USD308 NewsFirst negotiations session set for 2014-15 Mar 10, 2014
The first negotiations session for the 2014-15 negotiated agreement between Hutchinson Public Schools and the National Education Association-Hutchinson will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in the Events Center at Hutchinson Career and Technical Education Academy, 800 15th Circle on the northwest side of the Hutchinson High School campus.
Except for caucus periods of the individual groups, the negotiations are open meetings. Normally, the two groups meet several times over the spring for negotiations.
Kansas Supreme Court hands down Gannon decision Mar 7, 2014
Schools for Fair Funding, a coalition of 48 school districts, won a partial victory in the courts today for Kansas public school children. The Kansas Supreme Court on March 7, 2014 upheld the Kansas Constitution and ordered the state to pay about $129 million dollars to the schools by July 1, 2014.
The balance of requested funding will be determined after a lower court redefines the meaning of "adequate" education.
"It's a good ruling for Kansas public school children and we are grateful," said SFFF president, Justin Henry, superintendent of USD 265 in Goddard. "We are hopeful policy makers will now restore funding so we can do the best job possible of preparing our students to live in a complex and challenging world."
Friday's Supreme Court decision is the most recent ruling in a series of lawsuits brought against the state starting in the early 1990s.
"More than 20 judges over the past 20 years have consistently ruled that the state is shortchanging the kids of Kansas," said John Robb, general Ccunsel for SFFF. "It is again time for the legislature to do what the constitution requires and restore funding to the schools."
Alan Rupe, trial counsel for SFFF said, "Kansas students have a constitutional right to a suitable education. The Kansas Supreme Court has just confirmed what the business community, students, parents, and educators in Kansas all know -- we are chronically underfunding public education in Kansas. Our schoolchildren are not getting the education they deserve. The Legislature needs to live up to its constitutional responsibilities before we lose any more kids to an inadequate education. Enough is enough."
In terms of the ruling, the court affirmed the right of the students and the school districts to take the issue of school funding to the courts. On the issue of funding schools, the court will require the legislature to fund $25.2 million in capital outlay equalization and $103.9 million in Local Option Budget funding by July 1.
Additional funding could be determined after the lower court rules on the definition of "adequacy."
The court found the lower court did not apply the correct standards as to whether there were adequate resources and whether an adequate education is being provided. The court sent this issue back to the three-judge panel to determine whether the adequacy requirement of the constitution is being met.
"Based on the correct standards we are confident that the lower court will find again that the state underfunded education," Robb said.
Schools For Fair Funding, which represents more than one-third of Kansas public school children, also sponsored the Montoy litigation. The issue in that litigation was also whether the state had met its constitutional obligation to make "suitable provision" of resources for K-12. In 2006, as a result of the litigation, the legislature agreed to phase in an additional annual $755 million in school funding over three years. Before the phase-in could be completed the legislature cut over $511 million from the classrooms.
SFFF brought the current lawsuit -- Gannon vs. State of Kansas -- in 2010 following state budget reductions that began in 2009. The suit sought to restore the cuts that have been made to all schools after the legislature failed to abide by the Montoy settlement. The lawsuit also asked to restore funding to constitutionally required levels. A district court unanimously ruled in favor of the school districts. The decision was appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court.
Earlier this year the state also cut income taxes significantly.
"The policy makers cut taxes instead of funding public education," said Shelly Kiblinger, superintendent of USD 308 in Hutchinson and a vice president of SFFF. "Tax cuts are nice, but not at the expense of our children's essential educational needs. Our public schools know how to educate our students; we just need the funding to do it."
HMS at Allen honored for Red Ribbon Week activities Mar 6, 2014
Hutchinson Magnet School at Allen has been recognized for its activities to promote Red Ribbon Week last fall.
The Kansas Red Ribbon State Planning Committee's judges selected Hutchinson Magnet School's entry as the recipient of the "Tying It Together" Level I Certificate. Red Ribbons Week was celebrated the week of Oct. 28.
HMS at Allen will be recognized at the Red Ribbon Luncheon and Training on March 27 in Topeka.
Since 1995, the Kansas Family Partnership has enlisted thousands of Kansans to join in the fight against the illegal use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Each year, the Red Ribbon Campaign provides a major force for raising awareness and mobilizing communities in the fight against drugs. Broadcast journalists win award Mar 6, 2014
A video by student broadcast journalists at the Hutchinson Career and Technical Education Academy at Hutchinson High School has received national recognition.
Juniors Brooks Armstrong and David Sotelo produced the video "Our Time is Now" on U.S. immigration policy for the C-Span StudentCam 2014 competition. The juniors placed third regionally and received a prize of $750 for their efforts. Overall, there were 2,355 videos from about 4,800 students submitted and only 150 received a prize. The students were from 46 states and the District of Columbia.
The video by Sotelo and Armstrong is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNqKmOIkN6w
The winners of the 2014 StudentCam competition were announced Wednesday, March 5, during C-SPAN's morning call-in program, Washington Journal.
Since Armstrong and Sotelo won third prize, HCTEA will receive $125 to spend on digital equipment for the school. Leann Gleason teaches broadcast journalism at HCTEA.
