329 postpones bond election due to virus precautions

Kaytlyn Meseke, Eleanor Badeker | @kaytlyn_nelle, @ellybadeker

Even with the coronavirus restriction, the USD 329 Board of Education met for its monthly meeting, taking precautions to ensure the safety of the members. During the meeting, the board members distanced themselves from each other and the meeting was live-streamed via the district’s Facebook page to follow the new CDC coronavirus guidelines of no more than 10 people in a gathering.

Members once again discussed facilities. With the new challenges presented by the virus, the board members wanted to figure out their next step. They originally planned to hold a special election in May, but the board didn’t know if it was in it’s best interest. Board president Justin Frank liked the idea of continuing with May because it kept the issue in front of the patrons, but he also wanted to be able to hold town hall meetings before then. The other members agreed that town hall meetings needed to occur before moving forward with an election, but CDC guidelines and worries about large gatherings made that difficult.  Without the town halls to keep patrons informed, the board decided with a 5-1 vote to postpone the May election to a later date.

Board member Kelly Oliver motioned, “Cancel the May election due to the current situation with COVID-19 surrounding us and the inability to meet face to face. We will continue discussions to look at other dates.”

Staff pay was also addressed by superintendent Brad Starnes during the meeting. He said that those who are 12-month employees will be paid normally because their salaries are already budgeted. Nine-month employees that are dependent on when school is in session will be continued to be paid at their hourly rate at their regular hours for the time that school is out.

Other items discussed in the board meeting:

– Potential school resource officer to be partially paid for by a grant

– Possibly adding a shooting club to be organized and financed by an outside group but endorsed by the district

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