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Railer Summer Debate Camp Posted 5/16/18

WHEN:July 30-Aug 3, 2018

WHERE:NHS room 2-198 and adjacent areas

COST: $50.00

AGE: Students going into 6th-8th grades this coming year will learn Public Forum Debate, while students going into 9th-12th grades will take the Policy Debate track. Both tracks will use the same topic.


Sign up below using the online form! 

Railer Summer Debate Camp

Summer Enrollment Information Posted 5/16/18

Existing families may still register online using their Parent Portal account. Contact your school by June 5 for help with enrolling your student. See attached flyer for more information including free & reduced meal applications, One-Stop enrollment for new families and more.

Enrollment - English

Enroll flyer - English


Enrollment - Spanish
Enrollment Flyer - Spanish


District Implements BoardDocs for Board Document Management Posted 5/14/18

Newton Public Schools USD 373 is leveraging Cloud-based technology to radically improve the governance process while saving staff time and taxpayer dollars. The remarkably easy-to-use service will allow the organization to maximize the effectiveness of their board meetings with increased transparency, providing a basis for better and more open communication with the public, while dramatically improving productivity and saving thousands of dollars annually.

The board management solution, called BoardDocs Pro, is the fastest, easiest and most powerful paperless agenda solution on the market. Leveraging state-of-the-art technology, BoardDocs Pro does things no other board management solution can, for a price no other solution can match. BoardDocs Pro adds the most powerful board management tools ever created, including Comprehensive Meeting Management, Policy Management and a Multi-purpose Library, plus powerful and intuitive Workflow.

BoardDocs Pro uses a structured, collaborative Workflow that is specifically designed to meet the unique needs and legal requirements of public school boards, county commissions, municipal governments and a wide variety of other types of governing bodies. Additionally, through the MetaSearch feature, members of the governing body will also have access to best practices from other organizations that are using the system, allowing them to gain important knowledge about initiatives other governing bodies have considered and implemented. 

Electronic distribution will not only save time and resources, but it will also provide unprecedented public access via USD 373’s Web site to agenda items and other board-related information. This process will allow interested parties to review information prior to meetings. After the meeting, individuals can review the agenda items and see what action the board took, complete with voting results. All documents associated with the meeting are automatically archived and can be accessed by date or by using the system’s comprehensive Search feature.

The new board management will be available at Current documents can be found at For more information, contact Joni Jantz at 316-284-6206.
For more information about BoardDocs Pro, call (800) 407-0141 or visit to experience the premier board management solution firsthand. 

About BoardDocs
BoardDocs services are developed and marketed exclusively by Emerald Data Solutions™, Inc., the market leader and pioneer of board management solutions. Serving over 2,000 organizations, BoardDocs’ services give governing bodies turn-key electronic solutions for processing virtually any type of governance document, including agenda items, supporting documents, policies, procedures and more. BoardDocs’ services alleviate the enormous task of assembling, printing, distributing and revising board packets. BoardDocs’ unique, state-of-the-art solutions also save money, reduce staff time, improve board effectiveness, increase transparency in governance and have a positive effect on the environment.


NHS students qualify for national tournament Posted 5/8/18

Debate   Forensics qualifiers

Two Newton High School sophomore students recently qualified for the 2018 national debate and forensics tournament to be held in Florida in June. Congratulations to Eli Blaufuss  and to Mariah McDonald!


This is Eli's second year to go to nationals and he has placed 2nd at State in United States extemporaneous speaking (USX) as a Freshman and Sophomore. He qualified for nationals with a win recently in USX, placing first in each of the rounds.


Mariah qualified in World Schools Debate and is on the West KS world debate team. She and her team will be debating teams from all over the world at the national tournament.


Two NHS teams also qualified for the national tournament in Policy Debate earlier this school year. Members for both of those teams are: Kenton Fox, Chase Cassil, Fletcher Hummingbird and Khalil Kumar.


This is Newton High School’s 26th year to qualify students to the National tournament. The debate & forensics team is coached by David Williams. 

'Friends of Education' to be recognized Posted 4/27/18

Newton USD 373 will recognize eight 'Friends of Education' during the Board of Education meeting on May 14 at 7 p.m. at McKinley Administrative Center, 308 East 1st Street.


The 2018 Newton Friends of Education Award recipients are:


Kaylene Dicken

nominated by: Carmen Dietz, Northridge Elementary

Kaylene, a retired educator, has been a faithful volunteer in Carmen Dietz’s 2nd grade class at Northridge Elementary for the past 9 years. She loves working with the children and believes in building positive relationships to inspire children to learn and do their best. It is a highlight for both Kaylene and the students to see each other out in the community. It is also a great help to Carmen, the teacher, to have extra help in supporting struggling students as well as enriching the lives of all students and educators at Northridge Elementary.



