Mark Taylor
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The Spring Hill School Board gave a nod of approval June 6 for the pending sale of Insight School from current owner Kaplan Inc. to new owner K12, Inc.
The board approved a consent agreement for the transfer of ownership.
Insight, a public online high school housed at Hilltop Education Center in the Spring Hill School District, is one of several virtual schools across the nation aimed at helping students for whom traditional schools are not a good fit.
Kaplan bought Insight, which consists of nine online schools in eight states, from previous owner, the Apollo Group, last February.
Apollo then agreed to sell the business to K12, which operates virtual public schools in 29 states.
K12 runs two other virtual schools in Kansas, including locations in Lawrence and Manhattan.
Bart Goering, Spring Hill superintendent, said the district’s consent was contingent upon two points – that K12 agrees to negotiate a new five-year contract with the school district, and that K12 not assist or encourage other schools in Kansas to develop or offer adult learner services.
Insight has two years remaining in its current contract with the school district. “Adult learner services” pertains to high school coursework for persons 19 and older.
“They (K12) have agreed to put those two things in the consent contract,” Goering said.
Goering added that there is a possibility for consolidating some operations at the Spring Hill site.
“Which would create more jobs for people and not cost the district anything,” he said.
All current Insight employees are expected to be rehired by the new owner once the sale is finalized.
Insight offers tuition-free education. It is a public high school and receives the same state funding as traditional schools.
Goering said Insight graduated 100 students this year and about 700 persons attended the school’s graduation ceremony.
In other business, the school board:
• Approved building handbook revisions for the 2011-12 school year.
• Among the changes at Spring Hill Elementary is a dress code stipulation prohibiting “distracting hairstyles”. The school already bans distracting hair colors.
Goering said the new policy pertains to instances where students’ hairstyles create a distraction for others in the classroom.
It will be up to the principal to determine which hairstyles are distracting.
Goering said the new policy was prompted by an incident where a student’s hairstyle caused a disruption for others.
“They did have a situation that was distracting to the educational process,” he said.
• Approved a calendar for 2011-2012 board meetings.
• Renewed the district’s insurance policy with Travelers and Chartis. The district’s total premium will increase from $181,683 in 2010-11 to 199,204 in 2011-12. The policy includes property, general liability, inland marine, automobile, crime, errors and omissions, umbrella and workers comp coverage.