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School District to re-open after school program June 1

In an hour-long school board meeting May 26, the board approved multiple items related to COVID-19.

Superintendent Jennifer Lowery provided a copy of the district’s instructional plan that they have to submit to the South Dakota Department of Education. She noted she was proud of the work the admin team and teachers have done during the pandemic. The plan shows how the school provided access to teachers, provided access to materials, identified learning expectations for students, measured student progress and addressed the students’ needs who had individualized learning needs to ensure equitable access to learning opportunities.

The board approved the reopening plan for Tea After School Kids (TASK) for a June 1 opening date. Service Pro is donating their time prior to June 1 to clean the carpets. Protocols for coming to TASK includes checking in, asking questions and temperature checks.

They also approved the activities plan that is to begin June 8. Lowery presented information on not sharing equipment, spreading kids out through the weight room and gyms. No camps will be offered this summer. Parents will have to sign a waiver. She noted they are trying to balance keeping kids active while also doing their due diligence in keeping a safe space.

The board approved the extended school year (ESY) services for special education. Services in June will be virtual and they will reconsider July’s services later in June. They also approved the 12-month employees of working groups of three.

They approved the resignation of Kayla Bullis as paraprofessional and the new hires of Kathy Retzlaff for business services specialist and Amy Lynch for middle school math.

They approved the property liability renewal insurance. The premium increased by $5,000.

Finance officer Chris Esping presented a preliminary budget. Another budget will be presented in July. The budget now lowers revenues from admission tickets and facilities rentals. Lowery said that none of their facilities are being rented out now. 

They are hoping for an increase in students, however, are a little gun shy since they did not meet their student projection last year.

Lowery noted they have been transparent with the staff on the budget and hiring has been frozen other than replacements.

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