School board acts on policies, personnel

School board acts on policies, personnel

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Graduation in the Park

Cooper Wild accepts a card from one of the many travelling the Wilson Park route lined with graduating seniors. The celebration, put on by the Chadron Senior Parents, provided a chance for the students to be recognized. The Board of Education also congratulated the seniors at their regular meeting.

Monday night, the Chadron Public Schools Board of Education took action on several district policies.

The third reading of Policy 3540.1, regarding transportation for students and mileage in lieu of transportation, was approved. The policy states “mileage that will be paid to the parent, custodial parent, or guardian of students who live more than four miles from their attendance center will be equal to the mileage rate provided by the current state statute in Section 81-1176 79-611 of Nebraska Education Laws,multiplied by each mile actually and necessarily traveled on each day of attendance, beyond which the one-way distance from the residence of the student to the schoolhouse exceeds three miles.”

The policy further states that 100% is paid for transportation of a parent, custodial parent or guardian’s own children, and an additional 5% for students of each other family, not to exceed a maximum of 125% total.

Monthly checks will be done by teachers regarding the number of days the student(s) attended school, and no more than one allowance will be made to a family regardless of the number of students in a family being transported to school.

Policy 1501, regarding emergency closure of school buildings, was approved with the second and third readings waived. Under the policy, if the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee determines a building or buildings should be closed due to health or safety concerns, that person is authorized to close the building(s) until it is determined it can be reopened. In these determinations, input is encouraged from law enforcement, health officials and other experts.

If a building is closed, nobody is allowed to enter, and no activities are allowed in the building.

Waiver of the second and third readings was recommended as changes to the policy were only grammatical.

In the same vein, Policy 1502 regarding emergency exclusion of persons from school with the second and third readings waived. Under the policy, if the superintendent or superintendent designee determines a person may pose a health or safety risk to others, said person can be excluded from the property. If the person is a staff member, he or she can be put on paid or unpaid leave.

The first reading of Policy 9050 regarding board responsibilities delegated to the superintendent was approved, with the inclusions of emergency closure of schools and emergency exclusion of persons for safety and health reasons.

Policy 3541.2, regarding special transportation for Special Education, was reviewed and accepted with a small change. It was requested that the language “district resident handicapped children” to the politically correct term “district students with special needs.”

Under the policy, transportation to and from home to the special education program in which the student is enrolled can be provided on the basis of the student’s individualized education program. If students are required to attend a district facility outside their attendance area and transportation is provided by parents, the parents are reimbursed.

The first reading of Policy 3542, regarding bus drivers, was accepted with the addition that drivers must take physicals as well as examinations as required by the state department of education.

Also under the policy, driver’s must have a driver’s permit on their person at all times while operating a school bus. The policy also prohibits use of cell phones or other mobile communications devices while operating a school bus or vehicle. In case of emergencies drivers must pull off the roadway before talking on cell phones.

The first reading of Policy 5141.2 regarding illness was accepted, with language changed to read that a medical health provider will provide permission for a student to return to school after having been ill with a communicable disease.

The policy also had a list if symptoms that can trigger a student being sent home, and language was added so the policy is not limited to those specific symptoms.

Chadron Primary Principal Libby Uhing pointed out that at a school nurses conference last summer, nurses were told head lice is not a communicable disease, though it is listed under the policy. She suggested an addendum be made to the policy to address lice and other “critter infestation.”

In other action, the board approved increasing a music teacher position from half-time to full time, and accepting the application of Kassyopea Schrader to the position. This will allow the district to maintain the Rule 10 requirement that students in the middle grades to take a music class, while also addressing concerns regarding class size and schedule conflicts.

Also at the meeting, the $150 dues from Northwest Nebraska Development Corporation were accepted. Superintendent Dr. Caroline Winchester explained Northwest Nebraska deals with economic development, and such development helps the school district. It was also pointed out that if the district does well, it’s good for economic development.

The 2020-21 inter-local agreement Crawford Public Schools for school nurse services was accepted. Under the agreement a registered RN employed by Chadron Public Schools will provide school nurse and related health services for Crawford Public Schools. Crawford will pay for the basic health services at a rate of $70 per hour.

During the meetings, there was also congratulations given to the graduating seniors and much praise to the teaching staff for the work they’ve put in to provide remote learning during the pandemic.

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