Posted Date: 05/07/2021
It has been a while since I have written an article for the Coffey County Republican. I apologize as it has been very busy the past three months. Here are a few things that have been happening in the district as we wrap up another successful school year.
As many of you may know, we have made masks optional in our district for our students, staff, and visitors. This decision was made with very serious consideration for all aspects relating to COVID-19. Our administrators and directors started to have discussions after spring break based on many pieces of data. Our county had zero COVID cases for a number of weeks. Our student and staff health was in great shape with our buildings having less than 2% absence rate for a number of weeks. Our COVID Community Advisory committee met on April 7 to give their input on moving forward with masks being optional. Dr. Jeff Sloyer, our county health officer, and Lindsay Payer with the health department wrote a letter giving us guidance to make masks optional based on their professional judgment. Also, our county population receiving the vaccine is increasing. Our board of education met on April 12 and considered all the information. I am happy to report that so far since making masks optional starting on April 19, our health safety data in the district is still in great shape. Office and nursing staff at each building continue to monitor health very closely every day. We continue to wash/sanitize hands throughout the day. We continue to do extra cleaning throughout the day. We continue to social distance as much as possible with our students and staff. I am very appreciative of everyone’s efforts in Coffey County to help make sure we have had On-Site learning the entire year in our schools.
We continue to work on improving our facilities in the district by utilizing capital outlay funding. We are able to levy 4 mills of capital outlay in our district to focus on facilities. One mill of capital outlay in Burlington equals approximately $500,000 due to our assessed valuation of property in our school district. There are very few districts in the state of Kansas with this financial situation for capital outlay. Capital outlay helps us put new roofs on buildings, replace equipment like boilers and chillers, purchase new buses, replace carpet, and many other areas related to facilities and equipment. We did levy one additional mill for 5 years for our BHS and BMS science room remodels and our BHS gym remodel. We are thankful to the USD 244 community for allowing us these additional funds to take care of our aging facilities. The one mill for these projects goes away in 2022. With these projects coming in at around $300,000 under budget, we were able to use these additional funds on remodeling the 1959 BES 1st grade wing that was in bad need of attention. This wing at BES has been brought up to modern standards for our kids to learn and teachers to teach. We are so lucky in Burlington that we have been able to take care of our facilities without having a bond issue.
As this school year winds down, I challenge everyone in our community to share a positive comment or story with your family and friends relating to the 2020-21 school year. So many times, we forget to emphasize the positives that occur in our lives.
If you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 620-364-8478 EXT. 3040. Have a wonderful summer!