Legislative Action Impacts Olathe District

March 3, 2017 ~ The Olathe Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on March 2 and received two presentations.

Chief Financial and Operations Officer John Hutchison discussed current operating expenditures and transaction coding procedures in reference to the state funding statute. In his presentation, he informed the board on where Olathe ranks in regard to other Kansas school districts as far as total expenditures per pupil and the efficiency in which the district operates.

In an update to the recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling regarding the public school funding formula, Interim Superintendent Pat All informed the board that key takeaways from the decision were that the current block grant was ruled inadequate and the Legislature had until June 30 to find a vetted, accurate formula. All told the board that Olathe Public Schools would closely monitor the situation and would provide more information as it became available.

Innovative Elementary Programs

Executive Director of General Administration/ Elementary Programs Brent Yeager updated board members on the innovative programs and initiatives happening at the elementary level. Among them:

  • Kindergarten Round-Up helps welcome incoming kindergartners to their new school.
  • Worksheets have been replaced by sight word practice, reading fluency, guided reading, authentic writing and independent reading.
  • Students learn to be responsible through class meetings on relationship building, bully prevention, social skills, etc.
  • Flexible seating is often used in classrooms.
  • Computer coding helps students develop problem-solving skills and computational thinking skills.
  • Makerspaces offer innovation for all students.
  • Project-based learning "makes learning fun."


  • MidAmerica Nazarene University was recognized as a business partner for various district initiatives. MNU has provided college credits for teachers who want to secure continuing education credit during Olathe Summer Conference. MidAmerica Nazarene has been instrumental in the planning and development of the 21st Century Future Educators Academy, support of the district's English Language Learners program and providing classroom space for the district's ACCESS program.
  • Olathe South High School math teacher Deborah Abernathy is one of only two teachers in Kansas to earn the status of National Board Certified Teacher in the most recent certification process. The credential was given by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
  • The district received the Boys & Girls Clubs Corporate Partnership Award for its partnership, support and advocacy of the Olathe Unit.
  • LyLena Estabine of Olathe Northwest High School earned the Best in Show award in the citywide Martin Luther King Jr. celebration for her video with narration.
  • Sophie Schneider of Mission Trail Middle School won the 10th annual National Football League Play 60 Super Kid contest.
  • The Olathe Public Schools' Communication Division was recognized by the Social Media Club of Kansas City with the Gold Award in the Multi-Channel Integrated Campaign. This award was in recognition for use of social media during the name the Olathe West High School colors and mascot competition in November 2015.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, reports, and student trips.
  • Accepted the final cleaning proposals for Olathe West High School (bond 2013 funds).
  • Approved a contract to purchase new zero-turn riding mowers to replace aged equipment at the Operations Service Center (capital outlay funds).
  • Approved the purchase of science supplies, materials and equipment for Olathe West (capital outlay).
  • Approved the purchase of opening day library books and other reference materials for Olathe West (capital outlay).
  • Approved change orders in excess of $20,000 for Middle School 10 (bond 2016).
  • Accepted an alternate interior signage bid for Olathe West (bond 2013), and rejected the earlier bid that was accepted in November.
  • Approved the purchase of track repairs and services for seven sites (bond 2016).
  • Granted easements with the City of Olathe for a new maintenance building at the Olathe District Activity Center.
  • Approved the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment for the Millcreek Center addition and renovation project (bond 2016).
  • Accepted bids for aging facilities projects including metal lockers, window and doors, casework and solid surfaces, plumbing, and abatement at various locations in the district (bond 2016).
  • Accepted a bid for construction of a new ticket booth at the Olathe District Activity Center (bond 2016).
  • Accepted the bid for renovating the Olathe North High School performing arts center this summer (bond 2013).
  • Rejected bids for summer heating, air conditioning and ventilation projects, with the plan to re-release at a later date.
  • Accepted the bid for gymnasium bleacher repairs at Olathe South High School (bond 2016).
  • Accepted a bid for football uniforms and apparel for Olathe West (capital outlay).
  • Approved a bid for outdoor banner signs at the baseball and softball fields at both district athletic centers (capital outlay).
  • Approved a bid for brass band instruments for Olathe West (capital outlay).
  • Approved a bid for woodwind band instruments for Olathe West (capital outlay).
  • Approved a bid for percussion band instruments for Olathe West (capital outlay).
  • Approved a bid for electronic band instruments and accessories for Olathe West (capital outlay).
  • Approved the purchase of floor refinishing in the main gym at Olathe South to be done this summer (bond 2016).
  • Approved Colliers International as the district's real estate broker for the sale of the North Lindenwood Support Center.
  • Approved the dedication of a right-of-way for Whitney Street along the north side of the Olathe North campus.
  • Approved the City of Olathe's request for a neighborhood revitalization area west of Parker / K-7 and north and south of Dennis Avenue.
  • Approved the budget development goals and calendar for fiscal year 2017-18 which includes budget reviews by the board in July and August, a community budget workshop on July 27, and a public hearing and adoption of the budgets on Aug. 3.
  • Approved increases in the adult meal prices, driver's education fees, and athletic passes for the 2017-18 school year.
  • Approved student trips for the Olathe Northwest High School FIRST Robotics; Olathe South DECA; Olathe South Science Olympiad; Olathe North Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; and Olathe East High School Design Academy.
  • Received information about future action items including a student trip, curriculum; audit services; bidding schedule for 21st Century Academy renovations at Olathe East and Olathe South high schools; bidding schedule for the new maintenance building at ODAC; lighting replacement at the district activity centers; bidding schedule for summer HVAC projects; bids for replacing the district's firewall technologies; bids for Cisco voice infrastructure routers; bids for internet services provider; purchase of Apple iPads and cases for elementary use; and renaming of the Millcreek Center.
  • Received the Head Start director's monthly report.
  • Received construction change orders.
  • Received the monthly update about Olathe West.
  • Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters and employer-employee negotiations.

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