The Owen-Withee School Board met in regular session on Monday, July 13, 2020.
The first item was a presentation from Market & Johnson from Eau Claire regarding the FEMA dome project. The M&J representative discussed their project with Spencer and their customization towards each school district. They discussed meeting with LHP architectural firm in the near future to analyze plans for design and construction of the dome.
“Getting the FEMA grant is a big feather in your cap,” the representative said. “It shows your fiscal responsibility.”
The next proposed phase would be to discuss marketing strategies in regards to the proposed referendum in November, especially reaching out to residents without children in school. He suggested creating committees for discussion, even a citizens’ ad hoc committee to hear suggestions and possibly concerns.
Board member Dean Schmelzer wondered about the timetable, considering that so many voters would be voting by absentee ballot and those are sent out 30 days in advance. Schmelzer and Board president Dr. Julie Wendler both stressed the need for early information before ballots were returned by mail. District Administrator Bob Houts expressed the desire to get the information into the hands of voters by October 3, before the November vote.
The M&J rep said that they would be on top of it.
Plans for the Fall quarter were discussed with most parents responding to a poll that they wanted their children to return to school in person when school reopens for the Fall. Almost 76% expressed some or no concerns for their children’s safety due to the pandemic.
Plan A called for students to attend classes Monday-Thursday with classes of 70-80 minutes each and breakfast and lunch served in the classrooms. No lockers would be assigned.
Houts promised that no classes would be lost and that “contingency plans would be in place” to meet future closures, should they arise. He also reported on the sanitizing procedures being done in Summer School right now. Each class is sanitized after each day with each classroom requiring 10 minutes for completion. The chemical disinfectant is COVID-19 approved, he said in a response to a question from Board member Angela Greschner.
No plans were voted on, as of yet.
In other matters, the board accepted the June 22 resignation of Middle School Special Ed teacher Barby Serocki who will be teaching for the Rural Virtual Academy. Randi Rondorf will transfer from Elementary Special Ed to replace Barby Serocki. The board approved the hiring of Raeann Schwab as Elementary Special Ed teacher.
Lunch/Breakfast prices will remain the same next year “because of the positive balance in the food service and that the district has kept pace with the required increases over the past years.”
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