feet of carpet.

National Teacher Day Presentation

Olathe NEA President Calin Kendall and Ken Gandy, the district's nominee for Kansas Teacher of the Year, showed some of the many ways teachers make a difference in profession and reminded everyone that National Teacher Day is Tuesday, May 5.


  • Black & Veatch was honored for its ongoing support as a business partner with the district.
  • Jay Novacek, athletic director at Olathe Northwest High School, was named the District 3 Athletic Director of the Year by the Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
  • Five high school students were recognized for awards they received at the KCBizFest, a program sponsored by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Greater KC Hispanic Collaborative. The students were Sergio Madrid of Olathe South High School; Reed Schimmel of Olathe East High School; and Jennifer Ortiz, Zewditu Kassa and Humberto Lopez of Olathe North.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, reports, Head Start performance standards and student trips.
  • Approved an auditing services contract with Mize Houser & Company, P.A. for the period ending June 30, 2015.
  • Accepted a bid to replace a water main at Pioneer Trail Middle School.
  • Accepted a bid to remove asbestos containing materials at Northview Elementary School.
  • Rejected glass and glazing bids for building additions at Frontier Trail, Indian Trail, Oregon Trail and Pioneer Trail middle schools and approved re-bidding the project in a couple of months.
  • Approved an interlocal cost-sharing agreement with the City of Olathe as part of educational programming to promote safe walking and biking at Havencroft, Northview, Ravenwood and Ridgeview elementary schools where sidewalks are lacking, but will be built this summer by the city.
  • Accepted various trade bids for Olathe West High School.
  • Accepted a structural masonry bid for Olathe West.
  • Accepted trade bids for the building renovations at Santa Fe Trail Middle School.
  • Accepted bids for the partial replacement of ceiling tiles at Bentwood, Green Springs, Pleasant Ridge and Tomahawk elementary schools.
  • Approved a bid to replace hardware and upgrade a software subscription for the district's Internet filter.
  • Approved the purchase of power strips, keyboards, tablet stages and iPad cases relating to the district's implementation of one iPad per middle school student this fall.
  • Approved a contract to install security cameras and video management software at the nine middle schools, Harmony and Heartland early childhood centers, Prairie Learning Center, Claire Learning Center and West Dennis Learning Center.
  • Authorized district staff to begin negotiations with First Student on a new transportation services agreement and facility usage agreement, beginning July 1.
  • Approved facility rental fees and new sports complex rental fees for 2015-16. Several of the facility rental fees will increase $1 to $3 per hour next school year.
  • Received information on several future action items including Kansas Association of School Boards committee appointments, curriculum and textbooks, Head Start performance standards, resilient gym flooring for an elementary school, Student Code of Conduct revisions, auditorium sound and lighting upgrades at two high schools, wireless network hardware replacement, and student trips.
  • Received the Head Start director's report.
  • Received a report on spring parent-teacher conferences that showed more than 75 percent of all district students were represented by a parent at the conferences. The elementary schools averaged 97 percent attendance; middle schools averaged 63 percent; and high schools showed a significant increase over the February 2014 conferences.
  • Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters and employer-employee negotiations. Returned from executive session and approved the purchase of supplemental insurance coverage as recommended by staff.

The complete agenda is available online at