The Dodge City USD 443 Board of Education held its first in-person meeting since March, on June 22, and all except for one member were in attendance.


Director of business and finance, Simeon Russell, made a request to approach Hutton Construction and tasking them with the demolition of the former administration building located on 1000 N. 2nd Avenue at $430,940 from 2020-2021 Capital  Outlay  funds.


The project is scoped to take two-to-three months, starting in August or September and expected to end in December.


"I think it’s important of us to be good stewards of our city and demolish it," said Board Member Pamela Preston. "I know it’s very hard for a lot of people because it is a historical building for a lot of people."


The demolition would be covered under Hutton Construction’s insurance.


The demolition was approved with a 6-0.


The board opted to renew, the district’s property, casualty, liability, and work comp insurance with EMC and United Heartland, with an $941,482 option from Fee Insurance, that will remove property coverage on the former administration building effectively on the renewal date, July 1.


The insurance was passed with a 6-0 vote.


Superintendent of schools Fred Dierksen and Deputy Superintendent Scott Springston, lead a discussion regarding the changing factors that COVID-19, has left for the 2020-2021 school year and how to adapt to those factors.


An emphasis was put on the increased necessity for the use of technology in schools and how an investment to further that use is necessary for the likely scenario that traditional in-class education is disrupted for staff and students, by the still on-going pandemic.


"Because of the situation that the entire world is in, things are changing and are changing rapidly and there are things we’ll have to ready for," said Dierksen. "Technology is one of the aspects that we’re going to have to learn to use in a bigger and bolder way."


The request for an additional teacher for the Newcomers Program at Comanche Middle School, which would bring the number of Newcomer teachers up to four and allow them to departmentalize one teacher per subject. The motion was passed 6-0 and will come from the Bilingual Budget fund, at a total of $60,000.


A request, also by Russell, to adopt the amended budget for 2019-2020 that would allow the expenditure of funds legally  entitled  from  the  State  of  Kansas, for the district’s use was passed 6-0.


The order of instruments for the K-8 Music Curriculum, paid for from  the  20192020  District  General  Fund at a cost of $66,366.90, was presented by Springston and passed 6-0.


K-8 schools will have an inventory of identical instrumental materials to support the purchase of the Music Curriculum Materials passed at the last board meeting, with the added benefit of borrowing from one another if need be.


Public Information Officer Kerri Baker presented a request for  various signage  projects, including materials and labor,  to improve the interior of the District  Office  and  Learning  Center using Capital Outlay funds that was approved 6-0.


The BOE will continue to discuss the tentative total resumption of operations at the District Office, including returning all employees back to regular hours.


The only Dodge City USD 443 Board of Education meeting next month, will be on Monday, July 13.