The North Bend Eagle

 


 

Principals, teachers keeping busy with COVID changes

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 9/23/20

Both NBC elementary principal Tessie Beaver and high school principal Brenda Peterson had nothing but praise for the teachers and how they are dealing with the new ‘normal’ at the schools. They are willing to do what is necessary to keep the students in school, they told the Board of Education at its Sept. 14 meeting.

“The teachers move every 30 minutes,” Beaver said. “They feel they have a good handle on it all. But they are exhausted They keep moving, rarely have students out of the room.”

Petersen said that band is the toughest class. It is held in the old gym and they have to move instruments, chairs and music stands a lot.

“We’re doing as normal as possible,” Petersen said. “Passing periods are a lot different than last year.”

Petersen said that with the chilly weather last week they noticed a problem with coats since the students do not have lockers.

“We’ll try to get through the first quarter then reevaluate,” Petersen said.

“We’re doing a lot of things right,” superintendent Dr. Dan Endorf said.

In other COVID related items, the board voted to allow students and staff to not wear masks when in classrooms and able to social distance.

“If you don’t want your kid home all day long you need to do what you can,” Endorf said about parents needing to encourage their students to wear a mask.

The board approved to have Endorf work with Three Rivers Health Department to make a determination to consider playing in an athletic event or other school activities if there has been a student who tested positive for COVID.

Endorf requested an OK to just make a weekly update on the Tiger Talk communication board rather than each time a positive test is reported. He will continue to place the latest details on the NBC website nbtigers.org.

Endorf reported that all school staff in Nebraska are now designated as essential workers as of last week.

“On one hand, school leaders in our area are reluctant to have ‘exposed’ staff members in our schools,” Endorf said. “On the other hand, we are in an absolute desperate situation with staffing and need all employees working at school whenever possible.”

The board authorized the administration to declare exposed employees ‘essential workers’ on a case-by-case basis. That means the principals and Endorf now have the ability to work with a quarantined employee to see how much, if any, of their job can be conducted at school while in quarantine. This is a brand new approach to quarantines. Risky decisions won’t be made with exposed people, but each opportunity will be considered case-by-case and the administration will work with the employee on the feasibility of using ‘essential worker’ status to allow the employee to retain some or all of their job while in quarantine.

The board accepted the policy stressing it would still be followed on a case-by-case basis.

At the annual budget hearing the board set the total levy at 78¢ per $100 in evaluation. This is up 1.9 percent from last year.

The board approved the exp endure of $130,000 for the final phase of the 1:1 technology integration plan the school implemented in 2018. Ten thousand dollars of this money will come from the insurance pool that the students contribute to each year.

Renovation of the elementary school has been on the board’s ‘to do’ list for a while. With everything going on, it has been pushed to the back. Endorf asked Bob Soupkup of Carlson West Povondra Architects to draw up a proposal with some price estimates. This would include class rooms, lunch room, corridors and restrooms renovations. The high end cost would be $2,133,919 and the low end cost would be $1,759,881. The board made no decision on the matter.
The next board meeting will be Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m.


 

 

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