From the Desk of Patrick McKernan
Hello all USD 429 Parents, Students and Patrons. I hope you are enjoying your summer and finding time to take a break from the school schedule for a couple months. Saying that, I have seen many of you at ball games, students in the gyms and weightrooms, and we are finishing up summer school today at TGS. We have been busy taking care of some large projects and many small projects to help keep our buildings, classroom, and other facilities up to par. We have replaced the middle school roof and the roof over the middle school/high school cafeteria. These were needed repairs and should solve some of the drainage and leaking problems we had in those areas.
Mrs. Anderson and I attended the annual budget workshop in Topeka. Even though the base state aid per pupil is up it will not cover the costs of inflation and the ever increasing prices of some of required goods and services. We have seen our property and liability insurance increase by 25%. Our food service costs are rising 25%. Our health insurance premiums are going up 12.4% which was much lower than expected. As you may have seen at the grocery store, or when buying your own needed items, nothing is going down in price. Fiscally, USD 429 is in great shape. We have had a decline in enrollment the last year, and this is mainly due to smaller incoming kindergarten classes. However, we look at our small class sizes as a benefit for teachers and students.
Mrs. Engemann and Mrs. Estes will be taking some time off in July. The district office will still be open and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need anything. We will be entering year two of our state accreditation cycle. This is a five year process and we are looking forward to working toward our new goals. This year the grade school staff will be focusing on curriculum alignment and most importantly adopting a new reading/English language arts series. The middle school and high school staff will be implementing more career shadowing and work based learning for students. They will also be implementing a formal system, called Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) for the middle school students to help those who need it in core subject areas.
People ask us what we do all summer when there are no kids. We continue to work to help create a positive learning environment for your students. I believe that is the most important thing we should do! Take care and we will talk with you all again before August 30th!
Patrick E. McKernan
Superintendent of Schools
Troy USD 429