LA Board Talks Prom, Graduation
The Langford Area Board of Education discussed plans for re-opening school this fall, as well the junior-senior prom and graduation, at its regular meeting last week Wednesday.
Plans are to hold a modified prom on Saturday, July 11. A grand march will be held outside on the south side of the school to allow people to gather to watch the event. More details will follow next week.
Graduation is scheduled for Saturday, July 18, in the school gym. At this point the board decided to keep the event open to the public, and it will also be live-streamed. The board does not foresee limiting the number of people allowed to attend unless conditions would change.
“If there is any kind of a COVID-19 spike or outbreak things could change, but if everything is like it is today we’re planning to go ahead with plans for the prom and graduation,” said LA Superintendent Monte Nipp. “It will be up to the people to decide if they want to attend. I feel like we’re taking baby steps towards re-opening in the fall.”
The opening date for school is Wednesday, Aug. 19. A task force is being formed to determine protocols for students coming back to the school building as well as attendance at football and volleyball contests.
Faculty and staff, board members, and parents will make up the task force. Nipp said the group will look at scientific data, community guidance from healthcare professionals, and guidance from the SD Departments of Health and Education to develop a back-to-school plan to keep the school as safe as possible for students and staff. Plans are to have the plan ready for the July 14 board meeting.
“It will be hard to develop a plan that covers every situation,” said Nipp. “It still will come back to everybody’s comfort level.”
This summer the school is following South Dakota High School Activities Association guidelines for athletic contacts. Groups are 10 and under, temps are being taken, and sanitizing being done.
In other action the board expressed its thanks to Sheri Alberts for her 21 years of service as a special education paraprofessional and to the Langford Community Foundation and South Dakota Community Foundation for donations to the senior banners as well as to city employees Joe Keough and Sean Kramer for putting the banners up on Main Street.
The board discussed the preliminary for the 2020-21 school year that at this point reflects a 1.5% increase in the general fund. The board held the line on most other line items. A budget hearing is set for the July 14 meeting. Approval was given to advertise for fuel bids for the next school year to be opened at the July meeting.
Administrators talked to the board about cross country this fall. During pre-registration just one student signed up for the sport. Board members talked about possibly establishing student minimums to offer programs, but hopes to keep cross country while changing from a full-time to a volunteer coach.
With the retirement of CTE instructor/principal Toni Brown, the board is looking for ways to handle the teaching of CTE classes. Nipp said hopes are to recruit people to be alternatively certified such as a carpenter teaching building trades classes.
The board discussed the new capital outlay bill taking effect July 1 that changes how capital outlay funds are obtained. In the past districts could tax up to three mils. Now those funds are limited to $3,400 per student, which limits how much money a district can raise.
An executive session was held for personnel and negotiations. Upon resuming regular session the board approved a contract for Brady Hoines as maintenance custodian. Positions held by nonstaff approved included Diane Hoines, play director; Alex Suther and Stuart Samson, junior high boys basketball and co-assistant coaches for boys basketball; and Amber Ogren, assistant and junior high volleyball coach.
The board recognized the 16 years of service from David Planteen and 11 years of service from Lisa Olson as board members. Amy Keough and Morgan Holler ran unopposed for the positions and will receive the oath of office at the July 14 meeting.