ALTAMONT — The Labette County USD 506 Board of Education met Monday evening to reflect on the successes and challenges of the 2020-21 school year at its midway point.

The board first held a work session to discuss methods of developing the values of “persistence and grit” among students, according to goals set by the board earlier in the school year. Reflecting on this at the high school level, Labette County High School Interim Assistant Principal Stacy Smith expressed that these students often show grit by their high level of involvement in school activities.

“They learn how to buckle down and be responsible and be involved in all of these activities and be true to the people they’re involved with.”

At the elementary level, administrators agreed that they have seen persistence in both staff and students as they have navigated various issues with technology and tight schedules throughout the pandemic. Through this process, one major shift has been in developing an efficient protocol for assessments, helping teachers determine which exams are most beneficial and worthwhile for students to take. 

The board also heard an annual presentation from Brad Reams, Great Plains Industrial Park director. Reams reviewed the company’s initiative to cultivate sustainable practices through relationships with educational institutions, including the potential to create opportunities for students in USD 506 to collaborate on special projects.

Superintendent John Wyrick also informed the board that he is in the process of inquiring about the timeline for rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine to district staff, with little concrete information to report at this time. Wyrick said he does not intend on making the vaccine mandatory for staff to receive but intends to “treat it like the flu shot” by arranging for the vaccine to be readily available for staff who do wish to receive it. 


In other matters, the board:

— Confirmed the motion to schedule the election of officers at the regular meeting July 21.

— Hired Thomas Nelson as custodian at LCHS.

— Accepted the resignations of Beverly Goedeke, custodian at LCHS; and Andrew Stammer, paraprofessional at Meadow View Grade School.

Last month, the board voted to increase the pay of Wyrick and Assistant Superintendent Tony Blackwell by 5% following an hour and 20 minutes of closed sessions. The vote for the increases was unanimous.

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