Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daria Anderson-Faden
The Observer 

Public Survey Planned For Schools


April 15, 2021

Over the past few months, the Kimball School Board has been discussing the school district’s facilities, and now they have reached a point of needing and wanting the community’s opinions.

A short survey has been prepared by the board, and this week it will be “tweaked,” according to board President Matthew Shoup.

“We want to see how the public sees our buildings,” he said.

The survey will be ready for public input next week.

The board approved two significant projects – new auditorium curtains were approved, and so was continuing to improve the building and maintaining the facilities. This is only the second time curtains have been purchased since the mid-1960s when the high school was built. New curtains and the repair of old tracks will be completed for just over $36,000.

The other general maintenance project involves floor renovation of the high school main gym. The bid for sanding, refinishing, painting, finishing and sealing the gym floor was approved for just under $28,000 from JJ Pratt Enterprises, LLC out of Pine Bluffs, Wyo.

Although details are not etched on the gym floor yet, the board did approve the court to be named as either the Tom Southard Court or the Tom and Karen Southard Court. The final decision and vote will be considered at the May 10 school board meeting at the Kimball County Transit building.

The 2021 Kimball High School seniors will have regular graduation, according to Superintendent Anderson’s report at the April school board meeting. The current Directed Health Measurers restrict indoor event attendance to 75% of capacity. Still, Anderson does not anticipate any problem with the 75% capacity for the graduation on May 15 in the main gym at the Kimball Junior/Senior High School.

Other news from the superintendent details that Kimball Public Schools has partnered with the Kimball Police Department to have a school resource officer at the schools on a part-time basis. Officer Greg Taylor moves in and out of classrooms at Mary Lynch and the Jr/Sr High. The objective is more preventative, but he has addressed some truancy issues in high school.

The district continues to work on updating the Emergency Operations Plan for the Nebraska Department of Education.

In the Jr/Sr High School, the NWEA tests will be administered this week. NSCAS tests for junior high will be taken the week of April 26. The annual cleanup day will be held on April 28, with Respect Day to be held on May 5. Principal Reader reported that Longhorn Time had 939 referrals for the spring semester in contrast to the 537 referrals the previous semester.

Meanwhile, details on the treasurer’s report in April 2021 shows a significant increase in total available funds from the previous year. The district shows $2,808,828.92 in total available funds now compared to $1,637,608.20 in April of 2020. The balance remaining after expenses depicts a similar story as in April 2021, $2,283,671.89 remains after expenses, while in April 2020, $1,043,485.67 was the bottom line after costs.

Further information on the treasurer’s reports points out that 40.74 percent of the 2020-21 budget has been spent, while at the same time last year, 60.45 percent of the budget had been spent. The Year 2018-19 report indicates 57.13% of the budget was spent in the same time frame.

The board approved a teaching contract for Blythe Diamond for the 2021-22 school year and accepted Kaitlin Knaub’s resignation as the 5th and 6th grade reading teacher at Mary Lynch.

The board approved the purchase for Mary Lynch of the Really Great Reading Phonics program for just under $20,000.


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