After concerns were raised this fall about air quality at its Early Childhood Center, the Shawnee Mission School District has decided to relocate the program to the Broadmoor Technical Center at 6701 W. 83rd St. in Overland Park.
The move will take place over the winter break. A district spokesman said the concerns came from staff at the former elementary school at 9700 W. 96th St. in Overland Park, who questioned whether air quality might be contributing to respiratory problems. The district ordered air tests from both Shawnee Mission Medical Center and another entity.
“While testing determined that the building was safe for occupancy, the decision was made to relocate all programs, in order to have the ability to further evaluate the building, without any additional disruption to students and staff,” the district said in a news release.
The move will include the early childhood program, along with Parents as Teachers, the district audiologist and itinerant staffers who have office space in the building.
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Classes at the center will resume on Jan. 8. No classes will be held there on Jan. 7, the day other students return from break.
New bike racks for downtown OP
Thirty-six custom bicycle racks are being installed in and near downtown Overland Park as another way to encourage people to get around without always relying on the automobile. Overland Park also has been installing bike lanes and shared-lane markings throughout the city.
Collaborating on the racks were the city, the Downtown Overland Park Partnership, the Interurban ArtHouse, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and BikeWalkKC,
The racks were funded through LiveWell Johnson County, a county-initiated program aimed at preventing chronic diseases in adults, in part by creating environments that encourage healthier lifestyle choices.
$70,000 to fight opioid addiction
Johnson County is one of 16 Kansas county health departments to receive a state grant to address the opioid addiction crisis. The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment will receive $70,000 of the $900,000 being distributed statewide.
Strategies include community education about adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed systems of care and mental health first aid; training for medical professionals on prevention and treatment; working with emergency departments on protocols and “increasing innovation and community-level coordination,” according to a news release from the county.
“Our department is partnering with the Johnson County Mental Health Center to implement these strategies,” said Lougene Marsh, director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. “We look forward to raising awareness about this important issue.”
Deputy city manager retires in Shawnee
Shawnee’s deputy city manager, Vicki Charlesworth, has retired after working 30 years for the city. Her last day was Dec. 14.
Charlesworth joined the city staff as a personnel technician in November 1988. She was promoted to personnel analyst in 1993, to deputy city clerk in 1994, city clerk in 2001, assistant city manager in 2006 and deputy city manager in 2012.
She was interim city manager from November 2017 until July 2018.
“Vicki is as committed and dedicated as one can get, not only to the job, but to the entire Shawnee community. Her hands have been in nearly every single project at the city for the past three decades,” said Shawnee Mayor Michelle Distler.
The city previously announced that City Clerk Stephen Powell would succeed Charlesworth deputy city manager. He officially took on that role in early November.
New rules for child-care workers
Johnson County officials say they are working with other agencies to implement a new federal requirement that child-care workers submit to a comprehensive background check, including fingerprints.
Beginning this month, Kansas providers obtaining or renewing their license must submit to the comprehensive check for each person who lives, works or regularly volunteers in a licensed child-care home, day care center or school-age program. The screening, previously done only for Kansas, now must be national in scope.
After they complete the license application or renewal process, providers who receive an email or letter identifying who needs the comprehensive screening can pick up background check packets at the Child Care Licensing office, 11811 S. Sunset Drive in Olathe, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Providers must bring the email or letter.
Questions can be directed to the Child Care Licensing Division at 913-477-8339. Information also is at http://www.kdheks.gov/bcclr.
SM South administrator honored for supporting arts
Nicholas Platko, associate principal at Shawnee Mission South High School, is the East Central Kansas Music Educators Association Honor Administrator of the Year for 2018.
Platko was nominated by the school’s entire music staff for his support of music groups and the performing arts department.
“I had the privilege of reading the nomination letters, and they were phenomenal,” Dan Freeman, president-elect for the Northeast Kansas Music Educators Association, said in a news release. “None of the others we read came close, and the others were not weak.”