Board Looks Inside 21st Century Academies

Sept. 8, 2017 ~ Members of the Olathe Board of Education took a look inside the district's newest 21st Century Academies during a presentation at their Sept. 7 regular meeting.

Deputy Superintendent Alison Banikowski updated board members on the new and enhanced facilities for 21st Century Academies. Six new programs launched this fall (Green Tech, BIOengineering, Business Finance, Civic Leadership, Future Educators, and Public Safety) and two have enhanced facilities (Computer Science and Design).

Angela Epps, the new coordinator of 21st Century Academies, was introduced during the meeting. Among her priorities are creating a vision for academies at Olathe North High School, overseeing new signage for the Engineering Academy, and improving overall signage at four high schools. Increasing the number of partners for each academy and finalizing the application process are also key tasks for Epps.

Family Day

Communications Director Maggie Kolb and Athletics/Activity Director Tim Brady presented information about Family Day, a partnership event with the City of Olathe on Sept. 25.

During the Sept. 25 Family Day, families are encouraged to share dinner together without interruption from electronic devices or other daily distractions to promote family communication and support.


  • Nearly 70 participants in the Volunteers Serving Schools program earned President's Volunteer Service Awards this year: 50 bronze awards for 100-249 hours of service in 2016-17, 16 silver awards for 250-499 hours of service, and two gold awards for more than 500 hours of service.
  • Anika Lam of Olathe North High School won the girls 6A state champion title in 200-yard individual medley swimming.
  • David Lye won the district spelling bee last spring as a fifth-grader at Sunnyside Elementary School.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, and various reports.
  • Approved three-year contracts with Kansas School for the Deaf, and the Blue Valley and Spring Hill school districts, to allow their students access to career-technical programs provided by the Olathe district.
  • Approved bids for audio/video equipment in elementary school gyms (2016 bond funds).
  • Approved the proposal for construction management services for Elementary School 36 (2013 bond funds). The building would be ready for the 2019-20 school year.
  • Approved bids to renovate the baseball infield at Olathe East High School so it is safer and can handle increased use (capital outlay and general fund).
  • Approved bids for replacement Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in secondary schools and the two activity complexes (capital outlay funds).
  • Approved a bid for white copy paper (general fund).
  • Received information on future action items including five student trips, curriculum, instructional materials, bids for a router for the Engineering Academy, playground repairs resulting from a safety audit, and various technology agreements.
  • Received the 2016-17 Facility Usage Report which showed an increase in the number of hours district facilities were rented vs 2015-16. Two reasons for the increase are more patrons using the artificial turf fields, and more churches temporarily renting district buildings until their permanent locations are accessible.
  • Received the Head Start director's monthly report for August.

The complete agenda and supporting documents are available online at