May 11, 2021

Board Digest

May 11, 2021


Following each board of education meeting, the Director of Communications recaps the board meeting in the Board Digest. To view the full agenda, click here.

Learning Without Limits

Mike Wilson

Congratulations to our 2021 retirees! Thank you for your dedication and commitment to our students and the USD 345 school community. 

Cathleen DeDonder - FCRL/SMS - Social Studies Teacher (2001 - 2021)
Donna Yost - FS - Manager (1992 - 2021)
Connie Thornton - NH - 4th Grade Teacher (2018 - 2021)
Debbie Keehn - EL - 1 st Grade Teacher (1988 - 2021)
Janelle Henley - SMS - PE Teacher (1986 - 2021)
Mary Heald - LO - Speech Language Pathologist (2012 - 2021)
Mike Wilson - SHS - Indust. Tech Teacher (2016 - 2021)

Superintendent Remarks

We have had a lot of questions around next school year and what that will look like as far as mitigation strategies against COVID and what will still be in place for next year.

It is my hope that our community is at a place where we can return to a more normal school environment by focusing on hand washing, sanitation efforts, and staying home when symptoms occur. If we continue to see a low transmission rate in our community, some of our updates for next school year could include the following.

  • Optional mask wearing for students and staff
  • Allow students to once again mix with other friends on the playground and in classrooms
  • Allow parents back in our buildings as visitor restrictions are lifted
  • Gathering limits lifted

Of course, we would still follow quarantining procedures as needed; however, individuals are exempt from quarantining after they have received their final dose of the COVID vaccine. We will continue to promote vaccinations and partner with our health experts by providing a space in our schools for vaccination clinics throughout the summer vaccines become available to more of our students.

We have seen how quickly things can change, but with vaccinations rising we are hopeful next school year can look more like a normal school year for our kids, families, and staff.

The district will continue to work closely with our Shawnee County Health Department as we make 2021-22 plans for the board to review prior to the next school year.

Dr. Noble
Dr. Steve Noble

President Remarks

Tonight marks the last board meeting we will have while school is in session. To put it mildly, we made it! This has arguably been the most challenging school year our district has ever faced. A global pandemic, a controversial name change issue, and a multitude of other items that have surfaced over the school year have defined what we talk about, but do not define who we are.

Even though we are still in the midst of some of these issues, we have managed to pull off a school year like no other and we couldn’t have done it without each other. We are in the people business and there will always be issues. There are issues in every school district across the nation but our ability to support one another and engage in healthy dialogue sets us apart from the pack.

We don’t always agree with one another, after all how could we, our district is comprised of over 4,000 student families and over 800 employees. To say there are different opinions is an understatement. Strategies put in place over the past year didn’t always align with everyone’s own personal belief systems but after going through a year with countless issues placed at our feet with no playbook or operator's manual, I’m proud of who we are at the end of this school year and what we have gone through together.

I challenge all of you, here in person, or listening at home, to remember how much good we have going on and how much our students, employees, and families have overcome already. We aren’t out of the woods yet but it is starting to feel more normal again as we round third base and head home for the summer. We have extraordinary issues facing us that may seem very simple to some, but I have remain committed as your board president to keep our entire community together throughout all of it. Sometimes we don’t move as quickly as some would like, but I would argue that being intentional and thoughtful about the impact of our decision making process is what makes our district one of the best in the state.

With the help of my fellow board members and administrators we have tried to do right by you all and my hope is that we never forget this remarkable school year, but rather learn from it and always try to improve.  

James Adams
James Adams
USD 345 Board President

Board of Education Consent Agenda

The consent agenda contains items packaged into one agenda item. They are often routine and garner very little discussion. A full list of consent items can be found by visiting the BoardDocs website

Namesake Advisory Committee Report

Michelle Stubblefield, member of the Namesake Advisory Committee and Class of 1984, updated the board on the committee's work. Michelle talked about some of the initial meetings the group has had via Zoom to connect names with faces. They've shared their own perspectives on the challenge as they begin laying the foundation for what is expected of the group. 

On May 5th and 6th, the group was introduced to the Kansas Leadership Center's leadership concepts. This involved diagnosing a situation, managing self, energizing others, and how to intervene skillfully. 

The group has a retreat scheduled for June 3rd and 4th to diagnose the challenge as the group begins looking at ways to engage the community, develop a timeline, and create a narrative to move efforts forward. 

Michelle comes from four generations of Vikings and states, "It's clear that this is going to be difficult work. There is a strong sentiment on both sides of the issue...we do not take this opportunity lightly. We all are very interested in providing a clear picture so that the board can make a fully informed decision and regardless of the decision, the community is able to move forward." Michelle reiterated the fact that the committee understands the importance of completing their work in a timely fashion. 

Click here for updates on the district namesake process.

Discussion Items 

  • R2R Update
  • Teaching and Learning Report
  • Curriculum Adoption
  • Special Services Report
  • Business and Finance Report
  • Facilities Report
  • Panorama Proposal

  • Action Items (approved)

    • Acceptable Use Agreements
    • Bids: Custodial paper bids from Pur-O-Zone for a total amount of $25,307.65
    • Early Graduation Requests

    Next 345 Board of Education Meeting

    The next regularly scheduled board meeting will take place on June 14. It is scheduled to start at 6:00 pm. The Seaman USD #345 Board of Education will plan to meet at the Seaman Education Center, 901 NW Lyman Rd.

    Board of Education Agenda

    To review previous board of education agendas, click here.

    How Can I Watch a Previous Board of Education Meeting?

    The video from the meeting will be available by the Tuesday at noon following the meeting. The video can be viewed by clicking here.


    Seaman School District USD #345
    901 NW Lyman Rd | Topeka, KS 66608