As work progresses throughout the district on bond projects, the USD 443 Board of Education is taking the necessary steps to staff those additions.  At the Oct. 23 noon meeting, the board approved the hiring of additional staff in the new Academic Wing at Dodge City High School.

The two-story addition, currently under construction, will require secretarial support for students and teachers, as well as an administrator to provide supervision and support for the new wing. 

"If we don’t provide administration or supervision, we’re setting up teachers for a tough time; maybe even for failure," Dr. Glenn Fortmayer, assistant superintendent of secondary education, said. "We don’t want that."

The board also approved the hiring of a business teacher to accommodate the scheduling flexibility needed for the expansion of state and federally funded Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways, as well as for six planned college and career pathways.

"As the high school administration looks at what their needs are, a business teacher would give them some versatility in scheduling to add those pathways to meet student needs," Fortmayer said. "The pathways program is directly in line with the new Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA) standards and the Kansans Can vision. We’re on the leading edge. There are only maybe two or three other schools in Kansas moving toward that."

According to Principal Jacque Feist, representatives from the high school are meeting extensively with instructors from Dodge City Community College on the new pathways program.

"A huge piece of this pathway is making cross patterns so students don’t have to replicate courses," she said. "There are 18 different programs that we already have the foundation for, that will allow students to be halfway through an associate’s degree before they graduate from high school."

Feist said her ultimate goal is that, in 5 years, 20-30 percent of DCHS students graduate with more than 24 hours of college credit.

"It’s exciting and exhausting all at the same time," she said.

The final position approved by the board was for a Makerspace-Technology/Curriculum specialist charged with developing, integrating, fostering and training teachers on how to create and integrate their new instructional lesson designs into the pathways that will be available to each student.

"This position is a kingpin position that will have great impact on the success of the makerspace/new facility design, the new instructional practices, and the pathway program," Fortmayer said.

In other business, the board voted to proceed with plans to transfer the Kansas Heritage Center to the Dodge City Public Library by July 1, 2019.

"I’m very pleased with what’s being recommended," board member Jeff Hiers said. 

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is planned for Nov. 13 in the Austen Auditorium.  The meeting begins at 6 p.m.