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Wellington City Council members express concern with school’s redesign curriculum

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — There was a lot to talk about at the Wellington City Council Tuesday meeting – including talking about Wellington School Board.

Wellington Mayor Shelley Hansel said she was concerned with rumors around town that people are going to move away because of the new Summit Redesign curriculum being implemented at the school district.

“I heard a disturbing thing that there are several families who are considering of moving from Wellington because they don’t like the way our school district is going,” Hansel said in the audience participation portion of the meeting. “I am just wondering as a district partner, should we call for a meeting to have a joint work session?… When I hear that people are considering moving away from Wellington, I feel it becomes a community issue.”

Wellington City Council member Jim Valentine said people tend to walk away from things they are afraid of or don’t understand. He felt a town hall meeting was in order and total transparency be mandatory. Council member Joe Soria said he’s seeing his granddaughter struggling with academics and is baffled that there isn’t better communication with the school board.

Hansel suggested drafting a letter written to Wellington Superintendent Mark Whitener asking him to come to a meeting or establishing some form of communication between the two governing bodies.

“This is as much a community concern as it is a parent concern,” Hansel said.

Nobody objected to her sending a letter.

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Cowley College – Sumner Campus

Jan Grace, Cowley College-Sumner operations officer, reported the Robert Short building (the current building under construction) will be opening soon. She is hoping for a soft opening this summer with a class.

“The building will definitely be fully utilized this fall,” Grace said.”We will be holding GED classes there as well, something we are already advertising in February.”

Wellington City Council member Kevin Dodds commented on how striking it is.

“I’m just amazed how it looks at night especially with the chandeliers,” Grace concurred. “The rooms are huge. This building won’t just be for classes but it will be a community center.”

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In other business:

•The Council unanimously approved the Crusader Cornhole Tournament to be held April 7 on Washington Ave. from Harvey to 7th Street as a fundraiser for the athletic department. Wellington head football coach Zane Aguilar addressed the council.

•Marvin White was approved to serve on the Board of Zoning Appeals.

•Jack Potucek, a veteran who is planning to build a Vietnam Memorial in Wellington, was not present for Tuesday’s meeting. He asked city staff if he could make a presentation next month. Potucek has recently proposed to the Wellington Park Board that he wants to place the memorial at Sellers Park instead of originally proposing to put it at Century Park.

•The council approved using Professional Engineer Consultants of Wichita for design engineering services for the 9th Street paving improvement project for next year.

•The council also unanimously approved a purchase order with White Star Machinery of Wichita for a street saw for the water distribution department for $26,907.

•The council approved a charge-off or uncollected accounts. Should a customer whose account has been charged-off return and request utility service, payment of the charged-off account must be made prior to establishing service. The total amounts  of uncollected for the year 2017 is $61,537. Charge off amounts represent about .59 percent of the total billing.

•The council was in executive session for about 10 minutes for attorney-client privileges.

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