EACSD Board of Directors approves to lift mandate on wearing facemasks, approves variety of personnel matters and hears plans for summer projects

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The Eastern Allamakee  School  District (EACSD) Board of Directors met in regular session  at Kee High School  in  Lansing Monday, May 17.  All board members were present, along with administrators and staff in attendance.

The board approved the meeting agenda with the addition of item B. 5. under personnel matters: Martha Gisela Haugerud, Spanish Teacher, and item E. Elimination of masks, making masks optional.

Later in the meeting, the board did vote to eliminate the mandating of wearing facemasks. The day prior to the board’s meeting, Sunday, May 16, EACSD Superintendent Dr. Dale Crozier released the following statement: “Effective Monday, and going forward, masks will no longer be required for students and staff. However, anyone who still wishes to wear a mask may do so, and you will be supported in that choice. Also, going forward, only those with a positive test (who actually have COVID-19) will need to quarantine. These changes are based on new guidelines from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Iowa Department of Education (DE).”

The board opened the public hearing for the 2021-2021 budget amendment which increased Instruction, Non-instruction and Other expenditures program areas. Since there were no audience comments, the public meeting was closed and the board moved on to the rest of the business meeting. During the regular board meeting, this budget amendment was approved.

The board authorized the May consent items, minutes of the April meeting, bills for May, Secretary’s Financial Report for April, and the Student Activity and Food Service April Reports.

Resignations were accepted from  Julieta Castillo Ocampo from her Spanish Teacher position; Patrick Wagner from his varsity boys basketball head coaching position; Keith Schwartzhoff from his middle school football coaching position; and Ashley Schwartzhoff from her middle school girls basketball coaching position. In other contract matters, the board approved the contract for Martha Gisela Haugerud, Spanish Teacher.

Under maintenance and transportation issues, the board authorized repair for bus #14, not to exceed $14,626.88. The board also authorized accepting propane bids at the June board meeting.

Under Administrative Reports, Kee High School Principal Dr. Sarah Updegraff requested feedback from the board on the color picked for repainting the outside of the high school. She also will be getting bids to repaint the interior walls of the school. She noted that the year-end activities of Prom, the senior trip and graduation have all gone well.

New Albin Elementary School Principal Donna Thomas also brought color samples to review for painting the outside of the elementary building. She too is going to have the halls of New Albin Elementary School painted this summer and is checking into a metal “New Albin Elementary” sign for placement at what is now the front entrance.

Principal Thomas noted that the FAST testing was scheduled be completed this week. The elementary end of the year activities were to include a lunch of grilled hamburgers Friday and an annual kickball game between students and teachers.

Dr. Crozier reported  that the Fire Marshall is requiring a one-hour fire resistant wall around the furnace at the old middle school. He is also getting quotes on air conditioners for the non-air conditioned parts of the elementary school and roof top units to hook into the current air conditioning system at the high school. He also mentioned House File Bill 602 authorizing transfers of school district general fund moneys into the activity fund.

The board then went into  closed session, authorized under Iowa Code 21.5(i), to evaluate the superintendent. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the board reopened the meeting and adjourned.

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