Board Members Hear Positive Feedback from Parent Survey

June 8, 2015 ~ The district’s annual parent survey has been used to gather useful information for decision making for about 15 years. This year’s study was the focus of a presentation to the Olathe Board of Education during its meeting on June 4.

Parents are very pleased with the district as a whole, as indicated by 98 percent of respondents giving the district an A or B grade. This compared to only 50 percent of respondents giving their local district the same grade in national polls last year.

Deputy Superintendent Alison Banikowski said the survey aligns with a board strategic direction to “engage and involve all stakeholders to support and ensure student success.”

Some highlights:

  • More than 95 percent of respondents gave an A or B grade to the district as a whole, school their oldest child attends, the Board of Education, principals and administrators, and teachers.
  • Positive responses for “community gets excellent value in services for the taxes paid,” “district maintains their facilities,” “district hires and retains quality staff,” and “leadership at the district level is effective” rose 4 percent or more.
  • Eighty-seven percent of respondents agreed the “district demonstrates budget accountability and transparency.” This is an increase of 17 percent over last year.
  • Ninety-six percent of respondents agreed the “district has up-to-date technology.” This is up 7 percent from last year.
  • Feedback about the bus service also showed increased satisfaction in many areas including on-time performance (up 8 percent) and responsive to patron concerns (up 8 percent).


  • The Kansas City Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association, C & R Manufacturing, NCS Precision Manufacturing, and A & E Custom Manufacturing were recognized for their support of the district.
  • Camden Hanzlick-Burton of Olathe Northwest High School was named the 2015 Outstanding Biology Teacher for Kansas by the National Association of Biology Teachers and the Kansas Association of Biology Teachers.
  • The district received the Global Education Excellence Award from EF High School Exchange Year.
  • Andrea Dahl of Olathe North High School won the Grand Award at the 2015 Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair for the second consecutive year.
  • Cooper Yerby of Olathe North was awarded a $20,000 scholarship as a Coca Cola Scholar.
  • Ashwanth Samuel of Olathe Northwest was awarded a full-ride scholarship to the University of Virginia as a Jefferson Scholar.
  • The Olathe Northwest FIRST Robotics Team 1710 was recognized for its regional and national success this year.
  • Michael Sinn of Blue Valley Northwest High School, Eyasu Mekonnen of Olathe North, and Alec Jorns of Olathe Northwest earned gold medals at the state SkillsUSA competition.
  • Arvind Subramanian and David Nelson, both of Olathe North, took first place in Technical Problem Solving at the National Science Olympiad tournament.
  • The Olathe North Science Olympiad team placed 37th out of 60 teams at the National Science Olympiad event.
  • Vanya Shivashankar of California Trail Middle School was recognized as co-champion of the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • Superintendent Marlin Berry also recognized retiring board members Debora Daniels and Harlan Parker.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, reports, Head Start plans and assessment results, student trips, revision to board policy GCRGA, a social media policy, instructional materials for sixth-grade language arts, and middle school science curriculum.
  • Approved 2015-16 Kansas Association of School Boards and National School Boards Association fees.
  • Approved textbooks for secondary math coursework.
  • Approved curriculum and textbooks for high school French.
  • Approved 2015-16 transportation variance areas.
  • Approved a bid for switches to hardwire the Apple TV to the district network.
  • Approved trade bids for Olathe West High School.
  • Accepted a bid for white copy paper.
  • Accepted a bid for window-breaking tools as part of the district’s A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) safety response protocol.
  • Approved a multi-year student transportation services agreement with First Student.
  • Approved a bid for milk-based products and 100 percent juice products for 2015-16.
  • Approved a bid for a duct ventilation system in the art room at Olathe South High School.
  • Accepted the purchase and installation cost for two overhead volleyball standards at Olathe East High School.
  • Approved the insurance renewal premiums for workers’ compensation, third party administrator / workers’ compensation, property liability, general school liability, third party administrator / property and casualty, crime liability, and fiduciary liability coverages.
  • Approved two student trips.
  • Received information on future action items including Head Start transportation, student trips, salary reimbursement agreement with KidsTLC, school resource officers’ agreement, Millcreek architectural and engineering proposal, acceptable use policy, and music instrument bids.
  • Received written information including the April Head Start director’s report, annual school Site Council report, and partnership with Baker University for an on-site master’s program in school leadership and/or building licensure.
  • Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters and employer-employee negotiations, and consult with the district’s attorney.

The complete agenda is available at