B-H Making Back-To-School Plan

Britton-Hecla Superintendent Steve Benson presented a suggested back-to-school plan at the regular meeting of the Board of Education on Monday.

Benson said plans would be posted on the school’s web page in upcoming days, but he stressed that everything is subject to change.

“Obviously, if we go from five cases to 55 cases next week the plan is not worth the paper it’s written on,” Benson said. “It’s a very fluid document, all things are subject to change, and we will make changes when the state Department of Health directs us to do so.”

Benson said classes are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Aug. 18 with face-to-face instruction at the school. Parents will be asked to sign documents giving permission for attendance prior to classes beginning.

Students and staff will not be required to wear masks.

“We will encourage and recommend wearing masks if people feel they need to do so, but we’re trying to avoid any mandates as of right now,” emphasized Benson. “If we can avoid mandates we are going to. It will be a personal choice to start with.”

Benson did say a number of things will be done to help keep students safe, but he noted that space is limited.

“We will do things like staggered lunches and do our best to adhere to guidelines, but our school is not very big. We don’t have the ability to do some of the distancing that some of the larger schools may have the ability to do, so we will do the best we can with the facilities that we have.”

Benson added that as of now everything is also a go for fall activities.

The board reorganized for the 2020- 21 school year. Oaths of office were administered to board members Nick Fosness and Ryan Furman who were re-elected without opposition. Fosness was again named president of the board and Mandy Carlson vice-president.

A number of items in preparation for the upcoming school year were approved. The Marshall County Journal was named the official newspaper, Norstar Credit Union, SD FIT and First Savings Bank official depositories, and Dana Frohling and Rodney Freeman school attorneys.

Board members will receive $60 per meeting (president $70), committee members $25 per meeting, and out-of-town meetings $60. The board will meet the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the B-H Board Room.

Appointees included Danni Elsen, food service rep and Trust & Agency trustee; Kyla Richter, Title I rep; Steve Benson, truant officer, Title III rerp, and school improvement officer; and Sheila Anderson, homeless coordinator and Title IX.

Committee appointments are Buildings & Grounds/Appraisers, Troy Knecht, chairman, Josh Hawkinson, and Nick Fosness; Negotiations, Fosness, chairman, Kurt Zuehlke, and Knecht; Title I, Zuehlke; School Lunch, Carlson, chairman, Gary Brassfield, and Furman; Transportation, Furman, chairman, Carlson, Hawkinson; Technology, Carlson, chairman, Furman; and Equalization, Hawkinson.

Travel rates were set at the state rate of 42 cents per mile, and room rates at actual cost. In-state meal rates are $6 for breakfast, $11 for lunch, and $15 for dinner with out-of-state rates at the Federal rate.

The board approved membership in Associated School Boards of South Dakota and named Knecht as a delegate. It also approved membership in the state Activities Association.

Activity prices were set at $4 for students for all activities, $5 for adults at regular games and $6 for doubleheaders. Student activity tickets are $20, adult 10-punch passes $30, adult season tickets $60, and senior citizen passes (60 years and over) $20.

School meal prices were set at $1.70 for K-12 breakfast, $2.25 for K-5 lunch and $2.45 for 6-12 lunch, and $3.65 for adult lunch. OST fees were set at $80/ month for single, $105/month for families, $70 for a 10-punch card, and $7/ day for drop-ins.

Substitute teacher pay will be $110 for certified sub for certified position, $100 for non-certified sub for certified position, $10/hour for non-certified position, and $32/route for substitute bus drivers.

The board accepted the resignation from Pat Renner as weight room supervisor and Abigail Phillips as cook. Carter Deutsch was hired as an assistant football coach for $2,405; Shelby Clarke as SS para at $11.50/hour; Jacob Skogstad as weight room advisor at $1,480/ year; Julie Carlson’s working agreement was amended to four hours custodial and 2.5 food service/day at $12.60/hour; and Lauren Carlson’s working agreement amended seven hours/day at $12.95/hour.

Approval was given to accept a proposed rooftop unit replacement for $265,533 from G&R Controls. The board approved 2020-21 handbooks for elementary, middle school, high school, and faculty, and approved its fiscal sponsor agreement with GLAD.

A budget hearing was held and adoption of the budget will be at the August board meeting. Open enrollment applications were tabled until August because records had not yet been received.

The board met for 48 minutes in executive session for personnel matters and upon resuming regular session took no action.

“Obviously, if we go from five cases to 55 cases next week the plan is not worth the paper it’s written on. It’s a very fluid document, all things are subject to change, and we will make changes when the state Department of Health directs us to do so.”

----B-H Superintendent Steve Benson

Marshall County Journal

PO Box 69, Britton, SD 57430
Phone: (605) 448-2281
Fax: (605) 448-2282