Olathe West High School Boundaries Set for 2017 Opening

May 6, 2016 ~ Olathe West High School will open in fall 2017 as the district's fifth high school. During the Olathe Board of Education's May meeting, members learned about the progress being made at the construction site and established attendance boundaries for the school.

Chief Financial and Operations Officer John Hutchison reminded board members that planning for Olathe West began about two and a half years ago, and the first walls were erected last summer. The main structure of about 370,000 square feet is nearly completely roofed, will involve more than 375,000 man hours in construction and has had zero accidents to date.

The athletic fields will be located north of the school, and baseball fields are well on their way to completion. A great deal of painting and ceiling grids are in place, and an indoor track is being constructed. The building will have about 1 million feet of electrical wiring when done, and about 800,000 feet of data cabling. An outdoor, rooftop classroom and four "neighborhoods" of classrooms are two unique features of the school.

Hutchison said the project is on budget and on time, with an estimated construction completion in December. Furniture and other interior equipment would be delivered in plenty of time for opening to students in August 2017.


Assistant Superintendent of General Administration Erin Dugan reviewed the work of the Boundary Review Committee that met in January, gained feedback from four high school parent forums in February, and a staff recommendation to the board on the new high school boundaries in March. She said additional patron input has been received and reviewed since the March 3 board presentation as well.

Dugan reviewed with the board the overall boundary recommendation which has some level of impact at all of the district's high schools.

Following the presentation, board members approved the Olathe West attendance boundaries.

Olathe Citizen Satisfaction Survey

Ed Foley, performance analyst for the City of Olathe, presented findings from the city's 2015 DirectionFinder survey of area residents. The random sample of 453 households was surveyed by ETC Institute. Among the findings:

  • Citizen satisfaction with the quality of public education is high. The 2015 survey showed that 88 percent of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with public education in Olathe, compared to 86 percent on the 2014 survey. He noted the large increase in the percentage of respondents who were very satisfied with the schools, from 45 percent in 2004 to 57 percent last year.
  • Residents have a positive perception of Olathe as a place to live, work and raise a family. The 2015 survey showed 89 percent (work and buy a home) to 96 percent (live and raise children) of respondents said Olathe was good or excellent.
  • Citizens are satisfied with city services that are influenced by the district, including the School Resource Officer program and collaboration with the parks and recreation department.


  • The Olathe Chamber of Commerce was recognized as a community partner that has provided outreach to students, staff and families for many years.
  • Ethan Ching of California Trail Middle School will perform with the 2016 Middle School Honors Performance Series Orchestra in Carnegie Hall in New York City this summer.
  • Johannah Cairns of Olathe Northwest High School won the grand prize in Kansas for her drawing, American Dream, by the Council for Art Education.
  • Two SMART (Students Modeling a Research Topic) teams from the Life Science program at Olathe North High School presented their protein models with posters at the National Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego.
  • The Olathe Northwest High School Team 1710 robotics team won its fifth straight Chairman's Award at the FIRST Robotics regional competition.
  • Amanda Faunce, athletic director at Olathe East High School, was named the 2016 Promising Kansas Athletic Director of the Year by the Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
  • Director of Health Services Cindy Galemore was named a Fellow for the National Association of School Nurses.
  • Pioneer Trail Middle School earned two honors from the Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators: 2016 Exemplary Middle School and a Kansas High Performing School for 2016.
  • Bentwood Elementary, Manchester Park Elementary, Regency Place Elementary and Olathe Northwest High School were recognized as 2016 Governor's Achievement Award winners.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda of routine items including meeting minutes, reports, student trips, Head Start grant and plans, curriculum, and textbooks.
  • Granted a right-of-way easement to Westar Energy and amended a lease agreement with Verizon Wireless for the installation of a cell tower on Mission Trail Middle School property.
  • Accepted trade bids for digital room control and the communications studio at Olathe West High School.
  • Appointed board member Shannon Wickliffe to serve on the Kansas Association of School Boards nominating committee for 2016.
  • Approved a student trip for the Olathe North High School and California Trail Middle School Science Olympiad teams to attend nationals in Wisconsin on May 19-21.
  • Set two special meetings in May to discuss the appointment of an interim superintendent. The meetings will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, May 9 and Thursday, May 19.
  • Received information about future action items including textbooks, Kansas Association of School Boards and National School Boards Association 2016-17 fees, general insurance policy renewal for fiscal year 2017, proposal to extend contract with Health Partnership Clinic to serve two elementary schools, curriculum, replacing HVAC equipment at three schools, cooperative diesel fuel bid with other governmental agencies, juice and milk-based products bid, student trips, Head Start human resources and management systems work plans, salary reimbursement agreement with KidsTLC for 2016-17, and grade levels attending high schools under the newly approved high school boundaries for the 2017-18 school year.
  • Received the Head Start director's monthly report.
  • Received the spring parent-teacher conference attendance information which showed that elementary attendance averaged 97 percent, middle schools averaged 61 percent, and high schools averaged 45 percent attendance.
  • Received the 2015-16 staff survey executive summary which included responses from 58 percent of district employees.
  • Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters, employer-employee negotiations, hold a preliminary discussion of real property acquisition, and consult with its attorney.

The complete agenda and supporting documents are available online at http://www.boarddocs.com/ks/olathe/Board.nsf/Public.