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Archive for Sunday, September 19, 1999

SCHOOL NAME TOPS BOARD AGENDA

September 19, 1999

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The school board's meeting today will focus on naming a new elementary school, district construction projects, the open meetings law and school safety.

The Lawrence school board will conduct a public hearing tonight to gather community input on the naming of the district's new elementary school.

Names in the running pay homage to the late writer Langston Hughes, a Lawrence resident until his teen years; Thomas Barber, murdered in 1855 by pro-slavery gunmen near Lawrence; Meadowlark, the state bird; and Kanwaka, the name since 1854 of the township where the new school will be located.

These candidates were chosen by a committee that evaluated about 50 proposed names for the school under construction on West 15th Street.

The hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the district's service center, 3705 Clinton Pkwy.

After the session, the board will launch into discussion of the Kansas Open Meetings Act as it relates to the school board. Pete Curran, a Lawrence attorney who represents the school district, will brief board members on the law.

The Journal-World filed a complaint July 30 with Douglas County's district attorney regarding two possible violations of the law by the school board. That investigation of executive sessions called by the board July 1 and July 26 is pending.

Doug Eicher, the district's executive director of instruction and curriculum, and Tom Bracciano, supervisor of safety and transportation, will briefly outline for the board steps taken this year to improve classroom safety.

Eicher said the district eventually will require all employees to wear photo identification badges. Guests currently register at the principal's office and wear visitor badges while in the buildings.

"We want to identify all adults," said Supt. Kathleen Williams. "Are they supposed to be there?"

Bracciano said some security measures wouldn't be discussed in public out of concern the discussion would help people circumvent the district's strategies.

Jim Freeman, executive director of business, will update the board on construction of the new $6.7 million elementary school and a series of projects at Pinckney, Woodlawn and Prairie Park schools.

He said the district's planned purchase of a building at 110 McDonald Dr. for use as a central administration building and district warehouse also would be reviewed.

-- Tim Carpenter's phone message number is 832-7155. His e-mail address is tcarpenter@ljworld.com.

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