Tuesday, July 14 was the district’s first meeting of the fiscal year. Because of this, the budget, the mill levies, participation in federal programs, activities handbook and meal prices had to be approved for the upcoming school year. Here are five things you should know from this meeting.
As many in the community may know, bus 5 has continually been into maintenance. After breaking down 20 miles down the road after being fixed at a garage in Salt Lake City, Lincoln County School District No. 1 Superintendent Teresa Chaulk said the state approved the purchase or lease of a new bus. This is not to exceed $128,613. Chaulk said they weren’t sure if they were going to lease or purchase the bus yet, but they will have a better idea in the next meeting.
Schools in the Lincoln County School District No. 1 have been approved for both in-person and synchronous classes via computer. This means that those who choose to keep their children home because of safety reasons with COVID-19 will have access to the classes online. Using grant funds, the district has purchased $75,000 of equipment such as cameras with the plan to purchase $50,000 more to keep up with these and other COVID-19 regulations.
“Traditional brick and mortar schools had a paradigm shift in March, and it will never be the same,” Chaulk said. “It’s better to be ahead than being behind. I want Lincoln No. 1 to be ahead.”
Students will have to log in at the same time the in-person classes are taking place in order to be counted present. However, parents must decide what style of teaching they would like for their child.
“We don’t want them to be going back and forth all the time,” Chaulk said. Chaulk made clear this doesn’t mean they can’t choose the other option later on; they don’t want kids to decide they don’t want to go to school one day and then come back the next multiple times in a week.
This type of learning will also be helpful if some in the area need to quarantine as students can still attend school without being absent.
Lincoln County School District No. 1 said they have worked closely with the health department and other officials to create plans to keep students as safe as possible. While schedules vary based on school, the bus and entrance protocols remain the same for all. Before boarding the bus, or arriving at school, parents are require to screen their child for any symptoms of illness. Buses are going to be loaded starting at the rear going toward the front in order to reduce exposure, Chaulk said. Students must wear a mask at all times on the bus. Siblings or family members will sit together, others will sit apart. Each bus will be sanitized before and after each route to ensure safety. When arriving at the school, students will be filed into specific doors and each will receive a temperature check before proceeding to class. Once in their seat in the classroom, students make remove their masks if they keep a 6 ft distance between them and others, Chaulk said.
A few years ago, Chaulk said seventh through 12th grades were opted out of the federal student lunch program. While this means a loss in funding, Chaulk said “a la carte” options available for purchase has made up the costs. Chaulk also said the quality of food is better.
“We had more complaints about lunches and students still being hungry following their plan than we do now,” Chaulk said.
At the meeting, Chaulk proposed opting-out of the lunch program at kindergarten through sixth grade.
“We can have more home-cooked meals with this,” Chaulk said. “Everything, or almost everything, now comes prepackaged. Chaulk said the system would look very similar to the upper grades, except parents can put restrictions on “a la carte” items. Parents will be able to fill out a sheet saying which items their child can have.
“We should be able to trust seventh and up to make their own choices, but the little ones need a little more oversight,” Chaulk said. More meal examples and program details will be available at the next meeting, Chaulk said. The board will vote on the programs then as well.
The new website will go live in early August, before school begins. This upgrade come with an upgrade in notifications to parents as well. Instead of a delay, using the program, Enotes, the school will be able to send 500 emails or texts in a minute.
“We will be able to communicate with parents faster than before,” Chaulk said. “It’s exciting.”
Do you have any comments or questions involving the items here or something else in the community? Go to the next School Board meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at the Lincoln County School District No. 1 building and speak during the public comments section.