September 2017

September 2017-18 School Year

We have had a terrific beginning to the 2017-18 school year. It is essential that each of our students has a positive start each year and I have had the opportunity to witness firsthand the smiles and excitement of our students and staff as they leap into the learning process.  I’d like to publicly thank our teachers, secretaries, paraprofessionals, custodians, cooks, bus drivers, and principal for making this such a positive start for our students!

Bus routes typically take a week or two to run efficiently at the start of the year, but this year’s routes have run smoothly for the first few weeks.  Safety is always our priority, both on the buses and throughout the school day. We appreciate our parents understanding that it takes a little longer this time of year to ensure that each of our younger students are either on the correct bus, walking home, or being picked up.

We have a number of new staff members that have joined our district this year.   At Linn Schools we have the following new teachers joining our USD223 team:
Jaimie Duitsman – 5th Grade Teacher
Kyler Cook – 7-12th Grade Social Studies Teacher, Asst. HS Football Coach
Nancy Otott – 1st Grade Teacher

At Hanover Schools we have the following new faculty:
Darren Brock – K-12th Grade Vocal & Instrumental Music
Tyler Deters – 7-12th Grade Social Studies, Student Council Sponsor, Fr. Class Sponsor
Sharon Goering – K-12th Grade Art and FAC’s Teacher, Forensics Coach
Chandra Heiman – 3rd&4th Grade Teacher
Melissa Holle – 5th & 6th Grade Teacher, Asst. High School Volleyball Coach

We have also hired Kathy Lloyd as an assistant technology coordinator for the District that has replaced Bryce Miller who took employment near Atchison, KS.  Please stop in to the respective schools and let them know how you appreciate their work with your children.

The 2017-18 school budget was published in the local newspapers last month and was approved by the Board of Education on August 22nd. Even though USD223 has not seen an increase in new money for a few years, USD223 is still being progressive for their student’s education. The district’s total expenditures including Local Option budget will be $5,689,311 for the 2017-18 school year.  The mill levy will increase very little from 49.104 to 49.258 mills.  Of course, with our student enrollment either holding or perhaps increasing slightly, it now helps generate a bit more Kansas state aide.  If the new Senate Bill becomes law and is not overturned by the court judges, the State of Kansas will pay school districts $4,006 for every student that is enrolled in their district on September 20th.   We will spend approximately $15,224 to educate each student in USD223.  This seems like quite a bit of money to be spending on each student, but some schools qualify for additional money which is called “weighted funding”.  The state allows schools/districts to receive additional money for students to help provide “equal” education for all students across the state of Kansas.  School districts can obtain additional money if they have students that qualify in the following categories; ESL (English as a Second Language), vocational, at-risk, non-proficient, special education, transportation, and low enrollment.  

The communities of Barnes, Hanover, and Linn have a long-standing tradition of support for education. Rigor, relevance, and relationships -- these standards are reflected in the educational system.  The definition of a "quality" educational program continues to evolve in USD 223 
All school activities are in full swing now for both our junior high and high schools.  Please check the school calendars or on the district web site (www.usd223.org) for the time, date and place for each activity and join us in supporting your local teams!  It is my goal to ensure that our schools continue to provide the exceptional educational experience for our young people as we prepare them for their next step whether that is college or career.  I welcome any dialog as to how we can continue to improve our district.   I can be reached by phone at 785-763-4231, by e-mail at bcordel@usd223.org or by mail at USD223 District Office, 212 N. Tripp St. in Barnes, KS.  

Brian Cordel, USD223 Superintendent of Schools