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Staff working to keep kids in school in Leetonia

LEETONIA — The Leetonia school district is working hard to keep students in the classroom, according to schools Superintendent Dennis Dunham.

Dunham this week provided a COVID update for the school board. He noted 10 to 20 percent of the student body is in the mask-to-stay portion of the current COVID protocols. Mask-to-stay requires asymptomatic students in direct contact with a positive COVID case to wear a mask for 10 days.

“It’s keeping kids in school,” Dunham said.

Dunham said COVID affects everyone on the school staff and acknowledged the protocols continue to change. He said the current concern is having enough test kits for the test-to-play requirement, which calls for students to wear a mask when able and test negative on initial exposure, with testing recommended after five days.

Dunham said the district is doing things the right way, “with integrity,” to keep kids healthy, staff members healthy and families healthy, “and we don’t have the learning loss a lot of others are experiencing.”

During its reorganizational meeting, the board elected Larry Duko as president and Jennifer Merritt as vice president. The board also set committees as follows: Duko as Ohio School Boards Association legislative liaison, Dan Votaw as student achievement liaison, Duko as Columbiana County Career and Technical Center representative, Votaw and Merritt for policy and guidelines, Duko and Votaw for academic, Richard Hendricks and Michael Henderson for building and grounds, Henderson and Duko for insurance and Merritt and Hendricks for athletic.

Additionally, the board set its service fund at $10,000, approved John Podgurski as school attorney and agreed to use other firms as needed, and moved meetings to 6 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month in the elementary library, with the exceptions of Feb. 16, June 30 and Nov. 22.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 16 in the elementary library.

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