School board discusses plans for prom, graduation

OSMOND — The District 42R School Board met Monday, July 6, and began the meeting with an oral report by Principal Kurt Polt, who asked for direction on prom and graduation plans.

Mr. Polt advised that, as of Monday, prom is set for Friday, July 16, at the city auditorium, with the meal at 6 p.m. and coronation at 7 p.m. He added that post-prom will also be held there.

In discussing graduation, Polt said he needed direction because, according to the latest Directed Health Measures, the district can’t have groups larger than eight persons and 50% capacity. His question was “Do we limit the number of people per family or limit it to no one else from the public?” He added that other suggestions are having graduates six feet apart, and eliminating the receiving line.

Much discussion was held about the pros and cons of the various options, and a suggestion was made to hold graduation outside. Mr. Polt said he is hesitant to do that because of Nebraska weather.

Superintendent Dave Hamm commented, “The last thing we want is to start community spread and then have that screw up the start of the school year.” He added that another consideration is that staff members will also attend, and there will be recognition of several outgoing staff members.

Board Member LaDonna Stanosheck suggested closing it to the public but allowing each student more than seven family members, in which case they would have to break them up into more than one group.

Other things that will have to be done differently include having recorded music, having a sanitation station and having masks optional but encouraged. Mr. Polt said the ceremony is still planned for 2 p.m., but as it gets closer to the date, if there’s a heatwave they might have to change it.

Going back to the discussion on prom, Polt said he wants to be consistent with what is being done for graduation, so asked about having it closed to the public as well, with just immediate family of juniors and seniors allowed in the building for coronation. Some discussion was held on having the grand march start outside so the public can see that much of it.

Mr. Polt will put the information together and get it sent to students.

Principal Polt advised that the ACT was supposed to be given to juniors for the 2019-20 year, but that did not happen. It will now be given to those students as seniors on Sept. 22. It no longer counts as an assessment, and it is optional for all students, he added.

Polt told the board that he and Mr. Hamm met in Niobrara with the instructor who will be doing the distance learning for English classes. The schedule he gave board members at the last board meeting was wrong, he said. He then distributed a list of classes with the English classes highlighted, and explained how the classes will work.

The school days will be a little longer Monday through Thursday and a little shorter on Friday, he explained. He also advised that, because of this, he will be reregistering students in grades nine through 12 later this week. Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Hamm reported that, some of the men from Surface Sealers tested positive for CO- VID-19 so they would not be sending anyone to complete the work in the kitchen until their workers are cleared. Hamm said the kitchen should still be completed before it is needed. He also advised that some of the excess kitchen items have been sold, with the money going into the kitchen fund.

Mr. Hamm asked board members about the bus grant that had been discussed at a previous meeting. He said it hasn’t officially been applied for. The board had discussed getting a bus that runs on propane, but he said the grant can be done for diesel, propane, or electric. The board decided to wait for more information, as the district has until Aug. 7 to complete the grant application.


Hamm advised that he received 30 gallons of free hand sanitizer from ESU 8, plus six for St. Mary’s Catholic School. The plan, he said is to use it to fill spray bottles in the classrooms. He said he will also order touch less dispensers for the front door and lunch line. Mr. Hamm said he is not plan

Mr. Hamm said he is not planning on having students or staff wear face masks to start the year, based on information he has at this time. If there were confirmed cases of community spread, the plan may change. This aligns with recommendations by North Central District Health Department. “We’ll continue to do what they recommend,” Mr. Hamm said.

Superintendent Hamm shared a survey that Board President Michelle Reikofski had brought to him, which would gather input from students, parents and community members. After discussion, it was decided to wait until after school starts to discuss it further.

Board Comments

Board Member Aaron von Rentzell reported that he and Board Member Mark Moes had met with members of the fitness center committee, who agreed that the building needs work. It will be an ongoing discussion of what needs to be done, he said, and added that, if the board has a retreat, it can be discussed then. In answer to Moes’ question on paid memberships for the fitness center, Mr. Hamm said there are 21.

Reikofski stated that she and other members of the sharing committee, Larry Krohn and Stanosheck, had met with Wausa. Krohn said he had learned a lot from Wausa. He and Stanosheck have been invited as guest observers to attend the Wausa school board’s retreat.

After some discussion, board members tentatively set the Osmond board retreat for Monday, Aug. 3, at 3 p.m.

In other business, the board:

— heard that Osmond Community School has been accredited for the 2020-21 school year.

— heard Mr. Hamm report that he is waiting to do policy updates and hearings until he receives a second round of changes from KSB.

— heard that the district will offer the custodial position to Vacecia Billie. — heard Mr. Hamm state that the

— heard Mr. Hamm state that the district will pay $21,000 to Niobrara Schools to receive English classes; it will be paid in two installments, one in December and the other in May.

— agreed not to pursue surfacing the track. — approved classified wages

— approved classified wages for 2020-21 as proposed, with a 3.5% increase for all classified employees.

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