District to form a committee to develop drug-testing policy

LYNDON—Discussion continued around drug testing of students at the Oct. 14 USD 421 Board of Education meeting.

“This was brought up at the last board meeting,” said Cheryl Cook, superintendent. “I was asked to go out and find information about what some other districts are doing.”

Cook detailed a few examples of hair and urine samples and what area districts including USD 420 Osage City and USD 434 Santa Fe Trail are doing or considering implementing. She recommended forming a committee to further analyze policies if the board would be interested.

USD 420 approves random drug testing program

OSAGE CITY—After several months of revisions, the USD 420 Board of Education approved a random drug testing policy for high school and middle school students during its Oct. 14 regular meeting.

“We, as a committee, met six times,” said Troy Hutton, superintendent. “After we made changes from the Kansas Association of School Boards and received input from the drug testing company itself, we feel pretty comfortable with what we ended up with. I guess what we need is any last minute input from the board.”

USD 420 to begin drug testing next semester

OSAGE CITY—The USD 420 Board of Education approved proceeding with a plan to begin drug testing, beginning with the spring semester.

Under the policy, any student which participates in activities or athletics at the junior high or high school level would be eligible for testing.

Troy Hutton, superintendent, reviewed the random drug testing policy being prepared by a committee during the district Sept. 9 regular meeting. The policy was sent to the Kansas Association of School Boards for review, and Hutton said there were several items that need to be addressed.

USD 421 to consider drug testing policy

LYNDON—Board member Melissa Herdman brought up an issue discussed and even implemented at other area districts – student drug testing.

“It’s something I’ve been looking at,” said Herdman. “Not that I have a strong opinion on it. I’ve been stopped three different times by patrons asking what we’re going to do about it.”

“Students? Staff?” asked Eric Ratzloff, board member. “Who are they testing?”

Cheryl Cook, superintendent, said students participating in athletics or extracurricular activities are eligible for the randomized testing.

Santa Fe Trail High fine arts facility to open next week

CARBONDALE—The two large monolithic domes on the Santa Fe Trail High School Campus will begin to serve their purpose next month, the first of which is set to be open next week.

“It’s been two years, we’re ready,” said Steve Pegram, USD 434 Superintendent.

Crews are wrapping up work on the fine arts facility, which houses a 500-person theater, along with band and choir rooms. The theater is inside the smaller of the two domes.

USD 454 gears up for school year

BURLINGAME—The Board of Education approved and adopted the USD 454 2015-16 budget as published following the Aug. 12 budget hearing.

After conclusion of the budget hearing, the board convened its regular scheduled meeting. Superintendent Allen Konicek lead review and discussion of Aug. 12-14 in-service activities, as preparation for the first day of school Aug. 17.

“I appreciate Billie (McClure, board member) coming in and firing up the faculty, giving them the yearly charge,” said Konicek.

Lyndon High School track construction back on track

LYNDON—Delayed construction of an eight-lane track was a topic of discussion when USD 421 Board of Education met Aug. 12.

Cheryl Cook, superintendent, said dirt work was just starting on the project. Cook also gave an update Aug. 18, saying removal of the old track was complete.

United Sport Systems has been delayed by weather and other projects, but were present at the time of the update.

“At this time, we don’t have a set completion date,” Cook said.

Drug testing outlined for Osage City schools

OSAGE CITY— Osage City High School Principal Tony Heward came to the USD 420 Board of Education meeting with concerns from the preseason coaches’ meeting.

“We’ve had overwhelming unanimous recommendation we start drug testing at the high school,” Heward said. “They think it would be a great deterrent.”

The coaches meeting was held Aug. 11, prior to the Aug. 12 board meeting.

“It’s more about helping kids as opposed to catching them,” Heward said. “In another district, when they implemented this, it gave kids an out. That is was really, hard to say no sometimes.

USD 456 breaks down 2015-16 budget

MELVERN—USD 456 Superintendent Darrel Finch gave a detailed breakdown of the districts budget at the Aug. 10 regular meeting of the Marais des Cygnes Valley Board of Education.

“This is the first year with block grant funding, so everything is really different,” Finch said.

Finch showed the general state aid as $2,182,106 along with $313,870 in supplemental aid, then broke down funds that run directly through the school - $360,320 in special education and $215,321 in KPERS retirement funds.

Osage City school to host back to school blast

Osage City Elementary and Middle School staff will host its annual Back to School Blast 5-7 p.m. Aug. 13. This year the format of the event has changed.

Vendors who have a connection with Osage City students are encouraged to set up a booth to advertise their products in the school cafeteria. To reserve a booth, call the elementary office after Aug. 3 at (785) 528-3171.



The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

The official newspaper of Osage County; the cities of Burlingame, Carbondale, Lyndon, Melvern, Olivet, Osage City, Overbrook, Quenemo and Scranton; Burlingame USD 454, Lyndon USD 421, Marais des Cygnes Valley USD 456, Osage City USD 420 and Santa Fe Trail USD 434.

All content @1863-2016 Osage County Herald-Chronicle, unless otherwise stated.

Print edition published every Thursday.


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