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WB board creates virus response funds

BELOIT – The West Branch school board has created special revenue funds for COVID-19 response money.

At the recommendation of Treasurer Julia Rozsnyai, the board approved the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to be used by Dec. 31 to cover necessary costs related to COVID-19. Within the fund are the CRF-Rural and Small Town SD of $115,468 and $45,440 in a Connectivity Grant. The board also approved $372,253 in the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund to be used by September 2022 and restricted to “providing for coordination of preparedness and response efforts, training and professional development of staff, planning and coordination during long-term closure, and purchasing technology for students.”

Rozsnyai said the administration is focused on spending the CRF money first and has already purchased iPhones for the beginning of school year. She said she and acting Superintendent Micki Egli have a spreadsheet to monitor the expenditures.

In other business, Egli reported the athletic building was struck by lightning on Labor Day, damaging the stadium scoreboard, electrical boxes, switches and other items. She said Victor Trimmer and HTC Consulting donated $400 in labor and a switch valued at $500 to fix the problem in time for the following football game.

Egli also reported on the recently released state report card, noting it is not the same as previous years due to the COVID-19 closure at the end of the last school year. She said there was no way to tabulate grades, so they are all reported as NR (not reportable) or NC (not calculated).

Egli said some calculations are available for areas such as absenteeism and enrollment, but they are subjective to when the district was shut down. She also pointed out an error in the number of physical education teachers included in the report card, noting there are not 11 in the district.

Also at the meeting, the board approved an agreement with Yokley Scott Corporation LLC (YSN) to transmit via the Internet select events from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2021; established middle school elective fees for the 2020-2021 school year at $10 for Stem Innovations, $10 for Independent Living and $40 for Foods; and accepted donations of $1,000 from the Damascus Methodist Women of Faith to the high school principal’s fund and COVID-19 medical supplies from the Rotary Club of Salem.

Additionally, board President Courtney Stryffeler reported she consulted with both the state board association and attorney general’s office regarding teleconferencing for board meetings. She said both confirmed teleconference or in-person meetings with less than 10 people should continue until advised otherwise by the governor.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 15.

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