Leavenworth Unified School District 453

2018 Bond Issue » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Leavenworth USD 453 bond election?

Ballots will be mailed out on May 25, 2018, to every active registered voter within the Leavenworth Unified School District, and are due back to the election office by June 15, 2018, at NOON. If you are unsure sure whether or not you are an active voter, you can contact the Leavenworth County Clerk’s Office at (913) 684-0419. The deadline to register to vote and receive a mailed ballot is May 16, 2018, however, you may participate if you’ve registered before May 25 by picking up your ballot at the County Clerk’s office.

 

How much is the proposed bond?

The proposed bond is $36.7 million.
 
How much will this cost me?
This is a tax neutral bond, meaning your current tax bill will not increase by this bond proposal. This is made possible through a combination of previous bonds scheduled to be paid off and refinancing of existing bonds to maintain the current number of mills levied by the school district.
 
What will the bond issue fund?
The scope of the bond includes:
  • Earl Lawson Elementary School: Conversion to an Early Childhood Center for our Pre-K and Kindergarten students, with a sustained focus on Kindergarten Readiness.
  • Anthony, David Brewer, and Henry Leavenworth Elementary Schools: Educational collaboration space renovations and capital improvements.
  • Richard Warren Middle School: Additions and renovations to convert the building to a fifth – eighth grade center, with fifth and sixth grade students in a new, dedicated area; leaving the current space for our seventh and eighth grade student population.
  • Leavenworth High School: Addition of a new secure entry and welcome center, collaboration space renovation, and other capital improvements.
 
Why is the district proposing converting Lawson Elementary into an Early Childhood Center?

Throughout the visioning process comprised of stakeholder groups from the community and school district, it became clear that kindergarten readiness was an area that the district felt was important and should be prioritized. As various options were reviewed and considered, noting a steady decline in enrollment at Lawson, combined with the Board of Education’s desire to utilize existing resources as much as possible, this site was identified as an ideal location to meet both of those goals. This Early Childhood Center will allow for flexible programming and student groupings to deliver services specific to the individual needs of our youngest students, and best prepare them for success as they move on to first grade and beyond.

 

How will this affect students currently attending Lawson?
Future Lawson first through fourth graders would be redistributed to the three remaining elementary schools. If the bond issue is approved, adjustments will be made to the boundaries for the three remaining elementary schools in advance of the 2019-20 school year.

 

Why add fifth grader students to Richard Warren Middle School?
Aside from Lawson, all of the district’s elementary schools are at or above building capacity for desired teaching and learning conditions. Warren Middle School is also over capacity, as the classrooms and support spaces were not built for the number of students that currently attend the school. By building an addition that fully accommodates fifth and sixth grades, the current building then will be serving the ideal number of students in seventh and eighth grade. This solution allows us to relieve current and future overcrowding and create long-term boundary stabilization for our families.

 

What will the new addition at Richard Warren Middle School include?
The new addition includes 18 classrooms for fifth and sixth grade, as well as a dedicated music classroom, an art classroom, a STEM lab, and special education rooms, including a life skills classroom. Also included is a media center with support spaces, a new gymnasium, and a small commons area to serve as a secondary lunch room for the fifth and sixth grades. Within this addition, the gymnasium will be built as a storm shelter.

 

How will the existing middle school building be improved for the seventh and eighth graders?
The existing building has many great features that currently do not work because the building has too many students in it. Once the student population is decreased, the students will again have access to collaborative learning areas, small group spaces, and a new vocal classroom that will also serve as a storm shelter.

 

What happens if the bond issue does not pass?
The district would phase-in a boundary adjustment for the four elementary schools, intended to reduce the Henry Leavenworth Elementary attendance area (less students) and enlarge the Earl Lawson Elementary attendance area (more students).

 

Who is eligible to vote?
Any person who lives within the Leavenworth School District boundary, and is registered to vote by or before May 24, may participate in the bond election.

 

How do I register to vote?
You can register online with a valid driver’s license at: https://www.kdor.org/voterregistration/Default.aspx or you can pick up a voter registration form at any school or the Leavenworth County Clerk’s office. The deadline to register to vote and receive a mailed ballot is May 16, 2018, however, you may participate if you’ve registered before May 25 by picking up your ballot at the County Clerk’s office.

 

Can I vote early?
This is a mail-in ballot election, so there will be no set advanced voting period. Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters on May 25, 2018, and are due back to the election office by Friday, June 15, 2018 before noon.

 

If the bond passes, when will construction begin?
Design of the middle school addition would begin immediately, with construction of that being the first project. This will provide additional space to relieve the overcrowding at the middle school and every elementary school as well.

 

Who can I contact for more information?
Questions about the bond issue can be emailed to contactus@lvpioneers.org or communicated by phone to the Board Office (913) 684-1400. You can also visit our website at www.usd453.org or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LeavenworthUSD453 for regular updates.

 

Where will future Lawson 1st thru 4th graders attend school?
If the bond passes, the district will propose a revised boundary map to enlarge the David Brewer and Anthony Elementary attendance areas. This effort would be shared with affected families, and be presented to the Board of Education for approval. There will be no boundary changes for the 2018-19 school year.

 

Will more (or less) students be bused to school?
We believe if the bond passes, more students will be transported to school sites (e.g. an increased number of students residing 2.5 miles from their attendance center). Additionally, the district is evaluating school-to-school transportation options that could provide relief to families with students assigned to different schools (Example: Henry Family with a 4th grade and a Kindergarten student could both be dropped off at Henry; and a bus could take all Kindergarten students to the Early Childhood Center Location at Lawson - and then transported back to Henry before dismissal).