COVID-19 On Board Agenda

COVID-19 was the primary topic for the Britton-Hecla Board of Education when it held its regular meeting on Monday.

Superintendent Steve Benson said there has been some discrepancy on stipulations received from the SD Department of Education that were considered mandates and now are being looked at as recommendations. Benson said the lack of consistency is the real issue, and the board reaffirmed its policy of following medical experts and adhering to CDC and Department of Health guidelines. He said no students have as yet tested positive for the virus since the school re-opened.

Included in those guidelines is limited contact in the school facilities by the public outside of regularly scheduled school activities. Benson said there is a drop box at the school’s main entrance for dropping off items, and the public is asked to not come to the school office unless absolutely necessary.

The board also approved the school moving as many facility requests/events as possible out of the school to the Britton Area Event Center. The school has a lease with the city for use of the Event Center. Benson said the school is also working to clean up some language in the lease agreement regarding liability on the property.

Board members moved to approve a declaration to consider all school district staff as critical workers. That declaration gives the school some flexibility in dealing with COVID-19 quarantines if teachers are asymptomatic.

In other action the board approved contract amendments for teachers for educational advancement. Teachers included Kaitlyn Saskser, Pat Renner, Beth Renner, Vonda Storley, and Marcey Jones, and a working agreement for Brittany Bush as an aide for $11.50/hour. Ten public school exemptions were acknowledged, and Sarah Grupe was approved as a volunteer.

The board approved implementing a fundraising policy that requires groups to turn in fundraising requests to the school so that the school knows what group is fundraising for what cause.

“Some of those things the school could help pay for, so we’re just trying to get people a little more organized and not just relying on the immense generosity of the community,” said Benson. An early graduation request

An early graduation request was approved. The board moved to not participate in the payroll tax deferral option at this time. Elementary Principal Kyla

Elementary Principal Kyla Richter discussed plans with the board for preschool screening, talked about the new playground turf and salad bar offerings, and noted how well teachers are doing with filling gaps from the flex learning deficits last spring.

The board met in executive session on personnel matters for 96 minutes and took no action upon resuming regular session. Next meeting of the board has been moved to Wednesday, Oct. 7, due to no school on Oct. 12.

Marshall County Journal

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