R-IV School Board Hears Update on COVID-19; Stresses the Importance of Getting Elementary School Completed
By Thad Requet
The Shelby County R-IV School Board discussed the latest developments with COVID-19 and also talked about issues with getting things finalized with the South Shelby Elementary school during its November meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
Superintendent Troy Clawson reported that they are back on normal schedule after being on the hybrid schedule. He said they have gotten along pretty well. They have two or three staff members and a hand full of kids who have been on quarantine.
Macon R-1 is going full virtual for vo-tech students.
Clawson said he would like to say what is going to happen here, but he doesn’t know. He feels confident that they can make it to Thanksgiving, but he isn’t sure.
He is going to try to move as many middle school activities to the high school gym as much as possible. The middle school tournaments will use both gyms, and it will be a round robin system instead of brackets.
South Shelby Elementary Principal Katie Stueve reported that Desirae O’Neal did a presentation on digital citizenship. It was a 45 minute presentation at the virtual MSTA convention.
Stueve also announced that Jen Gill was a finalist for Missouri State Teacher of the Year.
Middle School Principal Curt Bowen said that winter sports is underway at South Shelby Middle School. Approximately 53 kids are involved this year. That’s about 30 percent of the middle school students.
He then jumped to the transportation report. Bowen was talking about a possible diesel emmissions grant for busses. If they get this grant it would amount somewhere between $20,000 and $40,000. If they get the grant Bowen thinks they need to look at purchasing a new bus.
The current handicap bus is about ready to be replaced. It is set up for handicap accessible and is starting to have issues. He would like to look into getting a smaller capacity bus. They are looking to replace this and may find something in a month or so.
The second thing Bowen discussed was bus cameras. With COVID-19, the bus drivers are asked to have seating charts. With the cameras they will be able to contact trace if necessary.
They are looking to upgrade the camera system, Bowen explained.
Board member Scott Gough asked if COVID funds could be used for that and Clawson said it could. The bulk of the busses will have the new system in it.
One other thing that Bowen brought up was he would like to add a Clarence route. The amount of people riding has gone up from Clarence with the winter sports that are taking place.
High School Principal Tim Maddex said they have applied for free food service. They will be waiting to hear back on this. They have served 13,362 free lunches between the elementary school through high school. It has been a benefit for those kids.
MSHSAA won’t release basketball districts schedule for a little later. Even though we are allowing only four tickets, Keytesville is allowing nobody in. Iowa isn’t allowing anyone in those activities.
The North Shelby/South Shelby musical is next week at the Hawkins Theater.
State Resolution for the next school year says students have to have sexual abuse training.
This is for grades six through 12. Kids have the option to opt out of this if their parents so choose.
There is a new E-sports association in the State of Missouri. This association has four big platform games. Maddex will keep the board updated on this to see if the district wants to join.
Midquarter grades are out.
ACT core data is in. A total of 27 students took the ACT. They were above the State and National average in every category.
Hybrid Schedule Issues
They scheduled hybrid days where kids rotated days in school, while others remoted in from outside class.
Bowen said it takes some time and will take some time to get it fine tuned. He said about half of the kids have remoted in. Everything is offered to the students. They are also sending packets home and contacting the kids constantly.
Maddex said about half the kids showed up. The ones who really had concern about their grades seemed to be the ones who were there. He said it did help kids with being able to socialize with other kids. There are some obstacles that they are dealing with. Maddex said some of the teachers have been quarantined and trying to teach from home. Some of the kids who weren’t at school were having to farm at home. Maddex said another issue is that kids are reluctant to log in because of the perception from their home that goes into the classroom.
Michael Purol was on hand to talk to the board. He said they have a substantial list of things to get completed. They are pushing on the hot items that are causing problems. One is the HVAC item. They made good progress on this.
One of the things is that the contractor had billed out 100 percent was the general conditions. Purol said he didn’t feel comfortable doing that at that point. Later after more things were completed, they went ahead and billed it out.
Another issue is water infiltrating the building. Tuesday there was a heavy storm which resulted in water issues with some windows and doors.
He said they are making headway on the punchlist, but there is still work to be done.
Board member Kevin Glover asked what was found with the roof leak in the gym. Purol said that they feel water got in during construction and has now evaporated. There were several other areas where there were leaks.
They are still having generational problems in the elementary gym. Glover asked where it ranked on the list of things to get done. Purol said they are working on it and now waiting to test to see if it works. The generator is to power emergency lighting and fans in case of a power outage.
There was a discussion about whether they are to work around the students and classes.
Clawson said the school will be glad to move to another area to allow work to be done. Some work was scheduled to be done on Monday when school was out and the people didn’t show up.
Board members addressed the issue of getting things done and discussed what to do.
Clawson and Stueve don’t have an issue with the workers being there during school hours. Scott Gough made sure it wouldn’t be a safety issue. They said it wouldn’t be a safety issue. A lot of the work is finished and shouldn’t take a lot of time to get completed. Foster said he feels it’s a failure of the general contractor to make sure the job was done correctly.
The board voted 4-3 against making the payment to the general contractor in the amount of $10,750.20. The thought was to emphasize to the general contractor the importance of getting things done.
Scott Kuntz of Scotty’s Auction was on hand to explain how he would do a surplus auction for the district. He would start in Shelbina and move to Clarence afterward. They would start in Shelbina at 10 a.m. and probably in Clarence around 4 p.m. He said it’s better to have it all in one day. He said people may not want to show up to the auction because of COVID-19. They can call them and take bids over the phone if needed.
If the property brought $100,000, it would be around $3,000 in taxes. Kuntz said a school is a tough item to get rid of. It could go for a high price or it might go for a very low price.
A motion was passed to approve the surplus property at Shelbina Elementary, Head Start, Title I, Life Skills Building, Clarence Elementary Building and adjacent properties.
A motion was passed to approve the surplus property list and equipment from the middle school and high school campus.
Joel Gundelfinger of McKinstry was on hand to talk about possible improvement projects for the district.
He talked briefly about his company and what it does. A motion was approved to put out a request for proposals for a performance contract to qualified providers.
In other news the board:
•approved the bills and payroll as presented.
•approved the consent items
•heard Clawson report that Podium is still working on scanning the senior composits.
•approved a motion to table the updates until Clawson could get some guidance on the issues.
•heard a brief summary on the audit report.
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