Kindergarten numbers, graduation discussed at school board meeting
OSMOND — The District 42R Board of Education met Monday, April 13, following CDC and state guidelines for social distancing and keeping the number of attendees at less than 10 persons. One member of the board, LaDonna Stanosheck, joined the board via Zoom.
During review of accounts, Superintendent Dave Hamm commented that, at some point, there will need to be a meeting to discuss the fitness center, which is located in the yellow building north of the school. Board members on the Facilities and Grounds Committee — Aaron von Rentzell and Mark Moes — will need to contact Randy and Linda Jochum. Following some discussion on how the center was started and in what way the district is involved, Hamm said it does not have to be done right away, but is just “food for thought.”
The board also discussed the school lunch program, which is going well, Hamm said. Someone had asked if the district would continue with the program during the summer. The board would have to look into it, he said, but added that they didn’t need to decide that night.
Principal Kurt Polt reported that he had contacted all parents of eligible students on the kindergarten round-up list regarding postponing that event to a later date. He advised that there are currently three students out of seven eligible for the 2020-21 school year, with three others going to St. Mary’s and one undecided. The low number might raise some concerns, he said; however the good news, he added, is that there is a larger number of children in the four-year-old preschool class.
Polt told the board that, after speaking to members of the senior class, they want to have a traditional graduation ceremony. He is hoping that a possible date to schedule the ceremony will become more clear at the end of the month. Prom is being handled the same way — holding it at a later date may be an option.
Another major activity on the school calendar is activities night. Polt said he will put together a list of academic and activity accomplishments to be placed on the district website and Facebook page.
Junior high football and boys’ basketball schedules have been finalized for the co-op with Wausa. Each school will host two junior high football games next season. Wausa will host two basketball games and Osmond will host one, plus Osmond’s junior high tournament. Practices will take place in Wausa Monday through Thursday with each school practicing on their own on Fridays because of Wausa’s early out schedule and varsity contests.
Report cards for the third quarter were mailed out and names of honor roll recipients were published in the Osmond Republican. Informational materials for registering for classes for next year were mailed to public school students in grades 6-11 and Polt said he called parents of St. Mary’s students in grades 6-8 to discuss the process.
Polt advised that, a week from Tuesday, seniors are scheduled to come to the school and do end-of-year things.
“It is safe to say that our current non-traditional school setting has been a challenge for everyone involved,” Polt said. “I want to mention that our staff has done an outstanding job of meeting the challenges that have been presented.”
Superintendent Hamm advised that he had received two bids for asbestos abatement for the kitchen remodel and the district will have ESI of Norfolk complete the job on May 22. There is concrete work that needs to be done on the floor, which needs to cure for 28 days before doing the floor covering, Hamm said, so that is scheduled for June 22. The new equipment can then be installed.
Hamm reported on teacher contracts which have been signed, 2019 census data, and the amount the district received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides funding for states to respond to the COVID-19 emergency in K-12 schools.
A lengthy discussion followed Hamm’s report that there have been no applications for the English position. There is only one secondary language arts student teacher at Wayne State College, he said, and she is already committed elsewhere. Options for filling or otherwise covering the position were discussed, but no solutions found. Hamm commented, “I want to let the board know, we will explore all the possible ways to fill the position.”
Board President Michelle Reikofski said she’s been asked whether the board would do things differently as far as requirements for the seniors to graduate. Polt answered that, right now, all Osmond seniors are on target to graduate with no issues.
Reikofski reported that she has spoken with Mike Kumm about the activities that will be shared with Wausa, and asked board members if they wanted to talk about sharing anything else. The low numbers in the upcoming kindergarten class are concerning, she said.
Board member Tyler Gansebom asked “What is the point at which you have to worry about it?”
After more discussion about numbers in preschool and births, and the normal up-and-down trends that are seen, Reikofski commented “I just want to get you thinking about it. Hopefully things will resolve themselves, but we have to be prepared in case they don’t.”