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  • Elk Valley Christmas Program

    By Cassidy Hutton

    This year the Elk Valley Grade School and Lion Pride Band and Choir
    put on their annual Christmas program.

    The program was lead by Band Director, Doug Hawkins. The kids began practicing in November and after about a month of practice their hard work payed off. The gymnasium was filled with parents, and grandparents and all of the community and really seemed to have enjoyed themselves.

    Following the program, all of the students got to have a chance to sit on Santa's lap, and Santa's elves handed out candy canes. Before the show Lion Pride Band and the Junior Class had a spaghetti feed to raise money, and all of the community enjoyed supper together before the show.

     

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  • Elk Valley Spirit Week Winter Formal

    By Cassidy Hutton

    Elk Valley Winter Formal

    This year S.A.D.D. (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and the Student Council teamed up and decided to put on

    a Christmas themed spirit week for preschool through high school and a winter ball for the high school students.

    Kay Hamlin says, "We wanted to do something to get the students more excited about our school.

    We decided that a dance would be a great idea and give the students a beautiful,but fun evening since

    we don't have school Homecoming dances anymore."

     

    Since we also don't have sports here the groups decided that it was time to get everyone involved in school spirit,

    in an interview with Debra Greer she said, "I felt that all students from grade school through high school

    really enjoyed getting to dress up in silly outfits and show their school spirit. It was nice

    to see even the teachers and other employees supporting our students and showing their school spirit."

     

    The fun-filled week ended with a fun pep rally and a door decorating competition. The pep rally included things like competitions

    for the homecoming candidates (with prizes!) a class tree setup competition and lots of fun Christmas music.

    Each class got one hour to decorate a homecoming door and the Senior class was announced winners at the dance!

     

    Over all it was an extremely fun week in my opinion and it was a cool experience to be apart of!

    Special thanks to those who dontated food, money, etc.

    and also thanks to Kay Hamlin and Debra Greer.

     

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  • Body Venture

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  • L.I.F.E.

    L.I.F.E.
    (Literacy Integrated Family Engagement)

    Life is a fun eight- week program for you and your children. Each session

    includes a meal, games, and fun reading activities that you can do at home

    with your children. You will learn more about your school, how your child is

    learning reading, and will be better able to support him or her in becoming a

    better reader.

     

    LIFE however is not just for the kids, coordinator Geneva Hare quotes, "My favorite part of life is making

    connections with the adults in the "parent Circle"... We laugh together. We cry together. We united together

    in most the sessions we have had. Belinda Corle also states, "The most important lesson LIFE teaches is

    the importance of making time to spend with family."

    Which is why it is important that each child of a family gets special one on one time.

     

    While there was a lot of learning involved, there was also time for great fun! From playing in the preschool room with the babies and toddlers to playing basketball with the older ones it was fun for me to see what it was like to be a kid again!

    "LIFE is better TOGETHER!"

     

     

    Photo Credit: Geneva Hare

    Special thanks to Belinda Corle and Geneva Hare for their Interviews.

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  • Extraordinary Needs Update

     

    USD 283 Patrons, Parents, and Students,

    You may have recently seen in the news that Elk Valley will not be receiving $230,000 in extraordinary aid relief from the state of Kansas. In July, USD 283 applied for local tax payer relief under the program for funding changes that evolved from the Supreme Court Case and Block Grant respectively. An application was generated to recoup state aid dollars to limit the impact on our local tax payers and to keep our LOB mill levies from exceeding our prior year averages.

    Although we are extremely disappointed in the fact that the Bio Defense facility did not generate the monetary outcomes that were projected by the state, our administration and Board of Education approached this year with the realization that these funds may not materialize while weighing the long-term implications of sustaining the mission of our school district and best serving our students.

    As you know, Kansas school funding has been a big issue facing our legislature for several years revolving around the issues of equity and adequacy. USD 283 and the board of education have taken a very conservative approach in budgeting and planning for changes in state aid funding given the many unknowns surrounding a new finance formula, enrollment trends, changes in local valuation, and the many other factors that impact the local school budget. In the 2014-2015 school year, our board of education proactively realigned several functions including the 7-12 alignment of staff and combining a couple of elementary grade levels to better reflect our current enrollment in anticipation of this outcome of events.

    Although the loss of funding does directly impact the programming and opportunities we have for students this year, the resolve of the local board of education is the ongoing commitment to the Elk Valley community to maintain a strong educational institution while balancing the demands placed on local tax payers. Many difficult decisions have been put into place to better position the district through the challenges and changes in funding. Patrons worry that such shifts will lead to the ultimate closure of our district, however these decisions have placed the district in a stronger position than many of our peer districts under the current funding issues.

    Several parents have asked me personally if this means our district will be closing soon and the answer is no given the current financial position of the district. However, drastic changes in weightings for rural schools, enrollment and at-risk could present big challenges for our district if enacted in a new school formula over the next three to five years. As the superintendent and patron, I strongly encourage you to contact your legislature and voice your opinion on how this decision impacts our local tax payers. These dollars were directly targeted to provide local tax payer relief within the Local Option Budget mill levy. It is imperative that our local and state leaders create a formula that addresses the issues of adequacy and equity given the unique qualities of every local school district, while providing a fair formula that does not place high burdens on the local taxpayer. Kansas has a proud history of supporting its local schools and should maintain that tradition.

    On behalf of the USD 283 Board of Education and myself, I want to thank you for your continued support of our local school. If you have any questions or would like further details about the loss of extraordinary aid relief and the development of a new school formula that reflects the best interests of students and patrons in Elk Valley, please do not hesitate to contact me at (620) 642-2811 or at jcrawford@usd283.org

     

    Sincerely,

    Jason Crawford
    Superintendent
    USD 283 Elk Valley Schools

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