Board Meeting in Review – September 14, 2020

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The regular electronic/hybrid meeting was held starting at 6:30 p.m.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, an elementary teacher wanted to let the board know how the school year was going so far from a teacher’s perspective.  She said the students were doing a very good job with all the changes this year; the plexiglass dividers are super helpful; Jacquie Melling, our school nurse has been amazing to work with; teachers are working very hard, some seven days a week, and are exhausted; they appreciate Wednesdays being Learn-at-Home days.  Another elementary teacher informed the board that the Junior Medal of Honor program has been discontinued this year.

Mr. Kyle Drake of Drake Certified Public Accountants, the district’s auditors, presented an overview of the 2019-2020 audit.  A synopsis of the district’s financial statements, capital projects fund, and sinking fund were given.

Mr. Chris Blackledge was elected president and Mrs. Kristin Flick was elected vice president of the board, due to the resignation of Mr. Gary Schuette.

A special board meeting was scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16th for board candidate interviews.  This will again be a hybrid meeting where the board and candidates will meet in the library and guests will join the meeting by Zoom.

The board adopted the Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan, as required to be approved by September 15th.  The only changes to the plan we already have in place include requirements for benchmark assessments for all students Y5-8; and a review of the learning plan by the board every 30 days, which must include a second public comment at each board meeting throughout the rest of this school year.

Superintendent Denney reported to the board members on the following:

  • A huge thank you to all staff, administration, students, parents, and community to get the school year under way.  We still have some things to figure out, but the start of the school year has gone better than expected.  A special shout-out to Jacquie Melling, as a medical professional coordinating with the district; she is very much appreciated.
  • Thank you to Kevin Sturgill at Express CNC and Fabrication for the donation of the labor for plexiglass dividers for the elementary school.
  • The plans for the building air conditioning will be finalized by September 17th, and bids should be able to go out a couple days after that.  The MS/HS building will need an upgrade to the existing power supply, which will mean a loss of power for 3-7days and will take place over spring break.  The new air conditioning should be up and running by spring.
  • The new gym is on track to be done around spring break.  A big thank you to Mark Hubbard for overseeing the project, which allows the district a savings of about $100,000.
  • The state has until October 1st to hammer out a budget.  It may be possible that we don’t have a budget cut this year, which is looking much better than the budget cuts projected last May.  It is not looking as promising for Federal money to be flowing through to schools.
  • The parking lot should be done soon.  The drainage situation by Folks Road is yet to be finished.
  • We are currently limited to allowing only two spectators per athlete at sporting events, and these names will be on a list at each event.  All athletes must wear masks except cross country runners while competing.  Admissions this year will be $5.00 each for everyone.  Pre-paid season passes will be required for conference games.
  • Congratulations to Chris Blackledge for being elected president of the school board and to Kristin Flick for being elected vice president.

The board members commented on the following:

  • The board very much appreciates and thanks the staff for all the extra work being done this year.  They understand it is a difficult situation, and they appreciate everyone putting their best foot forward to make a positive out of a negative situation.  The board is impressed with how students have accepted mask wearing because of the adult leadership.
  • Welcome to our new 5th grade teacher, Ashlee Trombley, and our new high school mathematics teacher, Jill Albert, who were hired just before the start of the school year.
  • Thank you to Chris Hobson and Becky LaFollette for the work they did with the Jr. Medal of Honor program that has taken place in the past.
  • Board members are anxious to see the walls go up for the new gym, and to have the paving complete.

The board went into closed session for the Superintendent’s evaluation at 7:25 p.m.

The open meeting was reconvened at 8:05 p.m., and was adjourned at 8:07 p.m.

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