School Board meets
A delegation from St. Mary’s Hospital visited the September school board meeting held Monday, Sept. 21 in the Elementary School gym.
Dr. Jack Secrest, Dr. Haley Minnehan and Jessica Stewart were there to talk about the coronavirus. Secrest apparently sent a letter to the school when they were coming up with their reopening plan. He said they have followed most everything he recommended except for the wearing of masks. He very strongly recommends wearing of masks. This week they had a positive rate for testing of coronavirus of 12%. This is up from 10% a week ago and 7.5% the week before. A 12% rate means if they test 50 people, 6 will test positive.
His three main points to follow are 1) wear a mask; 2) socially distance; 3) hand cleanliness. That’s the best advice he can offer from a medical standpoint. He feels the school is doing a great job with the hand cleanliness as well as keeping everything else as clean as possible. He just wishes everyone would mask up. It does make a difference. He doesn’t like wearing one as much as anybody but has been since March.
Secrest also said if the adults wear masks he feels the students would follow.
Minnehan said, for people who say it’s just like the flu. It definitely is not. They can treat the flu. The flu has a 0.1% fatality rate. They have no treatment or current vaccine for Covid-19 and it has a 1% fatality rate. 10 times higher than the flu. She also noted when Orofino had a positive test in the school and shut down the school that when they came back everyone was required to wear a mask and the positivity rate dropped considerably.
Stewart said you don’t know who has it. They had one person come into the hospital for something totally unrelated and through the course of their testing found out he tested positive.
In other business the board approved receiving the auditor’s report.
The board gave official approval for the hiring of Alecia Hagen as a third grade teacher.
They also approved the continuous improvement plan. Something the state requires and which will be posted on the school’s website.
The only item in the facilities report was that David Shears had received the diesel fuel tank at the bus barn. Refilling their own tank and filling buses from that can save the district quite a bit. This was recommended by one of the fuel suppliers. The tank arrived Sept. 17.
In her principal’s report Rene’ Forsmann said they continue to have “wired Wednesdays” to train students on their devices and teach curriculum online. This keeps them up to date just in case they have to go full online again like last Spring.
The school nurse will be testing students on hearing and vision over the next couple of weeks.
School pictures are Thursday and Friday for Elementary students.
In her superintendent’s report she noted the Idaho School Board Association will be holding a virtual meeting in the coming weeks. Region 2’s meeting is set for Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.
She reported on the coronavirus relief fund. The school was notified they will be receiving $316 per student which equates to about $120,000. This is one-time money so they are looking at using some to cover the district’s share of insurance for one month; give staff a 2% Thanksgiving stipend; and look at lowering the override levy by $75,000.
The stipend for the staff is due to the fact they were looking at a 3% raise but the 5% holdback from the state due to the virus led to them cutting it back to 1% this year.
She also reported that Jennifer Riener will be talking with the Child Nutrition folks about a grant available to offer free lunches to all children through Dec. 31. This could start as early as late next week if approved. A note will be sent to parents.
District enrollment as of Thursday, Sept. 17 was 406. This is up 6 from what was reported in last week’s Chronicle and up 17 from last year.
Jon Rehder reported on Homecoming Week events plus some schedule changes in sports.
The blood drive set for Tuesday, Sept. 22, has 42 donors lined up for their 42 available time slots. This puts them well on their way to earning another $2,000 STEM grant for at least 60 total donors over their September and March blood drives.
Senior project days are set for Oct. 22, Jan. 20 and April 21. If you don’t have your senior project presentation done by April 21, you won’t walk at graduation.
MAP testing is done. ASVAB testing was to be held Tuesday, Sept. 22. SAT is Oct. 14. ACT is Oct. 17 and PSAT is Oct. 29.
FAFSA night is set for Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. at the cafeteria.
More policy updates were presented to the board and will be discussed at the October meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 8:41 p.m. The next regular meeting is set for Monday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.