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“We’re at the point that if we lose many more staff, we’re going to break,” said Clark County R-1 School Superintendent Dr. Ritchie Kracht during the Wednesday, November 11 school board meeting. “Our biggest concern in staff members.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, 204 students were quarantined, along with 10 staff members. An additional nine students and seven staff members were in isolation due to testing positive.
“We’re trying to cover everything, but it’s a juggling act, and it’s stressful for everyone,” said Black Hawk Principal Betsy Parrish. Parrish asked the board to consider taking the elementary buildings to Level Orange, which would be every-other-day in person attendance, just as the Middle School and High School are currently doing.
“We’re shuffling enough that we’re okay, but my building is much smaller,” added Running Fox Principal Katrina Nixon.
At this point, the board did not move the elementary buildings to Level Orange.
“It’s extremely stressful on staff,” said Kracht.
High School Principal Jason Harper provided a spark of hope.
“Once we get to Monday, the quarantine numbers will go way down,” Harper said. A large number of students are slated to return to school at that time.
“If we can lower the quarantine numbers, we can start making progress,” Harper added.
Problems continue with students not doing assigned work during quarantine.
“The kids in quarantine are just not doing the work,” said Kracht.
“It’s super hard to get the caught up again,” added Nixon.
What is the school district doing about it?
“Teachers and building principals are reaching out to kids and parents to try to get the students to complete work. Students who do not complete work and fail classes will have the same consequences as previous years which include mandatory summer school, not getting credit in classes failed, or retake the grade level,” said Kracht
How are they making up for the lost fourth quarter of last school year?
“Teachers are doing everything they can to fill in the gaps from missing the fourth quarter. They are spending more time reviewing information before moving on to new topics. Catching kids up will not be accomplished in one school year. The amount of students getting quarantined is making things more difficult. This has been a challenging year but our students and staff are working hard,” said Kracht.
“Six to eight years down the road, we’re still going to feel the effects of all this,” said Harper.
The board also presented new rules for the trap team. Among them are a requirement that students complete a hunter safety course, be enrolled as an FFA member, and have a rules agreement signed by both student and parent.”
“I see nothing here that would have prevented what happened,” said board member Kevin Ross. “I think the sponsor needs to look at the gun before it ever leaves the vehicle.”
That idea brought questions of liability for the sponsor. Instead, it was agreed that the student would open the gun case to show the sponsor that there is an orange safety flag installed in the chamber. That safety flag is to remain in the chamber until the gun is ready to fire.
In other business, the board:
– Heard reports on the district’s vocational programs, including Ag, Business, Family and Consumer Science, and Building Trades.
– Reviewed and accepted the low bid of $4000 for roof repairs at the High School.
– Approved changes to Board Policies. Most changes are to keep up with changing legislation or legal decisions.
– Declared a number of items as surplus property to be sold by sealed bid.
– Agreed to pay paraprofessionals serving as substitute teachers an additional $25 per day