Farm Bureau - Melissa Wheeler

The North Bend Eagle


School to open at risk level green; NBE updates set for summer

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 8/18/21

With school scheduled to start the next week, the North Bend Central Board of Education continued with the plan to start in the green, the lowest part of the risk dial. The risk dial was established at the beginning of the pandemic to take factors into consideration as to the likelihood of spreading COVID-19 in a public setting.

The main requirement in the green risk dial is increased hygiene practices. Hand sanitizer stations will remain in both school buildings. The elementary school will maintain dots for spacing on the hallway floor, which had a positive impact last year. There will be two sections of each grade to start the year. Principal Tessie Beaver said if necessary they could go back to three rooms per grade, but she hopes to keep it as it is.

At the high school the special sanitizer stations will remain in place. They have closed the walls in the middle school for smaller classes.

The Coronavirus Committee will continue to meet and assess the situation, but hopefully the numbers at NBC will stay down and the school can remain open.

The plan is to remain in the green as long as absolutely possible with no mask mandate.

Representatives from Clark & Enersen architects presented a timeline to the North Bend Central Board of Education for repairs and updated planned for the elementary building.

Kindergarten teacher Jodi Dorcey was asked her priority for updates at the elementary school. She said No. 1 would be the smelly bathrooms. No. 2, leaky windows in classrooms. No. 3, increased and improved storage and shelving in classrooms. No. 4, doors that shut securely, and No. 5 - hallways.

The board agreed with Dorcey’s assessment of the building needs.
A Clark & Enersen representative said each classroom in the 63-year-old building is unique and will require unique treatment.

A timeline for getting this remodeling done in the summer of 2022 was presented with the architects saying costs are up and availability is the problem. They will try to buy as much as they can made in the USA. The board encouraged them to move ahead with the process so that the 2022 construction plan can be met.

The repairs on the elementary school gym has been delayed because of delivery and chemical issues. Beaver has made changes at the elementary school so that the construction can be done in August while school is in progress.

Beaver gave the board an update on the 2021-2022 kindergarten class. There are 48 students signed up for kindergarten. In the last six years there have been 37 to 44 in the class. There are students in this upcoming class with language, developmental and health needs.

Beaver presented the option of having a student teacher supervised by a para who has a teachers certificate. She would not have to be paid until her student teaching was complete. The board approved this action.

The board voted to use funds from the ESSERS 3 from the Nebraska Department of Education for a ‘teaching support’ position in the preschool and kindergarten classes for the next two years. Twenty percent of the $421,000 ESSERS fund must go toward learning loss. The remaining 80% will be used to upgrade HVAC units through out the district.

The board spent an hour discussing whether or not to make livestreaming of board meetings available to the public and how to handle public comments. It was decided to form an exploratory committee to see what other schools and organizations are doing. This committee is made up of Justin Taylor, Bob Feurer and Francis Emanuel. They will also look at how other organizations have public discussion on topics the board is considering.

The next meeting of the board will be a budget work session on Aug. 29. The next regular board meeting will be Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the high school.


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