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Group serves 19 school disctrict families

Staff writer

Families with infants and toddlers in the Marion-Florence USD 408 school district will have increased access to the Marion County Parents as Teachers program after the Board of Education took action Monday to restore funding that was cut last year.

All five Marion County school districts participate in the PAT program, and a percentage of the total slots available is allotted to each based on overall district enrollment. Districts pay an assessment to PAT to provide services. USD 408 decreased funding for PAT by $700 last year as part of their budget-cutting measures.

PAT provides parents of children birth to 3 with education and social supports, and facilitates connections with local resources in order to improve educational outcomes when children enter school.

Superintendent Lee Leiker recommended restoring the full budget, citing 2011-12 service information provided by PAT Director Lori Soo Hoo at the March board meeting as the rationale.

“We were slightly underserved — we had a few on the waiting list that could be served,” Leiker said.

The board approved $7,028 to fully fund the district’s participation in the PAT program. Soo Hoo estimated average number of children served per month will increase from 27 now to 29 or 30 next year.

Coaches hired

Coaching contracts for the upcoming school year were approved for three individuals following a 25-minute executive session to discuss personnel and negotiations.

Kelly Robson was named head girls’ basketball coach for Marion High School, replacing Randy Savage. No reason was given for the change.

Deanna Thierolf will take over as head volleyball coach at MHS, filling a vacancy created by the resignation of Jim Versch.

Janessa Wood will serve as an assistant for volleyball and girls’ basketball at Marion Middle School.

In other business:

  • Leiker provided a legislative update in which he characterized education funding measures in the Kansas legislature as “unresolved.” Leiker said he does not anticipate significant changes in school finance formulas, and that the picture should become clearer when the legislature returns for a wrap-up session in late April.
  • Kathy Holub was hired for a supplemental summer maintenance position.
  • A request by the Christian, Presbyterian, Valley United Methodist and Emmanuel Baptist churches to use Marion Elementary School for a summer vacation Bible school was approved.
  • The board approved renewal of their membership in the Kansas Association of School Boards for $6,732, and approved $1,400 for participation in the KASB legal services program.

Last modified April 12, 2012

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