Kathy Dzewaltowski, observer
The board approved the waiver application to the Kansas Dept. of Education for the district’s Continuous Learning Plan for the remainder of the school year. The waiver application requested an exemption from the number of attendance hours for students, provided assurances that hourly employees will be paid based on previously developed plans, and provided information about the district’s Continuous Learning Plan for students.
Lew Faust, Dir. of Business Services, provided information to board members about wage payments during an emergency school closing. Mr. Faust explained the process for determining wages for hourly employees. The past two pay periods were reviewed to create a sample of average hours to determine pay for the rest of the year. Some hourly workers, such as those in food service and IT, are still actively working, so if their hours exceed the average, or if their hours are less than the average, they will be paid whichever is the higher amount. The board approved the wage payment plan.
The board received an update on COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent, reported that PreK-6th grade students picked up learning packets as well as their belongings during scheduled times earlier this week. Secondary students will receive blended instruction, which will be a mix of packets and online instruction. Stephanie Smith, Dir. of Child Nutrition, said 2,109 students had been fed that day by picking up meals from distribution sites. The district will begin distributing “meal permits” on April 2, which will note the number of children in a family who are eligible for meals and will allow parents to pick up meals without the children present in an effort to reduce exposure. The district is also considering going to a multiple-day distribution, meaning families would be able to pick up more than one day’s worth of meals to reduce the number of times they need to leave their homes. Matt Davis reported that maintenance is still cleaning and sanitizing buildings, and employee hours have been adjusted to limit exposure.
Dr. Paula Hough, Dir. of Teaching and Learning, provided an update on the Continuous Learning Plan. Families of elementary students picked up learning packets, and students in grades 7-12 received technology as needed. Grades for middle school students will be pass/fail, and high school students will continue to receive letter grades. Dr. Ribble provided a technology update and said 374 devices have “checked in” to the district’s system. The district does not yet have the hotspot devices that will aid students with accessibility to the Internet. Andrea Tiede, Dir. of Special Services, reported that case managers have been making recommendations for home instruction for special needs students, and paras are able to provide support through the Zoom application.