On Monday, March 8, the Owen-Withee School board met in regular session. The hot item once again was the COVID-19 Plan for returning to school as usual and this brought familiar faces to voice their opinions. The community input portion before the Call to Order was for the purpose of hearing those voices.
After the Call to Order, however, the first item on the agenda was a presentation from Troy Miller of LHB Architects alongside Jason Plant. They reported on the completion of the schematic design for the FEMA Dome building project. The Budget Oversight Committee approved the plans thus far, despite some slight overruns in the budget. Plant explained that increasing supply and materials costs would always put strains on any budget but they were ready with a “shopping list of opportunities” for the Board.
Then came the discussion regarding the COVID-19 Plan regarding the weekly instructional schedule of the elementary, middle, and high schools. District Administrator Bob Houts reported that the administration team were recommending a return of five days per week for elementary school students and four days per week for middle and high school students.
Instead, Board member Charlie Milliren made the motion to have all schools return to five days per week. Dean Schmelzer seconded the motion. After some discussion, however, Schmelzer moved to amend the original motion to read that the elementary school would return to five days per week and the middle and high schools would return to five days per week with the exception of the second and fourth Fridays of each month. Those two Fridays would be reserved for virtual learning and for teacher-student meetings. The amendment was approved followed by a vote on the original motion. Rick Eloranta was the sole vote to follow the recommendation of the administration.
Graduation was set for May 22 to be held on the premises. Discussion on a prom was tabled until the administrators could hear from the junior class as to what their plans might be.
The Board approved the resignation of Mary Meyer after 21 years of service. Matt Bottlemy was unanimously approved as JV softball coach and Hailey Kadolph was unanimously approved as Athletic Director.
It was reported by Houts that Stanley-Boyd was not interested in continuing the wrestling coop with Owen-Withee. O-W was offered to participate in a Thorp/Gilman/Owen-Withee wrestling coop. Thorp and O-W both had four or five wrestlers each and Gilman had three. The board unanimously approved the Angela Greschner/Paul Heggemeier motion.
High School Principal Matt Cihlar announced that Alexis Nurnberger and Aaron Ovyn were selected as Cloverbelt Scholar Athletes.
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.