Moundridge News

- Coach Kelsi Chisholm

ACADEMIC AWARD

The Moundridge HS Volleyball has earned the Kansas Volleyball Association Academic Award for 2013-2014.  The MHS Varsity volleyball team had a cumulative GPA of 3.84 during the last school year.  Listed below are the players who were considered in order to earn this recognition.  Out of the 13 players, 8 had a perfect 4.0 GPA.  The Kansas Volleyball Association gives out this award every year and any team who has outstanding academic success is recognized.  I am very proud of our team for putting as much effort in the classroom as they do on the volleyball court. 

Mackenzie Suderman; Brooke Holloway; Hope Wedel; Michelle Schrag; Elizabeth Ratzlaff; Anna Stucky; Rylie Dyck; Chelsey Knight; Peri Lange; Emily Knight; Erin Miller; Faith Barton; Brynne Wedel

CHARACTER AWARD

Kansas Wesleyan University came and did and volleyball camp for the Moundridge Volleyball team this summer.  One aspect of the camp was a focus on core values every day.  At the end of the camp, staff members chose one player that stood out as a Champion of Character and our recipient was Bethany Stucky, a freshmen volleyball player.  Bethany demonstrated effort, a willingness to learn and encouraged other teammates. This was a really neat award for Bethany especially since she is a freshmen it shows it doesn't matter your age you can impact your team positively. 

This is something that I have tweaked a bit to fit our program but we too have adopted core values for our team and have emphasized those during the first few weeks of practice. Seniors have nominated players to be recognized and so far it seems to going really well in preparing us to become better players and teammates.  If you have any further questions let me know.

Throughout this spring semester our staff and Board of Education have been evaluating potential budget cuts and changes in order to address a number of expenses which have quickly surpassed revenue over the past few years.  While our local property valuation and student enrollment provide some potential for increased funding down the road, unexpected increases in special education costs, employee costs, and utility costs have grown at a rate greater than can be absorbed with current funding levels.  Through attrition, one position for next year has been eliminated and one or more will likely be cut in the following year.  The Board is also evaluating potential changes to employee benefits in order to stabilize long-term costs.   

Unfortunately, decisions at the legislative level have placed our state on a path towards major financial and economic problems.  State revenue, due to income tax policy implemented a year ago, has decreased significantly and the promise of job growth has yet to be realized.  This combination of problems has forced our school and others to start making plans for a significant decrease in funding in the next few years.  One of those solutions, provided by legislators during this session, is to provide school districts greater authority to use the Local Option Budget (LOB) to generate revenue.

Prior to this year, a school district could only collect and spend the amount of money in the LOB equal to 30% of the general fund budget.  A district could have chosen, through a local election, to increase that amount to a maximum of 31%.  The recent school funding bill passed and signed by the Governor allows school districts to not only hold an election increasing the limit to 31% but then provide the Board of Education the authority to raise that level to a maximum of 33% for one year.  The law also provides for a district to hold another election to raise or maintain that level for one additional year.  This is a temporary solution but could provide our district, and others, time to phase down staffing and programs to better prepare for future state funding cuts.

The USD 423 Board of Education recently adopted a resolution to hold an election on June 24th, asking our community to allow for a budget increase equal to 31% of the general fund.  If our community supports this budget authority increase, the Board of Education would then have the authority to raise that level to 33% for one year.  The budget authority increase would involve a mill levy increase but the BOE may be able to minimize this increase for two reasons.  The first includes a provision in the funding bill which provides for additional support for LOB’s in certain districts, including ours.  This means that the state helps fund a portion of our LOB and we would not have to raise all of the money with local taxes.  This option doesn’t exist in any other fund for our district.  The second way to limit a tax increase is our ability to raise or lower our capital outlay mill levy to help cushion the overall mill rate change.  However, reducing our capital outlay levy reduces our budget for the repair, maintenance, and additions of facility and transportation needs.  These decisions will be made as local valuations and projected enrollment numbers are calculated.

More information about this upcoming election, the LOB budget, and school funding will be published and/or presented during the next few months to help clarify the issue.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 345-5500 or higginsc@usd423.org.

In early April the Moundridge High Horticulture Class entered three teams in the Willie and the Beanstalk contest held at Manhattan on the Campus of Kansas State University.

Results: Moundridge #2- Tied for first Place overall
             Moundridge # 3- placed 3rd overall
 
Members of the teams included:
Dale Hall, Taylor Richert, Maria Peterson, Erin Miller, Brooke Franz, Sam Blaylock, Whitney Fiedler and Wyatt Fiedler
 
The Middle School Ag Discovery team also entered the Willie and the Beanstalk competition and teams placed 2nd, 4th, 6th and 7th out of 34 teams.

