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School board approves prom plan

The Tea Area School Board approved a plan for prom brought forth by high school principal Collin Knudson and the Covid Response Team.

The board approved prom scheduled for April 17 at 7 p.m., with juniors and seniors inviting only Tea Area high school students as dates. The grand march will take place in the high school gym with the dance to follow in the middle school gym and after-prom in the high school gym and commons.

Planned Covid protocols include live-streaming grand march with spectators in the bleachers only. Masks are required of spectators and prom-goers until they walk through the march. All prom-goers will be screened.

During the dance, prom tickets will be required for entrance and masks will be required. Bottled water and hand sanitizer will be available.

Pictures will be allowed in the commons and during grand march only. Knudson said more details are needed for the picture section.

At after-prom, locker room usage will be staggered for students to change clothes. How to handle food is a work in progress. They will seek chaperones who have been vaccinated to the maximum extent possible.

In the business manager report, Chris Esping provided the board with the trust and agency report. At this time, few student organizations had fundraisers planned. She is working with the auditors on which of the accounts should be custodial accounts instead of trust and agency.

Esping also reviewed the five-year capital outlay plan. She noted the capital outlay formula was back to the full levy of $3 per $1,000 valuation. The plan includes plans for curriculum rotation and new uniforms for various sports and band.

Special education director Jody Taylor presented information on special education staffing. The district currently has five open positions. Most of them have been open for several months. The reason they are running into when trying to hire paraprofessionals is the pay is too low. Of the 10 surrounding districts, Tea Area has the lowest pay for paraprofessionals. The board approved increasing pay for current paraprofessionals by $2.72.

Curriculum director Tonia Warzecha reported on NWEA testing. Warzecha said the results were better than what she was anticipating. She also noted that they have some work to do since they lost a year due to Covid.

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