Graduation discussed at BOE organizational meeting

Judd Weil
Dodge City Daily Globe
DCHS principal Jacque Feist briefs the board of education on graduation procedures taking place on July 18.

The Dodge City Board of Education held its organizational meeting for the year on July 13.

Lisa Killion was reelected as board president and Tammie West was reelected as vice president.

Dodge City High School principal Jacque Feist addressed the board with information about senior graduation being held July 18 at the United Wireless Arena.

Major differences from the traditional graduation include:

• Altered seating to accommodate graduates that maintains social distancing procedures.

• Reduced graduate attendance due to the fact some graduates have already gone back to their country of origin, are already on military assignments or otherwise are not in the Dodge City area and unable to make the event.

• A photo booth for seniors to take pictures with their diploma after they have received it, with the photos eventually being made available from the district website.

• With the exception of students, graduation will be a ticketed event for everyone else wanting to attend, with every senior given two tickets to distribute.

Entry with ticket will be permitted through the south doors of the arena.

There will be a maximum amount of occupancy, including graduates, allowed to attend the event.

In order to save tickets for parents, the student orchestra and other activities that require additional personnel attendance apart from graduates and their invited guests, were cut from this year’s ceremony.

“With the exception of the special music, everything else is the same,” said Feist as she talked about the itinerary.

Feist asked that instead of junior class honor students escorting seniors into the arena the board of education do it in their place for the sake of ticket convenience.

“It was made very clear to me when I met with the arena staff that if you don’t have a ticket, you don’t come in the door,” Feist said. “We have some folks that aren’t very thrilled that we’re limited to two, but I want to publicly state that the arena has been very willing to work with us and have been active and spoke on our behalf with the city to make sure we got the numbers that we needed.

“They represented us well and we are able to get all our seniors in and with their parents as well.”

Those not attending graduation will be able to watch it via livestreamed from the district website.

Masks will be made available at the ceremony.

DCHS seniors were commended for their critical thinking in finding alternative solutions that allowed them to proceed with their graduation ceremony, as opposed to other schools that were forced to cancel altogether.

Executive director of information management Ray Wipf made a proposal to purchase new Dell computers for the district to replace ones older than 10 years for $102,491.30, that passed 7-0.

The board was asked by Wipf and Scott Springston to approve the purchase of new Dell touchscreen laptops for the 2020-2021 K-5 school year, as the district moves away from iPads in the classroom, paid for by the Contingency Reserve Fund.

This is the first part of a three-year phased plan to bring touchscreen laptops to all classrooms, with Phase 2 being grades six through eight and Phase 3 being nine through 12, and was approved 7-0.

A request by Wipf to purchase new HP laptops for teachers, to replace current 6-year-old laptops, was passed 7-0.

A motion was passed 7-0, to approve $15,000 worth of additional funding for Communities in Schools to continue being active in USD 443 over the course of the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years.

A request to approve the total $54,988 purchase for percussion, wind, and string instruments was passed 7-0.

Superintendent Fred Dierksen briefed and discussed with the board of education, new revisions and policies made to the Board of Education Policy by the Kansas Association of School Boards.

A motion to approve the continued appointment of established personnel and maintain established organizational procedures and that they be left unchanged from last year was passed 7-0.

Additionally, the following announcements were made:

• The Dodge City Education Center’s Adult Diploma Program Graduation Ceremony, will be held at 2 p.m. July 19 at Dodge City High School.

• On-site enrollment at the Civic Center will be held 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 4, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 5, and 10 a.m. to 7 pm. Aug. 6.

• New Teacher Orientation will be on Aug. 12-14.

• All Staff Welcome will be 8 a.m. Aug. 17, location pending.

• The board of education luncheon meeting at Miller Elementary will be held at noon Aug. 24.

The board of education will meet again on Aug. 10.