The North Bend Eagle

 


Board adjusts for cornavirus issues

by Stephanie Iwan Flamme
Published 6/17/20

Following Directed Health Measures, the North Bend School Board of Education met June 8 in the gymnasium to observe social distancing guidelines. The board addressed several coronavirus issues as part of its agenda.

Planning for graduation is underway and will be finalized after the July health measures are released. At this time the commencement ceremony is being planned for July 18 at 10 a.m. at the football field.

“Nothing is set in stone until those July health measures are in place,” superintendent Dan Endorf said.

An affidavit of closure of attendance center for the 2019-2020 school year was completed by the board, along with all schools in Nebraska that were unable to meet the 1,080 hours of required instruction. This will allow schools to request to that this requirement be waved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summer activities have resumed with coaches meeting with student athletes. Precautions are being taken so that students will practice social distancing and demonstrate that they are healthy and able to participate by having their temperatures taken and answering some health questions before beginning the activity. High school summer school has begun and elementary will begin their summer school sessions on June 22. Students will rotate through stations, attending each for 45 minutes and then allowing 15 minutes for clean-up and disinfecting. Driver’s education has also already begun.

The administrative leadership team has begun reviewing 2020-2021 school opening considerations in light of the pandemic.

“Three Rivers Health will determine what level of precautions will need to be taken at the start of the school year,” Endorf said.

The superintendent and the principals have begun discussions for every scenario, receiving guidance from the Nebraska Department of Education and Educational Service Units 2 and 3 located in Fremont and Omaha. The goal is to have everyone informed as school reopens this fall, according to Endorf.

As part of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the district will be able to receive mental health assessments or services because of a $1 million grant. This will be available for the next couple years and help students who were affected by the flood of 2019, as well as those who are coping with the trauma of dealing with the coronavirus as it may have affected them socially or their families economically.

“The grant will help train staff to identify kids in need, and we will be part of a consortium though the ESU,” Endorf said.

As the board reviewed the treasurer’s report, it was noted that spending was down one percentage point because the payroll was down. Endorf explained that there was no overtime, no field trips and no track meets, all of which had an impact on payroll spending.

With four teachers eligible for potential early retirement in the 2020-2021 school year, the board reviewed and voted to continue the incentive program.

“This program allows us to start our teacher search early so we can hire the best teachers,” Endorf said.

As part of their agenda, the board also reviewed the attendance policy, the bullying policy and the board’s conflict of interest policy.

It was also noted that the Nebraska Schools Activity Association will discuss when to implement bowling at the June 27 meeting. The NSAA also is adding girls wrestling as an emerging sport over the next three years. There will not be a separate state tournament for the girls, though the NSAA could add one over the three-year period.

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy’s Nebraska Diesel Emission Mitigation Program has announced its 2020 school bus rebate program providing districts with funding covering 50 percent of the base cost of a replacement diesel bus. The board has opted to apply for the possibility of receiving another grant.

Hail damage was noticed upon inspection of the school’s roofs. Employers Mutual Casualty Company reviewed the damage and depreciation of the roofs of the high school, ticket booth, football concession, football restroom, football storage, elementary gym, elementary west addition, and elementary east garage. The district will receive $407,392.56 actual cash value to make repairs or replacements.

“EMC didn’t see anything urgent or in immediate peril,” Endorf said.

The board will form a committee to make a recommendation on what action should be take first to make repairs and to be sure that the monies received are earmarked for roof repair.
The next board meeting will be July 13 at 7:30 p.m.

 

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