BARNARD, Mo. — The South Nodaway Board of Education met virtually last week with nearly every member and administrators joining the meeting from separate locations to discuss COVID-19 and other school business.
Superintendent Johnnie Silkett updated board members on the district response to the pandemic. Utilizing the Seamless Summer program the district is able to offer free lunches for all children age 18 and younger during the shutdown, which is currently scheduled through April 3.
He expressed admiration for the northwest Missouri superintendents working together to create consistency between the districts.
“We’re all doing the best for all our kids in these crazy times,” Silkett said.
He told board members that none of the days missed for COVID-19 have to be made up. He said the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will use average daily attendance data from previous years to divine formula funding amounts next year.
“Johnnie you’re awesome,” said board member Pat Swinford who joined the meeting from his truck. “I appreciate all you do for our students and the community as a whole.”
Since municipal elections have been delayed to June 2, all board members will continue in their positions during the crisis.
“We have been dealt a bad hand and I especially feel that way for our seniors this year,” Silkett wrote in a news release. “We are facing uncertainty as we venture forward into this viral abyss. But let’s not focus on what we cannot control, but what we can do.”
High school principal Dustin Skoglund reported that high school teachers have been able to set up Google Classroom to keep students actively learning.
Aaron Murphy, elementary principal, said packets had been sent home with students, not for a grade, but to keep skills busy. The district has also pushed for regular reading with smaller children while the school is closed. Elementary teachers may also be working to utilize Google Classroom.
Silkett told the board that insurance rates did go up, but the district also dropped tiers, since it has become healthier.
The lowest is a plan for the 2020-2021 school year one with a $6,550 deductible and a $451 premium. That premium is one dollar over the cap the district pays toward insurance per employee. He suggested the board approve at least the $1 to cover that lowest plan premium. Also if the board wanted to increase the cap by $20, then $19 could be put in the employees health savings account.
Board member Brian Flora moved to increase the cap to $470 for employee paid health insurance and Janet Hilsabeck seconded. The motion carried with a vote of 7-0.
Approved for tenure
- Zach Dyer, 2019-2020 social studies teacher
- Heather Heerlein, 2019-2020 kindergarten teacher
- Shayne Talmadge, 2020-2021 first grade teacher
- Irene Alexander, 2020-2021 Spanish teacher
- Carrie Wampler, 2020-2021 reading teacher
- Kensey Edwards, 2019-2020 business teacher
Board members accepted a letter of resignation from district art teacher Allie Ruckman. Silkett said the district will miss the South Nodaway graduate who came back to teach in the district.
“This is a very tough thing,” he said. “She’s made a difference in lives here and she’ll continue to do that in Albany.”
Ruckman has taken a teaching position in Albany for the 2020-2021 school year.