Board Hears about New Math Standards

April 7, 2016 ~ The Olathe Board of Education met April 7 to hear three very diverse presentations and take action on a multitude of issues.

In recognition of April 10-15 being National Week of the Young Child, Early Childhood Administrator Carol Affholder presented an overview of the district's five early childhood programs which serve more than 900 students each year. These include 383 special education students and 246 peer students in early childhood disability classrooms, 180 students in Head Start, 35 students in the early childhood career opportunities program, and 72 students in the Jump Start program. At this age, Affholder explained, a child's "work" is to play and learn. For instance, playing with blocks means learning about balance and shapes. Pretending to read or write may lead to a career as a teacher. Finger painting may lead to serious artistic talents.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Olathe National Education Association ONEA executive board member Don Branham told board members about the upcoming Teacher Appreciation Week which begins on May 2, and National Teacher Day on May 3. The annual recognition began in 1953. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 85 percent of Kansas reported that teachers in their area are well respected. This was the fourth-highest percentage in the nation.

Math Standards

Math Coordinator Nancy Hughes and Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Jessica Dain updated board members on how the district is making sure its math programs are aligned with the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards. All grade levels and courses are seeing major shifts in content, and some entirely new content was added to all courses as a result of the new standards. There is also a new importance placed on middle school math.

Math teachers are writing new "pacing" guides and all secondary math teachers and principals are reviewing math standards and course progressions.

Because of the changes, Hughes and Dain will offer math nights to help parents of fifth-graders better understand the pacing of math classes. These are scheduled on various evenings throughout April.


  • Olathe Noon Rotary was recognized for its support as a community partner.
  • Greta Lundy, a junior at Olathe Northwest High School, earned a perfect score on the ACT exam.
  • Twenty-two district students are finalists in the National Merit Scholarship program. They are Austin Adams, Deanie Chen, Carson Christensen, Selina Liu, Michael Meier, Wade Rance and Sabrina Ton of Olathe East High School; Disha Dasgupta, Hannah Fuhlhage, Alisha Gupta, Miles McKaig, Kaitlyn O'Neal, Robyn Peterson, Katie Sale, Peter Shunk and Triton Wolfe of Olathe North High School; Kaylor Cruz, Weston Harder, Connor Neil and Isabelle Smith of Olathe Northwest High School; and Camella Carlson and Rachel Li of Olathe South High School.
  • The Olathe East percussion ensemble was the first percussion group to represent Kansas in the Music for All National Festival.
  • The Olathe Northwest Ravens Dance Team won the championship title at the National Dance Alliance competition.
  • Brant Pitcairn of Olathe Northwest is the 6A state diving champion.
  • Jace Koelzer of Olathe South and Chase Miller of Olathe North are the 6A state wrestling champions in their weight categories.
  • Ridgeview Elementary School won the Challenge Award from the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force.

In other business, the board:

  • Accepted the resignation of Superintendent Marlin Berry. Berry will be leaving the district effective June 30 to take on a superintendent position in Rogers, Ark. Berry joined the district in 2007 as assistant superintendent and was named superintendent in 2010.
  • Approved a consent agenda of routine items including meeting minutes, reports, student trips, instructional materials, Head Start plans, and curriculum.
  • Approved a contract to repair the Lone Elm Support building.
  • Approved a contract for auditing services.
  • Approved a bid to renovate the restrooms at Black Bob, Indian Creek, Mahaffie, Prairie Center, Pleasant Ridge, Rolling Ridge and Scarborough elementary schools, and Olathe North and Olathe South high schools. The work would be performed during summer.
  • Approved a temporary construction easement for widening College Boulevard in front of Olathe Northwest.
  • Approved a contract to replace the pool roof at California Trail Middle School.
  • Approved permanent and temporary easements for widening Ridgeview Road on the west side of Indian Trail Middle School.
  • Approved permanent and temporary easements for storm drainage improvements on Cedar Street along Central Elementary School's property.
  • Approved a contract for districtwide asphalt and concrete repairs.
  • Approved the purchase of an instructional alignment machine package for the Olathe Advanced Technical Center.
  • Approved construction change orders in excess of $20,000 for Olathe West High School.
  • Rejected athletic improvement bids for Olathe West.
  • Accepted a bid for a mobile cart as part of the audio system in the black box theatre and main gymnasium of Olathe West.
  • Accepted an architectural engineering proposal for services needed to acquire property for a future middle school.
  • Accepted bids for replacing aged technology equipment and purchase new equipment for Olathe West.
  • Approved the purchase of instructional materials for elementary resource classrooms.
  • Approved the revised curriculum documents for science courses associated with three district 21st Century Academies at Olathe North.
  • Approved four student trips.
  • Approved a $5 increase (from $30 to $35) for student athletic and activity passes and a $10 increase (from $45 to $55) for adult passes to help offset the rising cost of officials, entry fees, supplies, etc. that are supported by these fees.
  • Received information about future action items including curriculum, Olathe West attendance boundaries, student trips, appointment for the Kansas Association of School Boards nominating committee, approval of Head Start policies and procedures, and elementary social studies textbooks and instructional materials.
  • Received the Head Start director's monthly reports.
  • Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters and employer-employee negotiations.

The complete agenda and supporting documents can be found online at