Superintendent Updates
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September 30, 2016

Staff Update

Greetings Everyone, 

It's hard to believe that September is over, we've already had the AHS vs ACHS football game and we are closing in on the end of the 1st quarter of school. Things seem to have settled in nicely and that doesn't just happen. It takes everyone, working together, to get to this point. I challenged each of us to "add value" to the Andover Schools, and from all indications, that is indeed happening.

Just like with all of us, the Board of Education is working to do their part to "add value" to the district. Last Monday night, they held a workshop to discuss their role, how they conduct business and what each of them can individually do to strengthen the BOE and district. The end product will be some type of Board handbook. It was awesome to see the BOE be just as committed to excellence as the rest of us. We are fortunate to have them on our team!

Last week the Facilities Steering Committee met to discuss the potential options that David Jackson and I shared at your schools. After an hour of small group discussion, the entire team got back together and appears to have reached consensus on several key points listed below:

  • Keep two high schools and not add a third school at this time. The demographic study showing slow growth and the overall operating cost were the primary reasons for making this decision. We anticipate Andover will, someday, have a third school but now is not the time. After that recommendation was made, two options were discussed. Both options call for updates/enhancements to ACHS, keeping AHS on the current site and assume Butler Community College will not stay at AHS for the long term. The variation is what do to with AHS. 
      • Build a predominantly new AHS on the current site?
      • Add space and extensively remodel AHS on the current site?
    • There is also some discussion about a specialty program like CAPS in Blue Valley. This is a program and not a separate school. If the curricular recommendation is to move in this direction, then the program could be in a smaller, separate facility or part of our existing high schools.
  • Keep two middle schools. Expand and enhance both schools to meet the educational specifications (Ed Specs) developed by the committees last spring.
  • Keep six elementary schools and provide space for additional early childhood programing. Expand/enhance five of the elementary schools to meet Ed Specs. There is still uncertainty about Meadowlark. Options being discussed:
    • Build a new Meadowlark on a new site within the south side boundary. (No site has been determined)
    • Extensive remodel/enhancements to Meadowlark on the current site.
  • Provide adequate space for eCademy. It could be located in either the current Meadowlark facility or moved to another, yet to be determined location.
  • Extra Curricular Facilities
    • Remodel/Enhance District Stadium for AHS to use as a home stadium
    • Update the ACHS facility so it can be used as a home stadium for ACHS
  • District Office/Support Services/Maintenance
    • Use Meadowlark if it is available
    • Enhance the current facilities
  • Next Steps: (Tentative Timeline)
    • October 11 - Next Facilities Steering Committee Meeting - The goal is to finalize several recommendations and get ready to present those to the school community.
    • October 12-24 - Obtain feedback / face to face meetings and survey
    • October 25 - Pending feedback, the Steering Committee will modify and finalize recommendations.
    • October 25-November 13 - More Feedback and/or Steering Team meetings 
    • November 14 - Facilities Steering Team recommends a "Long Range Facilities Master Plan" to the BOE - At that point, the BOE will decide next steps.

The A-List contains additional information about the Facilities Study so check it out if you are interested. We'll keep you posted as this continues to evolve. Don't hesitate to send me any specific questions.

This weekend is the annual Greater Andover Days! It is a nice celebration for the community and we have a lot of school groups participating including some nice musical performances last night in the park. I know all of our groups will represent the district well. If you would like more GAD information, follow this link.  

Enjoy the rest of your Friday and have a wonderful weekend! We Are Andover!!

September 13, 2016

Staff Update- September 12, 2016

Greetings All! Hope this finds you well and settling into the school year. Hard to believe we are already three weeks into the year! We've had a great start and that doesn't happen by accident. Thanks for all your planning and hard work!

On Saturday night Janie Hachen, CES 2nd grade, and Nicole Kallenbach, ACHS Social Studies, represented our district at the regional Kansas Teacher of the Year celebration. I'd like to thank Janie and Nicole for their professionalism, dedication and passion for students! Andover is proud of you ladies! Thanks for representing us in such a positive way.

We have a Board of Education meeting tonight. As always, BOE meeting information can be found on BoardDocs. Several items of interest:

  • The Board will recognize Nancy Kirkendoll for her many years of service to the district as part of the BOE, Educate Andover and other various district committees.
  • We will hear about some new Career Technical Education programs at the middle and high school levels. Tim Hayden will share about "Project Lead the Way" classes at the MS level. These classes focus on medical discovery, engineering and computer programing. Brian Gregoire and Amanda Grier will share about a new program called "Ramp Up to Readiness" that started in our secondary schools this year. Ramp Up focuses on the "soft skills" students need to be successful both in school and in the work force. All staff members are working with small groups of students on a weekly basis to promote: Academic Readiness, Admissions Readiness, Career Readiness, Financial Readiness and Social Emotional Readiness. More information about Ramp Up can be found at this link. 
  • David Jackson and representatives from SJCF Architects will give the Board a brief update on the progress of the district's Facilities Study. This is much like what David and I have shared during our visits to your schools.
  • Brett White will share that student enrollment is projected to be up 73 in brick/mortar schools and up 120 for eCademy. Slow, steady growth is nice to see! 

As always, please don't hesitate to let me know if you have questions or comments. Have a great week!! Thanks again for all you do to make Andover a special place for our students!

August 12, 2016

Update to Staff

Greetings Andover Team, 

The momentum continues to build toward the 2016-17 school year and I'm getting excited to see everyone back! Many of you have been working all summer to get things ready and it shows! Thanks for your efforts!!  

New teachers started earlier this week and we have an extremely talented group of people joining us. Once they settle in, they will add tremendous value to the district. I know you will welcome them along with all the other new additions to our team. 

I look forward to seeing all of you on Monday, August 15 at ACHS for our opening session! A light breakfast will be served beginning at 7:15 and the program starts promptly at 8:00. 

See you soon. Greg

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!



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.

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