The most popular topic for student videos in 2014 was the economy. Sixteen percent of entries were about economic issues such as poverty, unemployment and the national debt. Another 14 percent were about gun legislation while 13 percent were about education.
This year C-SPAN doubled the number of student prizes and total prize money awarded. High school students competed on a regional level with the U.S. being divided into three regions -- west, central and east. Middle school students were judged on a national basis. Grand prize winners were selected nationally among all regions and grade levels.
The annual competition is sponsored by the C-SPAN Education Foundation. Videos were evaluated by a panel of educators and C-SPAN representatives based on the thoughtful examination of the competition's theme, quality of expression, inclusion of varying sides of the documentary's topic and effective incorporation of C-SPAN programming.
All the winning videos may be viewed at www.studentcam.org.
Nisly a National Merit finalist Mar 5, 2014
Hutchinson High School senior Matthew Nisly has been named a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship competition.
Nisly, son of Calvin and Andrea Nisly, brings the number of district students to receive the honor to 58 since 1981.
To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm the student's earlier qualifying test performance.
Of the 16,000 semifinalists last fall, 15,000 were expected to become finalists. The finalists, in turn, are eligible for Merit Scholarship Awards.
The National Merit Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability. To qualify, students had to take the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. About 1.5 million students take the test each fall from about 22,000 high schools nationwide.
Out of the 1.5 million students who took the test, approximately 16,000 semifinalists were named.
HHS forensics wins at Lyons Mar 3, 2014
The Hutchinson High School forensics squad won an invitational Friday (Feb. 28) at Lyons and placed Saturday (March 1) at Buhler.
Friday, Feb. 28
First Place Sweepstakes
First Place Sweepstakes
- Brett Krambeer, first, Lincoln-Douglas debate
- Reed Crater, second, Lincoln-Douglas debate
- Brennan Schartz, third, Lincoln-Douglas debate
- Riley Crane, fourth, Lincoln-Douglas debate
- Savannah Winkler and Paige Brott, fourth, public forum debate
- Dayton LaMunyon, second, Senate
- LaKiyah Sain, third, Senate
- Zoe Crater, first, House 1
- Emily Fan, fourth, House 1
- Emily Fan, Outstanding Presiding Officer, House 1
- McKenzie Miler, sixth, House 1
- Julia Henry, second, House 2
- Alejandro Melgar, third, House 2
- Shelby Bergeron, fifth, House 2
Saturday, March 1
- Ryan Willis, third, impromptu
- Siynatee McGraw, third, poetry
- Eli Truan, fourth, humorous interpretation
- Matt LaMunyon, fourth, domestic extemp
- Siynatee McGraw, sixth, prose
This weekend, HHS competes in the West Kansas National Forensics League congress, public forum debate and Lincoln-Douglas debate qualifier at Moundridge.
Kelly Thompson coaches forensics at HHS.
HHS presents 'You Can't Take It with You' Feb 27, 2014
The Hutchinson High School Drama Department will present the classic You Can't Take It with You at 7:30 p.m. on March 6 through 8 in the Hutchinson High School Performing Arts Center, 810 East 13th.
A three-act comedy, the play focuses on the lovable but eccentric Sycamore family. Winner of a 1937 Pulitzer Prize, the production is one of the most produced plays in modern times.
Ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for students in eighth grade and under. HHS students will be charged $1 with a student ID.
The cast list follows.
- Grandpa: Isaac Glover
- Penny: Jocelyn Reed
- Paul: Terrence Robinson
- Essie: Maggie Kovach
- Ed: George Stafford
- Alice: Laura Miller
- Tony: Austin Heinlein
- Mr. Kirby: Kincaid Lightner
- Mrs. Kirby: Shea O'Sullivan
- Kolenkhov: Matt Nisly
- De Pinna: Will Kovach
- Donald: Marquel Blassingill
- Rheba: Alexis Cruz
- Henderson: Daniel Yapp
- The Grand Duchess Olga Katrina: Abbie Miller
- Gay Wellington: Devon Means
- The Man: Sparkles Ibarra
- Jim: Kyle Walker
- Mac: Cody Coonce
HHS forensics places at TOC qualifier Feb 26, 2014
The Hutchinson High School forensics placed second on both days of the large Salina Central High School tournament last weekend.
The tournament, which attracted more than 30 schools and 900 entries from Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, is one of the largest each year in Kansas and is a Tournament of Champions qualifying event.
HHS received seven Tournament of Champions bids during the event. Receiving bids were
- Brennan Schartz, congress
- Dayton LaMunyon, congress
- Brett Krambeer, domestic extemp
- Riley Crane, original oration
- Julia Henry, humorous interpretation
- Laura Miller, dramatic interpretation
- Savannah Winkler, dramatic interpretation
Set up as a two single-day tournaments, HHS placed second on both Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22. The finish on Saturday was HHS' highest placement for the Saturday portion of the tournament in team history.
HHS had 68 medalists in the tournaments, including 36 finalists, 12 semifinalists and 20 quarterfinalists.
