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By Mike Scott
The end of the first quarter of 2020-2021 school year is near, the CCR-1 School Board discussed how to have safe parent-teacher conferences at their Wednesday, October 7 meeting.
“We’re concerned about a potential of 800 visitors,” Black Hawk Principal Betsy Parrish told board members. “Elementary conferences are different than middle school and high school. We show parents their student’s work, their papers and other things. Elementary parents are all in. By the time they reach the upper grades, it’s less so.”
Parrish relayed concerns from her staff about holding conferences.
“I think conferences are important, and we need to keep them,” said Superintendent Dr. Ritchie Kracht.
Kracht presented a plan for both Black Hawk and Running Fox, as well as the Indian Pride Learning Center. Under that plan, everyone would be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Conferences would be scheduled in advance, and be limited to 12 minutes. Teacher would then sanitize between visiting parents. The school also will offer parents the option of a ZOOM or telephone conference at another time.
The middle school and high school would also require masks, and have A-K students conferences on Tuesday, October 20, and L-Z students conferences on Thursday, October 22. Parents would also be given the opportunity for telephone or ZOOM conferences.
High School Principal Jason Harper reported that he hasn’t received any concerns about holding conferences from his staff.
“I don’t think it will be big problem at the high school,” Harper said. “High school traffic for conferences is much lower than it used to be.”
Harper added that if there are students struggling, the school has already reached out to those parents.
IPLC Principal Megan Wendling echoed that she didn’t see any problems in her building, but they have a different situation with both early childhood education and special education students.
Parrish asked if she can prioritize conferences to those meet with parents of students who really need face-to-face meetings in order to limit the number of visitors in the building, and the board gave its consent.
“I want our teachers to be comfortable,” said board member Heather Weber Webster.
“We cannot afford to have our teachers get sick,” said Kracht.
Continuing with the COVID topic of discussion, School Nurse Ardith Harmon reported that students, parents and staff are all doing a great job following the prevention guidelines that are in place. She added that the quarantine process is working, and those students that have been quarantined have not exposed anyone else.
Harmon also reported that flu shots will be available for staff and students, at no cost, later this fall.
“We’re so fortunate that the Clark County Health Department works well with the school. That’s not the case in many other areas,” Kracht said.
Kracht reported that because of the virus, the Clarence Cannon Conference member schools have voted to limit the number of people attending CCC indoor events, such as basketball games. Each participant will receive four tickets. There will be no pep bands. Cheerleaders will be allowed, but there will not be any student sections allowed.
“I hate to do it, but we want to keep kids in school and we want them involved in activities. I told the other schools, if our parents can’t be there, we don’t want to play,” said Kracht.
Kracht also noted that attendance at away non-conference games will be at the discretion of those schools, and that, due to the smaller gym size, Middle School four or so games played at the Middle School will be limited to two tickets per participant.
Indian fan will have an option to watch indoor activities, even if they can’t get a ticket.
The board approved joining the NFHS network to provide live streaming of high school sports. For a one-time cost of $2500, NFHS will install a camera system with automatically tracks the ball. Viewers interested in watching games can subscribe for $10 dollars per month or $69 dollars year. The NFHS can also live stream band concerts and other events, such as graduation, which would be free to viewers.
Currently, five other CCC schools have this system in place.
In other business:
-Ruth Brotherton asked when the sports boosters could resume serving from the concession stand area at the Activity Field. The school will try it with areas roped off to avoid people congregating.
-The quarter-credit for Driver’s Ed class will not be factored into grade point average calculations..
-The board will review a number of new board policies next month.
-The board will seek bids for a new roof at the High School. The current roof has reached its expected lifetime and leaks in several locations.