The Loyal School Board discussed several topics in closed session at their meeting.
One item of discussion was the special education teacher position and applicants, the Title I teacher position and applicants, the district administrator evaluation form, and personnel issues. They then discussed the long-term strategic plan.
The Buildings and Grounds subcommittee reported on progress made on the Five-Year Plan. The highlights included the project priority list including timelines and the needs of the playground equipment. Discussion also centered around other items that could possibly be part of a facilities upgrade and around setting priority of the remaining items after getting final estimates.
The Miron Facilities Report was also reviewed with the updated plans and next steps. The board also hired Heidi Michaelis to be the district’s Title I teacher. She will be handling grades 5-8 reading and math starting on February 8.
The Board approved creating a school nurse/sub teacher position for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. This staff member will assist with COVID contact tracing and filling in as a sub teacher where needed.
Also, they will be extending the FFCCRA sick day policy, which expired on December 31st, to the end of the school year. This will allow for up to ten days sick leave with pay for COVID related absences.
After the ten days are used, personal sick time will be used if a staff member requires more time for COVID related absences. The board also approved the trimester schedule format for the high school as well as the updated course offerings handbook.
Discussion was also held by the board and administration on the possible transition of the junior school (7-8) to a middle format (6-8). Pros and Cons of the possible transition were discussed.
This will be an on-going discussion with staff members and parents in the future. Also, the district 2021-22 calendar decision was tabled as the calendar has not been finalized.
Also, a board member provided an update on the WASB resolutions which were voted on at the State School Board Convention earlier that day. The board also approved continuing sharing staff members with Granton and Owen-Withee in 2021-22.
The Open Enrollment maximum slots available for 2021-22 for regular and special education were set and the board briefly discussed the possibility of a cooperative softball program with Greenwood. They will readdress this topic in February when they have better numbers to look at.
Principal Nancy Popp reported that benchmark testing is being done this year by the Special Ed and Title I teachers and things are going well. A committee has been created to discuss the trimester schedule and school calendar.
Also, the district spelling bee was held on Wednesday, Jan. 20. The junior high winner was Ryker Littlefield, with Jarrett Rueth in second place. The elementary school had so many participants they did not complete the bee on Wednesday, so no winner has been declared yet.
The Kindergarten and first grade teachers have been meeting to plan for the 2021 Easter Parade. They are hoping to hold an in-person event if possible. Finally, she thanked her staff, students, and parents for their support so far this year keeping the school open and safe.
Principal Doug Dieckman reported on a representative from CESA 10 on site for staff tech assistance, continued discussion on a trimester schedule with staff, presented information to the school board on 2021-22 schedule, and parent informational meeting on 2021-22 schedule.
He also reported on an escape room done for a January 4th inservice activity, interviews for SPED and Title position, having recommendations for Title 1 position, having a long-term sub for Spanish, and briefed the Policy Committee on the 2021-22 course offerings to include “new” courses and updates.
He also discussed grading scale policy along with UW/Tech school grade policy, developed 2021-22 class registration plan for grades 8-11, adolescent mental health training, threat assessment team training, and finished STAR screening for grades 7 and 8.
Also, he discussed closing out semester 1, quarter 2, and the beginning of quarter 3 and beginning course registration for Grades 8-11 and they will be meeting with each grade and doing an in-depth discussion on how this will work and how to help map out the student’s path.
They’ll also assist with the additional Title 1 support and schedule, they’re working with the AD’s to put a team together to review/update current athletic code, they’re building a schedule/plan for ACT prep to start in Feb, they’re looking at District calendar options for 2021-22, Grade 7 and 8 REACH activity is being planned, and winter sports are moving along and seem to be going well.
Finally, Superintendent Chris Lindner reported on a thank you from the Loyal Food Pantry. Three cameras have been ordered for the student parking lot. They are in the process of procuring Microsoft Surface Pros for all of the teaching staff. These will replace their desktop computers.
The Second Friday of January count has been completed. They are down five students from the Third Friday of September count. Their FEMA grant application will be submitted next week.
This grant will be for the addition of a dome to their school which will host a new gymnasium and wellness and arts center. Over the Christmas holiday the maintenance staff waxed the floors, did maintenance on the univents and the gymnasiums as well as extensive cleaning.
The administrative staff has been doing training in compliance with the SAFETY Grant we recently received. Governor Evers has extended the face mask mandate until March 25.
They are currently working with the Clark County Health Dept. to run a COVID vaccination clinic on site for Loyal’s teachers and staff. No date has been set yet.
The Sentinel & Rural News covers the news and events of Clark County and southern Taylor County, as well as regional news that affects those areas.