Board Meeting in Review – January 28, 2021

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The regular meeting was held electronically starting at 6:30 p.m.

Board of Education officers for 2021 were elected as follows:

President – Chris Blackledge

Vice President – Kristin Flick

Secretary – Joe Childs

Treasurer – Leon Densmore

January is School Board Recognition Month. Superintendent Denney expressed his appreciation to the board members for the time and dedication they put in as members of the board.  A certificate and small gift will be given to them when meetings can be held in person again.

Superintendent Denney reported that the high school Student Council is trying to plan some sort of Snowfest week activities that could be held safely under the Covid protocols allowed.

The meeting agenda, December minutes, and treasurer’s report were approved with no changes.

Public comment:  None.

The board approved the second reading of NEOLA Special Update MIOSHA Emergency Rule – November 2020.

Superintendent Denney presented an update to the bond project.  Construction is taking shape.  The masons are working to get the face brick done, and hopefully the installation of the wall panels will start next week.  The entryway should be closed in within a month.  Some cost savings may be realized by changing the exterior aluminum panels to the stucco-like exterior on the existing buildings.  There has been approximately $400,000 in unexpected site work, but we will end up with a much more substantial building.  We are ready to start awarding contracts for Phase 2 of the bond project, which will include air conditioning of the buildings.

The board approved the recommendations by Moore Trosper for those contractors who submitted bids for contracts for Phase 2 of the bond project.  The project was broken up into ten separate categories, one base bid and nine alternates.  The project will use a combination of bond proceeds and the sinking fund revenues to be completed.  Work on classroom air conditioning will be started soon, with larger spaces, such as gyms and cafeterias, to be completed by spring of 2023.

The board reapproved the district’s COVID-19 Learning Plan, which is required monthly.  Supt. Denney shared the following two-way interaction rates for December 2020:

Week 1 – 56.79%

Week 2 – 43.58%

Week 3 – 24.46%

Week 4 – No School

These rates were lower than previous months, but more emphasis was put on ways to reduce the workload of teachers on things that were not impacting students directly after their return in December.  During the month of December, 90.17% of our students had two 2-way interactions with their teachers.

As required by law, Superintendent Denney shared student growth rates for all grade levels in Math and Reading, comparing pre-test rates with mid-year rates.

Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan Public Comment:


Superintendent Denney reported to the board members on the following:

  • Again, as part of School Board Recognition Month, thank you to board members for serving on the school board.  Few people realize the time and dedication that members put into serving, and they are appreciated.
  • Approximately 80% of our staff received the Covid vaccine on Wednesday, January 27th.  The second dose will be administered on Wednesday, February 17th.  Based on recommendations from the health department, Thursday, February 18th will be a scheduled virtual day of school to avoid any possible staff shortages due to illness after the second dose of the vaccine.
  • The district should be receiving more federal money at some point.  Estimates show our district should receive approximately $230-$235 per pupil.  The state is using the Title I fund formula, which is based on census data, to determine the amount of money each district receives.
  • The financial news on the state level is positive; districts should be able to get a per-pupil increase in the fall.
  • The basketball and wrestling seasons have been delayed until at least February 22nd.  There is not enough interest in competitive cheer to have a team this season.

The board members commented on the following:

  • Board members are happy that students are back to in-person learning four days a week.
  • The new building is coming along and looks nice.  A lot of hard work is going into the project.
  • The new murals in the elementary building look good.
  • Thank you to all staff; the better the staff works, the better the board looks.  It is an honor to serve on the school board.
  • The board is looking forward to being able to have an in-person meeting again.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

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