Below is a listing of finalists for HHS.
Tournament of Champions Congress Chamber:
- Dayton LaMunyon, fourth
- Brennan Schartz, fifth
- Emily Fan, second
- Shelby Bergeron, fourth
- Jake Lemonds, fifth
Friday Individual Events Finalists
- Laura Miller, dramatic interpretation, second *State Qualifier
- Sydni Huxman, dramatic interpretation, fifth
- Julia Henry, humorous interpretation, first *State Qualifier
- Daniel Yapp, humorous interpretation, third *State Qualifier
- McKenzie Miller, humorous interpretation, fifth
- Brett Krambeer, domestic extemp, first *State Qualifier
- Dustin Curiel, international extemp, fourth
- Daniel Yapp, prose, third *State Qualifier
- Laura Miller, prose, fourth *State Qualifier
- Siynatee McGraw, prose, sixth
- Sydni Huxman, poetry, second *State Qualifier
- LaKiyah Sain, poetry, third *State Qualifier
- Savannah Winkler, poetry, fifth
- Ta'mara Hill, Impromptu, fourth
- Savannah Winkler, Impromptu, sixth
- Riley Crane, original oration, second *State Qualifier
- Paige Brott, original oration, third
- Sydni Huxman, original oration, fourth
- Baylee Corpening, informative speaking, first *State Qualiifer
- Siynatee McGraw, informative speaking, third *State Qualifier
- Brooke Manny, informative speaking, fifth
- McKenzie Miller, informative speaking, seventh
- Julia Henry/Baylee Corpening, duo, second *State Qualifer
- LaKiyah Sain, poetry, third *State Qualifier
- Liz Juarez, poetry, fifth *State Qualifier
- Julia Henry, humorous interpretation, fourth *State Qualifier
- Riley Crane, original oration, fifth
- Brett Krambeer, domestic extemp, third *State Qualifier
- Paige Brott, informative speaking, first *State Qualifier
- Emily Fan, informative speaking, second *State Qualifier
- Siynatee McGraw, informative speaking, fifth
Friday, HHS competes at Lyons. Saturday, the team competes at Buhler. Kelly Thompson coaches forensics at HHS.
Budget process begins for 2014-15 Feb 26, 2014
Would you like to demystify school budgeting?
For the third consecutive year, Hutchinson Public Schools is conducting a Budget 101 Workshop for the public that will kick-off the district's public input process for the 2014-15 budget.
From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 3, the district Business Office will present Budget 101 in the Professional Learning Center at Hutchinson High School. The PLC is the old auditorium at HHS, located in the 1400 block of North Severance.
Any community member -- even individuals who do not live in USD 308 but are interested in school finance -- is welcome to attend the Budget 101 session.
Additionally, there will be three meetings in late March and April that will gather public input to provide the Board of Education on the 2014-15 budget. Those community budget meetings will be
March 31, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
April 16, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
April 21, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
All meetings will be in the Professional Learning Center at HHS.
"We worked the past two years to develop this process to give our staff and community more input into the district's budget," said Dr. Shelly Kiblinger, USD 308 superintendent. "We've used feedback from the past two years' participants to provide opportunity for even greater input and discussion. We have designed new activities to help the participants process and understand budget issues better. Hopefully, those who participate come away with a greater understanding of school finance and feel they had a real voice in the decision-making process."
During the community budget meetings, there will be a review of district objectives and the strategic plan that's currently under development. Current legislation will be covered and the possible impact on the district of those proposals.
Lori Blakesley, executive director of fiscal management and business operations, said there are three goals for the budget process.
"This year, the budget process for fiscal year 2014-2015 will have three goals -- increase community and staff involvement, create community ownership of the budget issues and decisions, and develop a budget that supports the district's new strategic plan that's currently under development and operational plan," Blakesley said.
The Community Budget Committee will work through a process and make a recommendation to the Board of education for dollars needed to balance the 2014-15 budget.
Additionally, the district will take electronic feedback from the public. A budget comment line has been set up on (620) 615-4014. Patrons may leave comments on the line but are asked to leave a name and telephone number so that district staff may be able to call back and get additional feedback. A Budget Suggestion page will be available on the district's homepage at www.usd308.com where patrons can fill out a form and leave suggestions, beginning in mid-March.
Kansas K-12 school budgets go from July 1 of one year to June 30 of the next year. Because the way the district receives information from other entities that impact the budget, however, the final budget is normally not available to the Board until late July and is formalized in August. 2013-14 year two-thirds complete Feb 20, 2014
With the end of the second trimester today, the 2014-15 school year is officially two-thirds complete in USD 308.
Friday, Feb. 21, all district students will be out of school as licensed staff has a records/professional development day.
Students in kindergarten through sixth grade will have parent-teacher conferences the evening of Feb. 26 and all day on Feb. 27. All K-6 students will have class on Feb. 26 and then be out of class for conferences on Feb. 27. There also will be no school for K-6 students on Feb. 28.
Hutchinson Middle School and Hutchinson High School will be in session on both Feb. 27 and 28. HHS and HMS had their second set of parent-teacher conferences in January.