School bus purchases, work-based learning grant highlight USD 383 board agenda

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Jul. 20—Bus purchases and a pilot grant for work-based learning programs headline the agenda for the Manhattan-Ogden school board meeting.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Robinson Education Center.

The board will consider purchasing four new 71-passenger school buses for $362,496 and two new 21-passenger buses for the special education program for $140,391. The buses come from Midwest Transit Equipment of Illinois through the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) bus purchasing program. The price includes a four-camera surveillance system on each bus, as well as installation costs.

The bus buying program is voluntary. Twice a year, the Kansas Department of Transportation will send an invitation for school districts to bid on new vehicles. KDOT then sends those bids to KSDE for review.

The board also will consider an agreement with Heartland Works of Topeka to provide support for the district's career and technical education program. The district received a $107,500 pilot grant through federal Carl D. Perkins funds. The Perkins grant was authorized for the 2020-21 school year, and as part of the grant the district will partner with a regional work-based learning intermediary group to support and develop career and technical education programs in USD 383.

Heartland Works will act as the learning intermediary, and the district would pay the agency $70,000 from the total grant amount before July 31. The agency is tasked with conducting an inventory of regional work-based learning opportunities and coordinating with the district and Manhattan Area Technical College to put more career awareness and opportunities in front of middle and high school students.

As part of the agreement, Heartland Works will facilitate the creation of virtual reality curriculum, in collaboration with Kansas businesses and industries, to allow students to explore career pathways virtually. The agency also will report the number of students engaging in career awareness, exploration, and preparation programs.

In other business, the board will consider two change orders for district construction projects. First, board members will review an amended guaranteed maximum price for $73,565 in additional work at Frank Bergman Elementary with BHS Construction. The change order includes increased prices for exterior doors and frames, as well as media center materials and mini blinds in classrooms.

Another change order for Bergman Elementary adds $19,478 to the guaranteed maximum price for installation of restroom partitions and painting the gymnasium. BHS Construction also will handle this work.

Board members will consider a change order for Eugene Field Early Learning Center. Additional costs for modifying a steel staircase, along with improvements to IT infrastructure, would potentially add $50,057 to the guaranteed maximum price for the project.

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