USD 231 approves budget set at 64.5 mills
The GE budget is based on assessed valuations in Johnson and Miami Counties. The estimated valuation used in the published budget was approximately $380 million.
Since estimated assessed valuations will go either up or down between now and November 1, the Johnson County tax administration office will adjust mill rates based on final assessed valuations to ensure that overall tax dollars levied does not change from what was published. For instance, the published budget initially calculated the mill rate at 64.500. If final valuations increase, the mill rate will drop below 64.500.If final valuations decrease, the mill rate will increase above 64.500.

New teachers welcomed to district
About 47 new teachers were welcomed August 11 and several sessions were planned to help them to acclimate to USD 231.
New teachers participate in curriculum training, receive First Aid Mental Health training and are provided an opportunity to attend different choice sessions. Teachers also went on a virtual community tour to allow them to see the community and schools in a socially distanced way.

GEYCP
GEYCP has been working to provide district employees an opportunity to send their kids to an all day camp grades K-5. The day camp will run for three weeks (Aug. 17 – Sep. 4) 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m..With available staff, 70 enrollments can be accommodated. Registration closed on Aug. 13.

Technology
Technology staff has been checking in, repairing and checking out Chromebooks.
In addition, staff has been busy with the new role of facilitating and live streaming remote meetings and events. The Class of 2020 Graduation had over 925 connections remotely watching live. Also, technology has been live streaming school board meetings, negotiations meetings and finance committee meetings.

Nutrition services
Curbside meals are winding down, but since the beginning of this service in March, more than 450,000 meals have been provided.

Human Resources Support Staff
Progress has been made contacting current classified employees and filling critical support staff vacancies. All custodial positions have been filled. Work calendars have been revised to reflect the changes to the main district calendar and have been distributed to all para educators and building aides.
Staff has been instructed to begin service on August 24 to allow time to plan/prep with supervising teachers prior to students starting, and participate in Convocation. The goal is to distribute all classified staff work agreements in October, which is when the district hopes to finalize negotiations and distribute teacher contracts.

Teacher/substitute absence management
The new system for creating teacher absences and securing substitutes is now operational. Building principals and lead secretaries have been trained as campus users. Teachers received their formal training on August 19. Substitutes will have three opportunities to access training from Sep. 1 – 3. Mark Meyer, project lead, and Daphne Pippitt, have prepared the new system and developed the training opportunities. This new system will promote efficiency and greater accountability, for all parties.

GENEA and BOE
Negotiations representatives from both the board of education and GENEA met on July 29 via Zoom interface.
The meeting was the second in the ongoing 2020-2021 negotiations process and was available to the general public via live stream on the USD 231 YouTube channel. The meeting began with an overview of the changes to the revised 2020-2021 school calendar.
Both sides reviewed the notes from the first negotiations meeting and proceeded through the noticed items – coming to resolution on all non-compensatory items. The teams reviewed an impasse document the Kansas Department of Labor (KDL) requires to be filed if the negotiation teams have not reached a full or tentative settlement by July 31. The document was completed and has been sent to KDL.
The meeting concluded when both sides determined that an early October meeting should provide sufficient time for the BOE team to consider relevant data, such as 2020-2021 enrollment, local/state funding levels and health plan renewals costs, and will allow both sides to finalize the The next meeting will be Oct. 7, 2020 from 5 – 7 p.m. via Zoom interface.