Homeless liaison’s workload increasing in USD 204
The amount of students who classify as homeless in USD 204 has grown in recent years, and the district has decided to give its homeless liaison a stipend for the increased work.
The USD 204 Board of Education approved the stipend at its Monday meeting for Lisa Terrell, director of counseling at Bonner Springs High School and district homeless liaison. School districts are required to have a homeless liaison to comply with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, and the district currently serves about 80 students in the homeless liaison program between its five schools and Head Start program.
After the meeting, Terrell explained that every district identifies a homeless liaison to screen every student during enrollment and make sure the student is in fixed, regular, adequate housing. Terrell trains a homeless liaison contact in each of the district’s schools, and if students don’t have adequate housing, she is notified and works to get that student in the necessary support programs, such as free and reduced lunches.
While Terrell has performed the duties for at least eight years in addition to her regular duties, the amount of work required has been rising.
“The last several years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in our numbers,” she said. “Part of that is the economy, and part of that is we’ve done a lot better job of identifying students during enrollment, as well.”
The district also receives some help from a master’s-level intern from Kansas University at the high and middle schools. But work continues to mount.
The position requires Terrell to be on call 24 hours a day, and between responding to families with crisis situations and training, grant writing and other duties, she estimates she works 10 to 15 hours a week outside of the school day.
The stipend that the board approved Monday is $2,000 annually.
In other business:
• Elected board members to positions: David Pierce as president, Jeff Tinberg as vice president, Eric Hansen as board clerk and Bonnie Hocraffer as board treasurer
• Approved minutes from the June 18 meeting and the July 2 special meeting
• Approved warrants totaling $977,896 for the end of the district’s 2011-2012 fiscal year and the current warrants totaling $549,011
• Ratified the 2012-13 negotiated agreement
• Assigned Charles Thomas and Greg Goheen as board attorneys; Robert Van Maren as federal funds administration; Karen Turner, Kathi Wilhite and Hansen as KPERS representatives; Hansen as hearing officer for free and reduced lunch; school principals and assistant principals as truancy/school attendance officers; Hansen as federal compliance officer for anti-discrimination laws; Jerry Abbott to the suspension and expulsion committee; Union Bank and Trust as the official depository; The Chieftain as official district newspaper; the board president, clerk and treasurer as bank signature authorizations
• Selected the 1,116-hour school year for 2012-13
• Adopted a resolution to waive Fixed Asset Requirements
• Approved participation in federal programs, inclement weather make-up days, state mileage increase to 55 cents, petty cash limits and 2012-13 school fees
• Approved home rule authorization
• Appointed board member Tim McGinnis to the Education Foundation
• Approved state-required meal price increases
• Conducted a 10-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel