KASB Board hears about numerous programs at Basehor-Linwood USD 458 during meeting

Basehor-Linwood USD 458 rolled out the welcome mat for the KASB Board of Directors and executive staff Friday and Saturday. The KASB Board holds one of its five yearly meetings in the current president’s school district. 

This growing district in northeast Kansas — KASB President Dayna Miller’s home district — serves 2,400 students in six attendance centers in addition to operating a virtual school program. 

The board of directors gathered Friday for lunch in the new district’s new CTE Center on the campus of Basehor-Linwood High School. Presentations by students and staff included the adult mentoring program and “Care Cats,” a program for junior and seniors who mentor younger students. “Care Cats” is a class in which the students earn high school credit and community service volunteer hours as part of their participation. 

Two “Care Cat” student mentors presented to the board, describing their experiences and activities. Both students recounted experiences while being mentored during earlier school years by upperclassman in the program and said now that they are the mentors themselves they believe the program brings just as much benefit to the mentors as the mentees. 

The mentoring program for adults matches community members with special programs and needs throughout the district. Teacher and Program Director Tammy Potts said that on any given day there are 125 adult mentors throughout all grade levels. 

Other presentations throughout the afternoon centered on the school’s Life Skills program, Business Entrepreneurship & Management pathway and the school’s robotics program. 

There is a great deal of collaboration throughout all programs in the school, said participants. For example, students in the Life Skills program, in addition to a wide variety of experience-driven projects, make the “power balls” that are then sold by the students in Applied Business Development, the capstone class in the business management pathway. Students in the class, guided by teacher Cody Ziegler, developed the concept and now run The Den, the high school’s coffee shop. Ziegler oversees the program, but said the more he “backs off” and has students make the decisions, the more they learn and develop skills in collaboration and problem solving. 

KASB Board and Staff then took a bus tour of the district before heading to dinner. 

On Saturday, the board met for its business meeting, hearing reports from staff and  discussing the current status of bills before the Legislature, including progress on issues such as school finance and teacher due process. 

KASB board policy requires yearly training for board of directors’ members on their fiduciary duties as members of the board. Donna Whiteman, assistant executive director for legal services, led the presentation, reviewing their responsibilities along with KASB fiscal management control procedures. 

Other reports included a review of KASB’s partnerships, a review of the 2017 KASB Annual Conference and future plans, and a report by Frank Henderson, Jr., Seaman USD 345 board of education, and a member of the NSBA board of directors. Henderson talked about the focus on equity issues by NSBA and briefly outlined the upcoming NSBA Annual Conference April 7-9 in San Antonio. 

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