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Paradise USD 399 LogoUSD 399

--- Monday, November 12 = Veterans Day Program in NES Gym 9:30 -- Tuesday, November 13 = HS Scholars Bowl @ Wilson -- Thursday, November 15 = JH BB @ Wilson 5:00 and FFA @ Russell ---

  • November Board of Education Meeting Review

    The USD #399 Board of Education met at its regular meeting Monday, November 12th at 7:00 in the IDL room.  After adding two items to the agenda, it was approved as was the Consent Agenda after Cindy Beisner gave the treasurer’s report.  I gave the BOE notes on my Superintendent’s Report which included an update on Bill Murphy, longtime bus driver who underwent open heart surgery two weeks ago and continues to progress at getting better.  I also reported on the 9th Annual Veterans Day Salute, the completion of the installation of the new HVAC system in the Vo-Ag building, and the ongoing work on the new HVAC system in the main building at the elementary.  We have had several glitches with the system and continue to work out the bugs.  I also reported on a new program we would like to consider doing a pilot on during the 2nd semester at both schools called ‘Student In Good Standing.”  The program is in use at several area schools and our committee on accreditation is looking at giving the program a try to help meet one of our goals.  I will send out more information to parents and we will discuss the program with our students after the December BOE meeting if they give us permission to proceed.

    Mr. Ostmeyer reported on activities going on in our district.  Our NHS Scholar Bowl Team has won two tournaments in a row, the first one at Lincoln and the second one at Sylvan-Lucas.  He also reported we had 14 boys out for high school basketball which started November 12th.  Our junior high girls’ team won all three games in the Wildcat Classic to capture the championship while the boys’ team continues to show progress and won their final game in the tournament after three very close games, one of which we lost in double over-time by two points.  He also discussed the upcoming high school basketball season since we do not have enough girls to field a team this year.  The teams on our schedule have agreed to play a JV and Varsity Boys’ game on the scheduled evenings instead of a girls and boys game.  We are still working on the starting times and will get those out to the public as soon as they are completed.

    Mrs. Mettlen reported on a workshop her and Felisha Bland attended last Friday on Dyslexia.  She said it was a very informative meeting and her and Felisha brought back some ideas to use with our students who struggle with reading.

    Under old Business, the Saw Mill Agreement was approved between the district and Chris Brockleman.

    Under New Business, Mary Anderson, State Accountant went over the audit she completed for the 2017-2018 school year.  Her only concern was the amount we currently have in our Capital Outlay account, which she would like to see us build back up.  I reminded the BOE the reason it was lower than usual was because we paid for the new building housing the kindergarten and pre-school to stop leasing a portable building for close to $20,000 a year.  I told them I would watch the expenditures very closely so we can get it built back up.  We are not in any danger at the present time, but she would like to see it have more in it as a cushion.

    The BOE also added a ½ work day to the approved calendar on May 17th.  The teachers were a half-day short on a work day as agreed upon in the Negotiated Agreement.

    Under Personnel, the BOE approved supplemental contracts for Ty Southers, head JH basketball coach, Mason Runft, asst. JH basketball coach, Julie Bray-7th & 8th grade sponsor, and Andrea Chambray as the senior sponsor.  They also accepted the resignation of Troy Ostmeyer as 7th & 8th Grade Sponsor. 

    The BOE approved the Negotiated Agreement with the Natoma Teachers Association.

    The meeting adjourned around 8:55 PM

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    Veteran's Day Salute

    On Monday, November 12,  Natoma held the 9th annual Veteran's Day Salute.  Before the program began, we held a Veterans panel where there were questions asked and they would answer.  Mr. Geist welcomed all in attendance including special guests Troy Waymaster, Kansas Representative 109th District and Elaine Bowers, Senator 36th District. The K-12 sang different musical numbers under the direction of Mrs. Rome.  Essay winners from last year's competition, Braydon Hays and Carley Chrisler read their essays.  We would like to thank all veterans for their service to our country.

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  • VFW Essay Contest

    Every year the VFW sponsors a contest that is open to the Junior High and High School levels. This year's theme for the Voice of Democracy was "Why My Vote Matters." The Junior High winners are not known however the high school winners at the local level are Alyivia Ziegler (Junior)  first place, Shayne Engling (Junior) second place and Gracyn Cotterill (Freshman) third place.

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    Natoma Hosts Varsity Scholars Bowl


    Natoma High School held its annual varsity scholars bowl on Thursday, November 1st.  Twenty-one teams from various schools came and competed in three different pools, with six teams advancing to the final rounds. St. Johns Beloit walked away with the championship, followed by Tipton in 2nd, and Stockton taking 3rd.  

    Natoma had 2 teams competing, although neither team advanced to finals, they did hold their own. The upper classmen team, consisting of Emily Cotterill, Alyvia Zeigler, Austin Thomson, Jacob Murphy, and Jayce Dickerson went 4-2 in pool play, losing only to St. Johns Beloit and Tipton, and the freshmen team consisting of Derek George, Jeremy Bray, Gracyn Cotterill, and Ethan Koelling  went 2-4 in their pool.

    The Natoma team will continue their season with upcoming meets @ Lincoln on November 5th, Sylvan Lucas on November 8th, TMP on November 10th, and Wilson on November 13th.  

    A big thank you to the 44 volunteers who made this meet possible!  Without you, we would not be able to host events such as this!