Dr. Charles Craig, MD

Dr. Richard Glover, MD

Dr. Jennifer Koontz, MD

nominated by: Barbara Bunting, former USD 373 Board Member

Newton USD 373 has a long history of highly qualified local physicians donating their time and talent to students involved in contact sports. Dr. Charles Craig, Dr. Richard Glover and Dr. Jennifer Koontz have all been a part of this history.


Dr. Charles Craig began attending all Newton High School games, both home and away, as the attending physician shortly after he and his wife moved to the community in 1979. He covered the 8-man State Football tournaments in Newton from 2006 (when Newton began hosting the championships) until 2009 when Dr. Koontz took over. Dr. Craig also arranged all physician coverage for the Class 4, 5 and 6A schools who held state wrestling tournaments at the Kansas Coliseum.


When he began his practice in Newton in 1991, Dr. Richard Glover joined his brother-in-law, Dr. Craig, from time to time as an attending physician at Newton High School athletic events. He continues to work closely with the Athletic Director, coaches, administration and sports trainers.


Dr. Jennifer Koontz shared attending physician duties in 2009 and became the official team physician in 2015. In addition to her “on field” presence, Dr. Koontz was instrumental in drafting guidelines to protect student athletes who sustain concussions during sports activities. The District Wellness Committee incorporates her guidelines into its health, wellness and safety standards. She serves as moderator of the Board of Directors for the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine as well as the Chair of the Kansas State High School Activities Association Sports Medicine Advisory Council.



Wendy Harris

nominated by: Lisa Moore, Newton High School

As a grandmother of a Newton High School drama student, Wendy Harris has a special place in her heart for the NHS drama department. During production practices and rehearsals, she is busy sewing costumes and even purchasing costume pieces with her own money. She made many of the dresses for Sister Act and many of the costumes for Brigadoon. In addition, Wendy makes sure that the kids never go hungry. She packs coolers and bags full of goodies and drops off large quantities of food for the students on work days. Wendy has been a phenomenal asset to the NHS drama department.



Tami Lakey - Norm’s Coffee Bar

nominated by: Jana Bohling & Jenifer Smith, Santa Fe 5/6 Center

Tami Lakey from Norm’s Coffee Bar has worked at fulfilling her mission to enrich relationships between the Newton community and the students of USD 373. Because of the close proximity of the Santa Fe 5/6 Center to her coffee shop, she approached the principals at Santa Fe with a plan for teaming her non-profit business with the 5thand 6th grade students. She provides approximately 50-60 students with free snacks, drinks and games after school each day and has offered a potluck night to 5th grade parents. She has also reached out to the Santa Fe staff in hopes of beginning a partnership that will impact graduation rates as well as build a “they are all our kids” attitude throughout the community.



Carolyn Penner

nominated by: Denise Bowen, Northridge Elementary

Carolyn is a retired school librarian who has shared her library skills and expertise in the media center at Northridge Elementary every Tuesday for the past several years. She has worked tirelessly in managing the book collection by recording lexile levels in each book, making suggestions for weeding out old books, and, most importantly, scanning the collection for inventory purposes and keeping student accounts updated. USD 373 has greatly benefitted from Carolyn’s willingness to give so much of her time and effort to the needs of the media center at Northridge Elementary.



Kris Wondra - Millennium Machine & Tool

nominated by: Lisa Moore, Newton High School

Kris Wondra from Millennium Machine & Tool has partnered with Newton High School by providing hundreds of supply donations and resources to the Precision Machining program as well as RaileRobotics. In addition to providing donations which allow students to perfect their machining skills and work toward receiving their NIMS industry credential, Kris and his team host NHS students in one-day career shadows as well as semester internships. Additionally, the NHS Robotics team has experienced great success due to the contributions provided by Kris and his team. Because of Millennium’s investment of time and resources, our students are able to experience this career field first hand.



The “Friends of Education” program is part of the Confidence Task Force, which is a non-profit corporation whose primary purpose is to strengthen confidence in Kansas public education and to increase awareness of the positive aspects of public education in this state. The Task Force was created in 1981 to promote cooperation among state education agencies, bring recognition to volunteers serving public education in Kansas, and to heighten awareness of the important role of public education in our society.


