A few education-oriented items from around the area:
Looks like parents, students and supporters of Wakarusa Valley School will remain in limbo for at least another month, as they await word of whether their school southeast of Clinton Lake will be scheduled for closure next year.
Monday night, members of the Lawrence school board will receive recommendations from the Lawrence Elementary School Facility Vision Task Force. The big one: Close Wakaursa Valley next year.
Board members aren’t scheduled to make any decisions during Monday’s meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive. But they will receive the recommendation, and task force leaders will be available — board members Rich Minder and Scott Morgan served as task force co-chairmen — to answer questions.
State rules mandate that a board cannot close a school until after a formal public hearing has been conducted. And no public hearing can be conducted unless the scheduled hearing has appeared in legal notices sometime between 10 and 20 days before the hearing itself.
As it stands now, the recommendation will be scheduled for discussion during the March 14 board meeting. Whether that is a formal public hearing or not remains to be seen.
“The earliest the board could take action to close a school — if they were going to close a school — would be their March 28 meeting,” said Rick Doll, superintendent of the Lawrence school district.
Also during Monday night’s meeting...
Looks like board members will talk sex education.
Board members are scheduled to consider adding some language to the board’s policy regarding Human Sexuality Education, formerly known as Human Sexuality and AIDS Education.
In response to concerns “expressed regarding a reference to ‘minimal’ standards,” said David Cunningham, the district’s director for legal services, human resources and policy, it was “suggested that the policy be amended to require that any curriculum be ‘medically accurate and evidenced based.’ ”
In following board policy, he said, “the suggested changes were reviewed, and with some minor changes, the final draft was submitted to board members for review. No additional comments or suggestions have been made.”
The policy amendment, therefore, is ready for approval.
Again, the meeting starts at 7 p.m. Monday at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive.
Also Monday: The Lawrence school board will consider formally accepting a donation of more than a half million dollars for restrooms and concessions space at Free State High School.
Specifically, the board will be asked to approve a donation of $529,546 from an “anonymous donor,” according to a memo to the board from Frank Harwood, the district’s chief operations officer, and Tom Bracciano, division director of facilities and maintenance.
Also up for approval: approving a change order to a contract with DFC Company of Lawrence for $529,546.
The decisions are all connected with a contract the board approved in July 2009 with DFC for construction of restrooms and concessions space at Free State. It was a $400,000 contract; the board also accepted a donation to add a locker room and office space to the building, which is at the end of the football field.
Two change orders also had been approved: one for $100,000, financed by a donation; and another for $16,049, bringing the contract amount to $516,049.
Bottom line: The total project cost was $1,045,595, meaning that the difference — $529,546 — would need to be covered by donations.
The donations would cover the following work, all provided by DFC:
• $249,000 for addition of a second floor, above the locker rooms.
• $169,000 for a fire lane and walkways/grading.
• $72,000 for addition of landscaping.
• $39,546 for addition of stone ticket booths.
As far as I know, the district never has disclosed the identity of the anonymous donor, but it has been previously reported as members of the Fritzel family in Lawrence. The registered agent for DFC, by the way, is Tim Fritzel, 643 Mass.
Anyway, approvals are set for Monday’s meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive.
— The First Bell e-mailbox is always open: firstname.lastname@example.org.