October 22, 2014

USD 231 crisis team meets in response to student’s death

Corbin H. Crable
chcrable@gardnernews.com
The USD 231 district crisis team met on Sept. 13 to evaluate schools’ responses to the death of a Madison Elementary student earlier this month.
The team, which includes counselors from around the district, reported to USD 231 Superintendent Dr. Bill Gilhaus, who briefed the Board of Education at its Monday night meeting.
Gilhaus lauded the efforts of the crisis team in handling the healing process after the death of 7-year-old Kade Meyer, who was struck by a car on Sept. 2.
“The team reviewed the crisis communication and planning process and generally agreed that crisis planning and, unfortunately, experience, caused the response to be effective,” Gilhaus told BOE members in a memo. “Many district and building administrators jumped into coordinated action in a very short time period, thanks to a solid crisis response plan and quality leadership.
Gilhaus also stressed that the district will continue to offer any support necessary to Kade Meyer’s family as they, too, continue to heal.
In addition, Special Services Director Judy Martin addressed the board on the progress of USD 231’s Gardner Community Team, a group of professionals who act as liaisons between the school district, the city and the county. Members of the team include professionals from a variety of organizations, including Johnson County Department of Corrections, Johnson County Mental Health, Parents As Teachers and the Johnson County Health Department.
Martin said the team will meet seven times throughout the school year to organize activities promoting the school district, city and county.
“The team wanted to continue their impact within the community and once again organize a community fair,” Martin noted. “Specifically, the Parent Information Evening combined with a Community Resource Fair will occur in late October.”
In other business, the school board:
* heard a report from USD 231 Finance Director Eric Hansen detailing the progress of the district’s payments to the Kansas State Treasurer. The school district’s payment for October will total slightly more than $9 million, of which more than $6 million will be paid toward outstanding principal and more than $2 million will be interest, according to a memo from Hansen.
* heard a report on districtwide enrollment figures from Gilhaus, who said the district headcount has seen a 5.5 percent increase from this time last year; enrollment fell roughly 2 percent above district expectations as well.
* Recognized Pioneer Ridge Middle School interrelated teacher Cassandra Delmont for her work on the state’s Learning Disabilities Association of Kansas. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to advancing the well-being and quality of life for children with learning disabilities. This year, LDAK will host a conference focusing on the link between learning disabilities and environmental contaminates, according to a memo from USD Special Services Director Judy Martin.
The school board will next meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27 in the board room of the district offices, 231 E. Madison St.

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