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    Natoma High School Grad Receives FFA American Degree

    Dylan Pruter, a 2017 graduate of Natoma High, received the highest degree that can be awarded by the National FFA Organization at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana on October 27th, 2018. This degree has been acquired by only one percent of the all-time FFA membership. Dylan is the son of Nick and Christy Pruter of Natoma, Kansas, where his supervised agricultural experience involved working for Hachmeister Cattle Co and owning seven head of cattle in a cow-calf operation. He is only the second Natoma FFA member to receive the award; Lloyd Oswald being the first in 1959. To be eligible to receive the American FFA Degree, a member must have received the State FFA Degree and been an active FFA member for the past three years; meeting specific requirements for activities and event participation. The member must have graduated from high school at least 12 months prior to the national convention at which the degree is to be granted. They must have maintained records to substantiate an outstanding supervised agricultural experience that includes earning $10,000 or productively investing $7,500. The member can also use a combination of earning/productively investing $2,000 and working 2,250 hours in excess of scheduled class time to reach the $10,000 mark. They must have a record of outstanding leadership abilities, community involvement, and academics, as well as complete a minimum of 50 hours of community service across multiple events. The ceremony was held at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts. Dylan and his fellow American Degree recipients were presented with the degree and pin by the 2018 National FFA President Breanna Holbert and National FFA Advisor Dr. Steve A. Brown. 4,255 FFA members received the honor this year, but not all were in attendance for the ceremony. You can watch the video of the event by visiting the National FFA Facebook page and finding the Eight General Session: 91st Convention & Expo video. Dylan is currently in his second year as a student at Colby Community College, studying agriculture education. Next fall he plans to enroll at Kansas State University to continue his work towards becoming an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor.  

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  • October BOE Review

    OCTOBER 2018


    The USD #399 Board of Education met at its regular meeting October 8th in the IDL room at Natoma Jr/Sr High.  One addition was made to the agenda and that being the resolution to continue working with Smoky Hill Education Coop in Salina for the next five years.

    The BOE approved the consent agenda after reviewing several bills listed on the treasurer’s report.

    The BOE entered into executive session to discuss personnel issues.

    Back in open session, I gave my report on several issues including a discussion I had with the students about what ideas they had to make our school better and what we could and could not control on their wish list.

    I also discussed the crisis drills we are not required by law to have each year.  The Kansas Legislature passed into law last session a bill that requires all schools to have four fire drills, three tornado drills, and nine crisis drills.  Before the new law, we were only required to have a fire drill each month and three tornado drills a year.  Most schools, including ours, had crisis drills already but they are not required.  We have practiced several different drills over the last two months and will continue to do other drills throughout the year.  Crisis procedures are not made public for obvious reasons so I will not go into much detail about them.  However, USD #399 has a very good crisis drill and all employees have been instructed on the procedures they are to follow in the even certain situations present themselves.  The District Crisis Plan has also been shared with local law enforcement agencies in the area so they are aware of what our procedures are if they need to lend assistance.

    I also discussed the end of the first quarter was last Friday so we are already into our second quarter.

    I also discussed the low number of girls we had interested in playing basketball this year.  It isn’t so much of the girls not wanting to play but we only have eight total girls in our high school so that limits the number of athletes we even have available to play.

    I also discussed with the BOE a new program I wanted to start called “Chew & Chat”.  This program will be during lunch and every week I will invite different groups of students to have lunch with me and discuss current issues at school and get the student’s perspective of how things are going at school.

    I then informed the BOE we found a small termite problem under the stage at the elementary school that we had already addressed.  It doesn’t appear there is any structural damage yet so I think we caught it in time.

    I informed the BOE we now have Senior Passes available for any of our patrons 62 or older.  The passes can either be picked up at either of the schools or patrons can pick them up at the gate before our games.  The passes allow free admission to any or our home activities with the exception of league tournaments we might be hosting.

    Under old Business we discussed the need to replace the HVAC system in the Vocational Ag building since the furnace no longer works and the units are 13 years old.  Bids were reviewed and the bid was awarded to Glassman Corporation from Hays.

    The BOE approved adding five days to the teacher sick bank.  The BOE has the option of donating days to the bank to maintain the number of days available per year at 100 days.

    I asked permission to let school out early on November 1st as we have in the past to host our Scholar Bowl tournament.  School will be dismissed at 2:00 pm that day.

    A correction was made to the student handbook to put the percentage students needed to be eligible at 65%.

    Two gifts were accepted by the BOE:  Bob Miller Construction donated $2,500 back to the school to help pay for the cubbies and shelving we provided for the new building; Perfect Print also donated $2,289.84 to the school athletic fund from the Labor Day 5K run.

    The BOE then approved the resolution to remain in the Smoky Hill Education Coop.

    STEM was discussed with the BOE as a possible addition to our science and math curriculum.  STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and is a program available for schools to use.  However, the cost is very prohibitive and Mrs. Mettlen shared that we already do STEM projects as our elementary without paying the high fees related to getting the entire program.

    The BOE approved the resignation of Teresa Brandenburg as science teacher at the junior/senior high school.  Teresa has been offered another position outside of education and the BOE released her from her contract so she can take the other position.  Taylor Murphy will take over teaching science for our 6-11 students with the exception of Chemistry class which our two students will take online.

    The BOE also approved the negotiated agreement with the Natoma Teachers Association.

    The meeting adjourned after this action.

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USD 399710 5th StreetNatoma, KS  67651

High School: 785-885-4849Elementary: 785-885-4478

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