Superintendent search update
For anyone who complains about the current school district leadership, your time is running out. And in the future, you might not have a reason to complain.
The Lawrence school board is looking for the public's help in identifying the qualities of the next superintendent.
The board drafted a timeline Monday evening in a meeting between board members and the firm leading the search for Superintendent Randy Weseman's replacement, and it targeted Dec. 9 and 10 as days when the public is invited to provide input as to what attributes the next superintendent should have.
Interviews with candidates are scheduled to begin Feb. 27, and the board will make a list of finalists the next day. The schedule calls for a public announcement of Weseman's replacement March 12.
The Lawrence school board Monday night voted to enter into a loan agreement with global lender De Lage Landen to finance construction of new athletic fields at Lawrence High School, Free State High School and Lawrence Virtual School, formerly Centennial School. The loan, just over $8 million, will be paid over 10 years and supplements $3.8 million left over from a 2005 bond issue already committed to funding the projects.
The district is set to have a hearing Friday with Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone to address the temporary restraining order leveled against the LHS projects. Last week, neighbors of the school filed a lawsuit against the district, complaining that the district and the city skirted protocol when identifying the proper building code for the projects.
The board voted Monday to set a special meeting for Nov. 17 to consider the status of the litigation, and "possibly authorizing immediate action as necessary" with regard to the LHS projects. The construction at Free State is not affected by the suit.
But Superintendent Randy Weseman said the Free State fields could meet the same fate as the Lawrence High projects if the restraining order is not lifted. "The board's strong commitment to equity" could put those projects in jeopardy, Weseman said.
The board also approved school calendars for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years. Classes will resume earlier in the next two years than they did this year; in 2009, classes begin Aug. 12, and winter break ends Jan. 4 for elementary students. In 2010 the school year begins Aug. 11, and winter break ends Jan. 3 for elementary students. This year school began Aug. 13; winter break ends Jan. 5 for elementary students.
The board also voted to retain Wichita-based Fruehauf Uniforms to design new band uniforms for LHS. The school district will pay $103,764 for the uniforms, which are expected to last 10 years. Free State's band will get new uniforms next year.
"It's been something we've been working hard to find a way to do for a number of years," said Scott Morgan, school board vice president.