Amid uncertainties related to the coronavirus pandemic, USD 377 leaders Atchison County Community Schools recently approved plans to reopen facilities and activities even though they are subject to change according to state and county guidelines.

However, USD 377 leaders have been assured they are recipients of federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $71,542 by way of an Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund administrated through Kansas State Department of Education in accordance with the 2020 CARES ACT to assist schools in effort to meet needs during COVID-19 pandemic emergency. The funding is effective throughout April 29, through Sept. 30, 2021. The district received notification of their award on May 11 from KSD.

Superintendent Andrew Gaddis said the plans are to use the bulk of the CARES funding to provide opportunities for student to make up the education missed due to the closure in mid-March.

“Our teachers worked hard to provide continuous learning for all students during the closure, but nothing can take the place of high quality face to face instruction,” Gaddis said. “These funds will be used to try to make up for that lost instruction.”

There are additional plans to use some of the funds to purchase items like facemasks, thermometers, sanitation and cleaning supplies, Gaddis said.

At their recent meeting on May 19, board members approved an instruction plan in accordance with the phase 2 guidelines in the county’s proposed plan that allowed a required extension of the schoolyear for eligible students. The plan also relates to anyone subject to summer workouts and use of the district’s gyms, track and fields. All participants will be screened prior to admittance and are required to social distance and adhere to personal hygiene practices. The wrestling and weight room and fitness center are not accessible.

Succeeding plans are to progress in accordance with the county’s reopening phases. To see the district’s reopening plan go usd377.org click on School Board, scroll down to Board Highlights, click on May 19, 2020, scroll down to 7.0 NEW BUSINESS, down to 7.03 and click on USD 377 Reopening Plan.

Board members also approved the following personnel action:

Hires – Rick Weber, third-grade teacher (per salary schedule); Amanda Hughes – Junior Senior High Curriculum Coordinator; Brian Sixbury – high school math teacher (per salary schedule).

Accepted the following resignations: Troy Hoffman as high school math teacher, effective the end of the school year and Katie Ohnesorge – third-grade teacher, both effective at end of school year; and Karlie Parnell – elementary school aide, effective April 13.

Transfer Charlotte Michel to Elementary School Curriculum Coordinator.

Hired summer custodians for a period of May 25 to Friday, Aug. 7 for $9.25 an hour– Darryl Cox, Roxanne Cox, Madison Gill, Pam Gibeson, Ryan Keith, Jimmie McDermed, Skyla Stanley, Jennifer Wiseman and Hannah Lawrence.

Summer custodial temp – Joyce Thompson for $11 per hour.

Summer mowers for $10 an hour – Greg Elkins and Dale Gaddis.

Extended school year transportation positions to Becky O’Brien and Bud Chapman only one route at salary schedule.

Summer food service employees at $9.50 an hour to Terri Sheeley; Sarah Hinz; Duane Feldkamp; Marci Feldkamp; Mike Wessel; Bud Chapman and at $12.26 an hour – Deb Schneider.

Since the interruption of schools in mid-March, USD 377 has served 975 youngsters a week. The service was extended to Wednesday, July 1.

Accepted the following gifts: $400 from the Elementary PTO for William Allen White Books, and $94 for reimbursement of field trip transportation costs; and 100 cases of 2-1.25-ounces of chips for the Summer Feeding Program. The gifted chips include Doritos, Cheetos, Baked Ruffles, BBQ Lays and Baked Lays.

The next BOE meeting is tentatively scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 10.

Mary Meyers can be reached via mary.meyers@atchisonglobenow.com. Follow her on Twitter:@MARYMEYERSglobe

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