Policy Changes, Activities at the Top of the School Board’s Agenda | News, Sports, Jobs

The Rugby Public School Board approved changes to school policies, including the District’s Safe Return and Continuity of Services Plan at its regular meeting, held at the Rugby High School Library on 8 February.

The Return to School Policy has been implemented to comply with the requirements for receiving Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. Changes to the policy, effective Feb. 8, remove references to household contact requirements that differ based on vaccination status. The revised policy also eliminates references to the district’s partnership with the North Dakota Department of Health for those who test positive or are identified as close contacts. Additionally, the revision also removes a passage that refers to the district engaging in contact tracing. “at the building level, based on the impact of COVID-19 within the school and community.”

The revised policy reduces the number of days COVID-positive staff and students must self-isolate to five. Those who go back to school “while being expected to wear a properly fitted mask in the presence of other people.” People with COVID must be symptom-free and fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours before they can return. Household contacts would be allowed to stay in school if they submit to testing and receive negative results on two consecutive tests.

Students who are close contacts of positive cases identified at school will receive home notifications through the school’s instant alert system. The revised text adds, “In the unlikely event that students are sent to school while testing positive or listed as a family contact, students will be educated in an isolated setting until the family is able to pick up the student. to bring him home.”

The revised policy also gives families the option to request a rapid test at their child’s school Monday through Friday. Those requesting the tests should contact their child’s school for more information.

The board opened the discussion to public comment. Parent Dallas Hager asked for clarification on the mask policy for those returning to school.

“Is that a recommendation?” » Hager asked. “So you’re positive, you come back to school after five days, but the next five days, it’s still your choice to wear a mask? That’s how I read it.”

District Superintendent Mike McNeff responded: “I just want to remind everyone that people who are testing are interested in wearing a mask anyway. If I review all the children and adults who request tests, they are more likely to follow what we (require). If you don’t test, you’ll never know. You don’t have to follow these rules because you’re not testing.

In other matters, the council approved the January financial statements and invoices. The board also approved district speech therapist Skye Cargo’s request for childcare leave and considered the resignations of two Rugby High School teachers.

The board also voted to reserve June 7 for school board member elections, with the polling place being Rugby High School.

The board also approved a 2022-23 school calendar and school policy changes recommended by a district committee. The policies cover virtual education, religious demonstrations, carrying weapons, suspension and expulsion, academic records, confidentiality and complaint procedures.

The text of the approved changes will be available on the District’s website.

The council voted to authorize Consolidated Construction’s first tender documents to secure the materials needed for the upcoming work to expand the Ely Elementary School building and campus.

The council also heard reports from Ely Elementary Principal Jason Gullickson, Rugby High Principal Jared Blikre and District Business Manager Dawn Hauck.

Hauck told the board that the district’s balance sheet increased by $630,000 due to funds received from various programs the district had requested for in recent months. The funds will later be transferred to the district building fund. Hauck said hot meal fund activity and balances were normal.

Gullickson told the council he was looking forward to a district spelling bee, to be held Feb. 9 at Ely Primary School. Parent-teacher conferences at the school are scheduled for February 14-15 between 4 and 7 p.m. Gullickson added that pupils at Ely celebrate Reading Month in February and have designated February 22 as “Two days. Students and staff planned to wear items such as tutus, ties, tennis shoes, tie-dyed clothing, or any item displaying the number 2.

Blikre reported that students at Rugby High were busy wrapping up their winter sports season, with district, regional and state competitions coming up in late February. The high school Future Business Leaders of America chapter planned to celebrate FBLA week from February 14-18.

The school board will hold its next regular meeting on March 8 at 7 a.m. at the Rugby High School library.

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