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Students of Vandalia School District #203 will fully return to classrooms as of Monday, Mar. 15. That was the recommendation of Superintendent Jen Garrison at last Tuesday night’s virtual meeting of the board.
In her report to the board, Garrison noted that there were as of that day, no active cases of COVID-19 in the district, and that the district should be alright considered the early dismissal will continue.
There are approximately 190 students who will be returning from remote to in-person leaning, and Garrison said that transportation schedules will have to be reworked in the process of returning to a state of relative normalcy.
Garrison also recommended to the board that those students who are failing through remote learning be required to return to in-person attendance as of Monday, Mar. 1.
“Although I would have liked to meet in alternate circumstances (referring to the virtual meeting due to the winter storm), tonight is definitely a celebration,” she said.
The next item on the agenda, called for, and the board approved, a return to the normal five-day regular schedule for the ’21-’22 school year.
In other business, the board:
- approved agreements for the Alternative Education and Safe School programs with the regional office of Education;
- approved the purchase of a bus from Central States Bus Sales for $64,000;
- approved the treasurer’s surety bond for the working cash bonds for next summer’s work at the schools;
- heard from High School Principal Randy Protz that the FFA has profited from their annual crop and that the $87 earned will go towards scholarships and jackets, and that the band and chorus will be participating in the solo and ensemble contests via submitted recordings;
- heard from Junior High Principal Brian Kern that his school is planning to conduct standardized testing in April, subject to the state’s application for a waiver for this school year;
- Elementary principal Stacy Mesnard told the board her school celebrated the 100th day on Feb. 1 and that Valentine’s Day, along with other celebrations, had to be adjusted to compensate for conditions in the pandemic. Mesnard also reported that some students have returned to school more skillful in operating computers as a result of remote learning;
- Nick Casey, of the Okaw Area Vocational Center, reported that next year’s online registration for the program is ongoing and so far it is lower than this time last year. He reported he hopes the number of students return to normal and the program is starting to get on a good roll with students returning.
- The board also approved a retirement for the end of 2023 and two maternity leave requests.