EACSD Board of Directors discusses face mask usage by students and staff; Enrollment steady within the district

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The Board of Directors of the Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) met  in its regular monthly session at Kee High School in Lansing Monday, October 19. After the agenda was adopted, the usual authorizations were approved for the October consent items, minutes of the regular September meetings, bills for October, Secretary’s Financial Report for September, Student Activity and Food Service September Reports.

The board accepted and placed on file the official Certified Enrollment for the district as of October 1. The district’s finalized enrollment figure for this school year stands at 322 students, which is a decrease of just one student from the previous year.

The board approved several larger purchases for items needed throughout the district. Those purchases included Cloud-managed access points, switches, licenses, transceivers and cables for computer networking paid for with E-Rate funds, a hot water heater and miscellaneous repair expenditures at New Albin Elementary School.

During the board’s discussion of the district’s face mask policy regarding COVID-19, district residents in attendance Darcy Dibert, Krista Rasque and Becky Rea each voiced concerns regarding students being required to wear masks all day. The board openly discussed the district’s face mask policy and whether or not face masks should be required for all students and staff.

Currently, face masks are highly recommended throughout the district, which has not had any students test positive for COVID-19 so far this school year. However, per current guidelines, if a case were to arise in the student population, the district would not be required to quarantine all students in close contact with the COVID-positive individual if both the positive student and those close contacts have been consistently and properly wearing face masks. The consistent wearing of masks would not be considered a replacement for current social distancing requirements but could help in limiting the number of quarantined students should a positive case emerge. Fask mask usage will remain highly recommended, though not required, at this point in time in the district.

Kee High and Lansing Middle School Principal Dr. Sarah Updegraff advised that Trimester 1 of the current school year is scheduled to finish up November 13. She said the football playoffs were scheduled to continue for Kee with a second round playoff game Friday, October 23 at Janesville but the volleyball team’s season ended October 19 with a loss at Turkey Valley. Dr. Updegraff also advised that the district’s professional development for staff is focusing on virtual learning.

New Albin Elementary School Acting Principal Donna Thomas updated the board on a water leak at the New Albin school building. She also said staff members are actively using Response to Intervention (RTI) and Multi-Tier System of Support (MTSS) for early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs.

Thomas said that virtual learning is going well, and she noted that as teachers and staff get more experienced, the expectations for the students have become clearer and the style of teaching has adjusted.  Some teachers are using a flip classroom where the teacher records the lesson the night prior to the virtual day. Students can then watch the recording while being connected to the teacher via Zoom software, allowing the lesson to be taught uninterrupted and for individual questions to be answered as they are asked.

EACSD Superintendent Dr. Dale Crozier discussed the need for a new washer, dryer and ice maker within the district. Additionally, he advised that the guidelines for the seating capacity for the upcoming winter sports season will be decided by the State soon.

Rate this article: 
Average: 1 (1 vote)