This program recognizes volunteer efforts throughout the state. Nominations are solicited in five categories:

1) School Volunteer

2) Community Leader

3) Community/Civic Organization

4) Business/Partner Activities

5) Public Sector Institution


CMS Seventh Grader Honored for Exceptional Academic Success Posted 4/25/18

Lucas Comeaux
Lucas Comeaux, a Chisholm Middle School 7th grader, was invited to take the ACT or SAT College Entrance Exam as part of the Duke Talent Identification Program this year.  He has been recognized for his high score on the SAT. Duke hosts an annual recognition ceremony at Kansas University to honor the Kansas 7th graders who score highest on these exams.  This year’s ceremony at KU will be on May 8th at the Lied Center in Lawrence. Lucas will be recognized for his exceptional score on the Evidence-based Reading & Writing portion of the SAT.


The opportunity to take an “above grade level” test is one of many benefits Duke TIP provides its 7th grade participants.  Through a variety of enrichment materials, special publications, and optional educational programs, students enrolled in Duke’s 7th Grade Talent Search identify and understand their academic strengths, develop their abilities and interests, and celebrate their achievements.  In addition to the talent search, TIP operates a number of summer and year-round academic programs for students who meet eligibility requirements. Lucas has qualified for the eStudies and for the Academy for Summer Studies in addition to the State recognition.


The Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving academically talented youth.  

Newton Seniors Named CTE Scholars Posted 4/17/18

Twelve Newton Career & Technical Education students are among fifty-eight Kansas high school seniors that have been named 2018 CTE Scholars, the Kansas State Department of Education announced Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

CTE scholars from Newton are:

Kaylee Anderson, Erica Beebe, Skylar Botterweck, Tanner Duerksen, Ryan Hirsh, Kathryn (Kit) Kingsley, Lauren Mitchell, Kaitlyn Serrano, Kailei Sidebottom,  Eleanor St. Peter, Verania Torres and Brian Wolfe.

The Kansas CTE Scholar program is an opportunity to recognize well-rounded outstanding CTE students who are finishing their senior year of high school. This is the second year for the initiative.

Students have to be a high school senior and meet the following criteria to be selected as a scholar:

  • Have earned or presently enrolled in 3.0 or more CTE credits.
  • Provide documentation of technical skill attainment.
  • Have a CTE Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.5 or better in CTE coursework.
  • Demonstrated leadership.
  • Demonstrated community engagement.
  • Have professional learning experiences.
  • Provide a career vision summary statement.

Scholars will receive a commemorative pin, special certificate and statewide recognition.

CMS Named 2018 Kansas Green School Posted 3/8/18

CMS students in OWLS Garden

The Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE) has recognized Chisholm Middle School as it's 2018 Kansas Green School of the year. Students at Chisholm Middle school studied the important role of pollinators like butterflies and bees to the community’s agricultural economy and wanted to make a difference. Led by teacher Chelle Coffee, students inventoried the diversity of species found on the school ground using activities from a program called Project Learning Tree. They discovered that there was not much diversity at all of species on the school site or area surrounding the school and teacher Chelle Coffee provided students with information on prairie pockets, or small plantings of native grasses and forbs. This led to the school applying for and receiving a grant from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for an Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site or OWLS. These sites are designed to serve the dual purpose of providing habitat and a hands-on learning site for students. Part of this process involved research for the students. “Each of the students designed a native Kansas garden and researched what native plants they would like to see in it to sustain pollinators needed for our area. A few also added that we would need rock areas for small rodents and snakes in the prairie ecosystem,” said teacher Chelle Coffee.

The research and design conducted by the students was presented and students pulled their ideas together to come up with their final prairie garden design which incorporated the best of each student’s ideas. What makes this project especially impressive is the partnerships built in the community to see the garden come to fruition. In collaboration, the teacher and students approached their PTO to donate money for the development of the prairie. Local seed company, Sharp Brothers Seeds, donated three different sets of seeds for each area the students wanted; a tall prairie, a medium prairie and a short pollinator prairie. A local business owner, Gerald Unruh of Bentley Sand was hired to deliver rock for the garden, but when he found it was for the school, he generously donated the rock and delivery to the school. Mulch was donated and delivered by the city of Newton. And finally, the district manager for the Harvey County Conservation District, Dana Stahl provided her expertise in helping students with when and where to do the seed plantings as well as teaching the students about the water in the creek next to the school and how this native prairie helps with water quality.

The garden is already being utilized by other classes at Chisholm Middle School and students continue to make plans to improve the outdoor learning site including plans for benches so that students and community members can comfortably enjoy viewing of the new wildlife that now visit and live at the site. They also plan to install bird feeders and more plants, as well as converting more of the school grounds to prairie and food gardens. The garden is a great place for learning for many of the classrooms and as noted by teacher Chelle Coffee, “Since the garden consists of Kansas native plants it does not need water to thrive. The students and school along with community members and parents have created a sustainable, healthy, outdoor relaxing area for people to visit and for students to use as an outdoor learning space.” 

For more information on the awards celebration event, visit