MHS art students recently competed at the HOA League Festival.  Out of 50 pieces of artwork submitted for the competition, 23 earned recognition.  Moundridge students earned the most ribbons of all schools competing in the league competition.  Mrs. Chisholm was very proud of how students for represented their school not only through their artwork but also through the behavior.  A gallery of winners is on display in the middle school commons area.

Total Awards:

 - 9 first places
 - 8 second places
 - 4 third places
 - 2 honorable mentions

Individual Awards:

 - Rebecca Ullom Minnich took 4 ribbons
 - Erin Miller took 3 ribbons
 - Kodi Allen took 3 ribbons
 - Kaylie Penner took 2 ribbons
 - Caleb Allen took 2 ribbons
 - JedDrek Seeber took 2 ribbons
 - Javin Foth took 1 ribbon
 - Ashley Holler took 1 ribbon
 - Florian Hupfauer took 1 ribbon
 - Vera Gutmann took 1 ribbon
 - Kayla Frazer took 1ribbon
 - Jacey Spore took 1 ribbon
 - Leanna Davis took 1 ribbon 

- Article by Kelsi Chisholm

On March 7, 18 students attended the Friends University Art Challenge.  This competition is unique in that most of the schools who attend are from the greater Wichita area and are much larger in size compared to Moundridge.  Most of the schools have specialized art programs in photography, ceramics and 2D art, each being led by a different teacher.  The quantity and quality of artwork at this event makes it hard to place in any of the juried categories or win any challenges.  This was by far our most successful year yet with 5 awards.  Leanna Davis took first for her colored pencil drawing, Erin Miller took two first place prizes for her prints and her jewelry and Kaylie Penner took 2nd place for her oil painting.  Caleb Allen, Kodi Allen, Erin Miller, Rebecca Ullom-Minnich and Kaylie Penner all served on the Junior Mural Team earning honorable mention for the Mural Masterpiece Challenge.  While the judges evaluate and determine winners from the schools’ art booths, the students participate in various challenges in another area. 

 The Mural Masterpiece is by far the most popular event with approximately 30 teams and 90 students competing.  The challenge is to take a “masterpiece” and transform it into a current popularized issue.  The Junior team chose childhood obesity as their current issue and Rene’ Magritte’s, “Son of Man” as their masterpiece.   Students plan designs and layout ahead of time but only have 2 ½ hours to complete the onsite chalk mural.   I am very proud of all our Moundridge students who competed and worked hard getting ready for the event.  It is fun going to different events and seeing our talented students’ artwork on display.  League Art on April 2nd is our next 

competition at Inman High school followed by the McPherson County Showcase for grades 6-12 on April 9-13.  

The MHS FFA judging teams competed in Hutchinson on December 13th.  The greenhand team placed 8th out of 22 teams with Luc Scarlett and Dylan Junke both in the top 25 (other team member included Dab Scott).  The senior team placed 3rd out of 28 teams with Taylor Goering taking 2nd place and Elizabeth Schrag placing 20th (other team members included Bronson Piechocki and Nick Leddy).

The USD 423 Board of Education will be hosting a special meeting to hear public opinion on the potential sale of property.  The BOE is evaluating the possibility of selling a portion of land, approximately 38,000 ft2, at the corner of Wildcat Drive and Cole Street for a planned Casey’s General Store.  The special meeting will be held on Monday, January 6, 2014 at 7:30 PM in the high school library.  Any person wishing to comment on this decision is invited to participate in the meeting.  For the sake of time, individual comments will be limited to 5 minutes during the meeting.  Any person not able to attend the meeting may submit signed opinions in writing to the Clerk of the Board prior to the special meeting.  For questions or further information about this topic, please contact Superintendent of Schools, Chad Higgins, at 345-5500 or higginsc@usd423.org.  

This year the elementary school is implementing new strategies in reading.   One strategy is called Daily Five.   During Daily Five time, students work independently and in small groups with the teacher using strategies to help them become better readers.  In doing this the students have learned how to find “good fit” books. 

 The Mid-Kansas Credit Union has graciously helped us out with the organization of our program by supplying all elementary students with a bag for reading.  Grades K-2 will be using their bags to send their reading homework home in.   Grade 3-5 will be using their bags to store their “good fit” books.   Thank you MKCU for helping out with this reading initiative!

Moundridge School District is seeking help to identify past employees who have worked 25 or more years for the district.  Please help us identify these employees and determine their years of service to the district.

These staff members or a family representative will be recognized at the home basketball game during halftime of the boys varsity game on January 10, 2014.  A recognition display in their honor will be created and placed in the MS Commons.

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