January 25, 2021

School board hears reports on COVID-19 mitigation efforts, enrollment at Thursday meeting

GREENFIELD — During their Sept. 10 meeting, Nodaway Valley building administrators reported to its school board that the school year is off to a good start with COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Superintendent Paul Croghan said that staff continue to learn what the best practices are for keeping their rooms disinfected between classes. A few students at the elementary school had mild allergic reactions to a cleaner that was being used, and because of proper communication, the problem was swiftly accounted for and resolved.

Students and staff are not required but strongly encouraged to wear masks, according to the school's Return to Open plan released in August. Croghan said building administrators report satisfactory mask use among staff but they continue to encourage students to wear them consistently.

At the elementary school, principal Connie Lundy reports 18 students are learning remotely. There are five in the middle school and 12 in the high school learning virtually. Staff and parents continue working together to make sure students distance learners have the resources needed to be successful. Staff are also teaching one day with the understanding they could be teaching virtually the next day, Croghan said.

All students at the middle and high schools are working through screener tests to assess where students are at in various academic subjects, and teaching staff will use the results to move forward throughout the school year.

"We're trying to keep the buildings clean. Everybody's putting the effort forward. Is there some stress involved? I'm just going to say yes," Croghan said. "One of the things I worry about as superintendent is are we going to get to that breaking point? We're in week three and we have yet to address any positive cases yet. When's that shoe going to drop? We just need to keep doing the things we're doing."

Croghan stressed that parents with concerns or have special needs to contact their child's school principal directly so that their needs can be addressed.

In other Nodaway Valley School Board news, the board:

• held public hearings and passed measures on a flex fund transfer and the instructional support levy. The instructional support levy measure is a continuation of the current instructional support levy and is subject to a 45-day probationary period before it takes effect. It will take over for another five years when the current ISL expires in 2022.

• approved the renewal of a contract with Sunshine Daycare to provide lunches, with an increase of 10 cents from last year.

• approved a required board policy outlining the process of identifying and reviewing cases of sexual harassment or sexual discrimination.

• approved fundraisers for the current school year pending their approval by a building administrator for COVID-19 safety purposes.

• approved the resignation of custodian Mike Warrior and the hires of Lexi Sickles as a cook, Jacob Baudler as the September-December strength training coordinator and Nicole Miller as a supplemental middle and high school vocal instructor.