Superintendent Updates
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August 2, 2016

A Message from Greg Rasmussen

Kansas School Superintendents Urge You to VOTE!

Just a quick reminder to VOTE in the primary elections on Aug. 2. Your primary vote really does matter as approximately 80% of the Kansas Republican primary winners go on to win the November election. The last several months have been interesting with the uncertainty surrounding the state budget, school funding and a potential school shut down. As you know, the legislature came to an agreement at the end of June and school operations continued as usual. But the experience drove home the point of the important role our elected officials play in our school community. Please do your research and take this opportunity to vote. Your vote does count; let your voice be heard!

 

Sincerely,

Greg Rasmussen
Superintendent of Schools

USD 385- Andover Public Schools

 




June 28, 2016

Update to Staff- June 27, 2016

Greetings All - as I'm sure you know by now, on Friday the Kansas Legislature passed a revised school finance bill. The legal experts say the new bill WILL satisfy the Supreme Court and there is no danger of schools closing. You can read the news outlets for details but basically, the Legislature reverted back to the funding formula that was in place before the Block Grant for LOB and Capital Outlay. They also removed additional money from state virtual schools. The general fund budget didn't change and is still on the Block Grant. 

How does this impact us overall? -- We break even. Our budget for next year will be much like we planned this spring.  It goes down in Virtual and Local Option Budget, up in Capital Outlay and stays the same in General Fund.

So, all that drama leads us right back to where we thought we would be. As I've mentioned several times, in Spring 2015 we made budget modifications (cuts and fee increases) in order to plan a 2-year budget and get through the Block Grant. 

Remember, a totally new funding formula needs to be developed for the 2017-18 school year and the Legislature needs to begin working on that this fall.

The best news, Kansas schools will stay open and our regular activities can continue! Enjoy your summer and please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.




June 23, 2016

Update to Staff - June 22, 2016

Greeting everyone. I hope your summer is going well. There is a lot of activity in the district as we prepare for the 2016-17 school year. Several items of note:

  • The District Stadium turf is down and they should be finished in a few days
  • New carpet is going in at Cottonwood, ACHS, ACMS, AHS and the BCC wing of AHS
  • Repairs to several areas of roof at AHS continue
  • New copiers/printers are being installed throughout the district
  • We are way ahead with hiring staff but still looking for a SPED teacher and a math teacher at eCademy
  • Durham is beginning the transition to provide bus service
  • There have been several very good professional learning sessions including #EdcampICT last week which hosted over 200 educators from around the state, including many from Andover
  • New Project Lead the Way classes are being set up at AMS and ACMS

 

The list goes on and on... Summer is rather busy as we put away last year and turn our eyes toward August!

I realize the budget conversations in Topeka are on people’s minds and I wish there was more I could tell you. What I do know: 

The special session begins Thursday with mostly committee work. It appears the real action won't start until early next week. At this point, I've seen three proposals to address the $38 million needed to address the Supreme Court's order. None of the proposals provide more money to Andover but they don't hurt us too bad either. As you know, we went through some substantial budget changes in Spring 2015 (cuts and increased fees) and what we did then prepared us for next year. Though we are not rolling in the dough, proactive planning and conservative budgeting have allowed us to be confident going into next year. A big thank you to Sherame Kneisel and our finance team for leading the way!

At this point, I'm hopeful that the Legislature will work something out and avoid a school shut down! Andover will survive this latest budget crisis however, I encourage you to contact your legislators and encourage them to get this fixed as soon as possible!

With the upcoming August 2 primary election, this is a good time to remind you about what school employees can and can't do regarding political activity. 

What CAN you do - plenty and you should. I think that politicians realize educators will be a force that influences elections this year.

  • Use your personal e-mails to send messages

  • Post on your personal Facebook or Twitter accounts

  • Put yard signs at your home

  • Talk to your friends and neighbors about the candidates and views you support

  • Write letters to the editor supporting your candidates (just don't put it on school letterhead)

  • Volunteer on your own time to make phone calls or walk the streets for your favorite candidate(s)

What you CAN’T do-

  • Do not send political messages via school e-mail

  • Do not sign up to receive political messages on your school mail account.

  • Don't engage in political activities on school time.

  • Don’t pass out political marketing materials on school property and/or on school time.

Keep your eyes on what is happening in Topeka and contact your legislators to let your voice be heard.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments.

 

Regards, Greg




May 24, 2016

Thanks and Have a Great Summer!

Good Morning! There is nothing more exciting than the last day of school! Mixed emotions of happiness to reach the summer but also sadness to be leaving friends and colleagues we have learned and worked with throughout the year. 

For those leaving the district, thank you for your service. Andover is a special place and I hope your experience here has been meaningful and helped prepare you for whatever path you are taking in life. 

For most of us who are returning, enjoy your time away. Recharge, refresh and enjoy time with your family and friends. Education is both a challenging and rewarding profession and we need you on your "A-Game" come August!

Finally for those of us who are working throughout the summer, thank you for holding down the fort and doing all the things necessary to keep our buildings and grounds in good condition. I have no doubt you will have things ready in August! 

On behalf of the School Board and administration, THANK YOU for making 2015-16 another outstanding year for our students! We continue to produce outstanding young people who are prepared for anything life may send their way. At the end of the day, that is what it's all about!! 

Regards, Greg




May 23, 2016

Update to Staff

Well, we are almost there! Hard to believe the year is coming to an end. It has been a great one for Andover and of course that doesn't happen without all your hard work. Organizations are often judged by the value of their final product and graduating 408 talented seniors, at three ceremonies, should remind all of us how much of a difference we make in the lives of our students! Thanks for giving that extra degree of effort to make this year special!! We Are Andover!

There has been a lot of conversation about the state budget, school funding and the general operation of our state government and it is getting closer to the time that you can make a difference by GETTING OUT TO VOTE. We live in a wonderful state that’s been made strong by generations of voting Kansans. In our democracy, your vote is your voice. Kansans have a critical opportunity to vote in the August primaries and November general election. If you want to have a voice in the future of Kansas, here’s what you need to do:

If you have already requested an advanced ballot or would prefer to vote at the poll, please pass this information on to others!! Whether by mail or in person, THANK YOU for voting in the August primary. By casting a ballot, you will join the generations of great Kansans before us who helped build this state - and help ensure a strong Kansas for the generations to come.

Enjoy the last two days of school!


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