Randolph School Board approves two new teacher contracts

RANDOLPH - Probationary teacher contracts were approved for Tiffany Guenther, Elem and Jr. High math, for the 2020-21 school year and for Eric Brown, K-12 P.E. teacher, for the 2020-21 school year during the Randolph School Board's June 8 meeting.

More information on these two teachers will be done in a future article in The Randolph Times.

The board discussed recommendations made by the school’s law firm to board policies within 1000, 5000 and 6000 chapters. The most important aspects include the handling of personal protection items such as tasers, mace and pepper spray. These are now considered “dangerous weapons.”

Students and staff wishing to bring these personal protection items into the building need permission from the building principal. These items need to be stored in a secure location and approved by the principal. These items cannot be carried on their person. This policy also extends to school activities and school-owned vehicles. The school’s attorney is also recommending adoption of new policy preventing the use, by staff or students, of essential oils and related diffusers in classrooms. The purpose of this new policy, as explained by the attorney, is to avoid exposing students, who may have allergies, to those oils.

The board also added clarifying language to the district’s “Return to Learn” concussion protocol for those students that have experienced a concussion and are returning to the classroom.

The board approved the first reading of these policies. Final reading is set for the July board meeting.

The board discussed classified salaries for staff members, then moved to approve all classified salaries as presented. After study of area schools classified staff salary information, the majority of the Randolph classified staff were given three-percent raises for the 2020-21 school year. Classified staff includes the positions of classroom paras, office administrative staff, lunch staff, bus drivers, custodians and maintenance positions.

High School Principal Brandi Bartels presented a list of sponsors and coaches for approval by the school board for the 2020-21 school year. Two different proposed action items resulted from discussion. The successful action resulted with the board's agreement to approve all positions as presented by the administration.

The principals shared with the school board comparisons of grades given first semester, with grades given during second semester, including during the closure.

Grades were similar in each building in spite of the long absence of students from the classroom.

Updates were also given on the progress of summer building projects including some new flooring in both buildings, the addition of an air conditioning unit in one more elementary classroom. The replacement of heat pumps at the high school is also nearing completion. The high school room under the commons area is being renovated to form one large weight room instead of using two smaller, separate rooms.

Board members learned there are more than 50 students participating in the school’s summer conditioning program.

Protocols for following the Directed Health Measures (DHM) for this program were shared with board members and will be followed by students and coaching staff. The governor’s office and the NSAA are also allowing open gyms specifically for volleyball and for dance, following the same DHM protocol. Virtual FFA competitions are also being planned.

Superintendent Jeff Hoesing said school bus number nine has been demolished as part of a grant requirement.

The school will be recouping some COVID-related expenses through the CARES Act.

The building committee is considering the application of a clear plastic film, applied to glass doors and entryways, to further harden the building’s entrances against a forced entry.

Discussion on the 2020-21 state aid formula with the board members included the individual components of the formula, specific to the Randolph School district.

"Under the current formula, Randolph will continue to be a non-equalized district for the foreseeable future,'' Hoesing said.

The next regular board meeting of the Randolph Board of Education will be Monday, July 13 and start with annual hearings on student fees, anti-bullying, and parental involvement topics at 8 p.m.

The regular meeting will follow.

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