Even though there might be less pomp due in wake of the coronavirus pandemic circumstance, the Atchison County Community Junior Senior High School seniors will have a graduation ceremony later this summer.

It was one of the priority agenda items USD 377 Board of Education discussed during their first meeting they all attended in person since mid-March. By consensus, board members set the time for high school seniors to graduate at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 26 in Tiger Stadium. With a guest limit suggested at 10-person maximum per graduate. Attendees are to follow the 6-foot social distancing in accordance with Atchison County and Kansas Covid-19 reopening guidelines. The eighth-grade promotion will take place the following day at 7p.m. Monday July 27. The alternate rain dates are the same time on Sunday, Aug. 2 for seniors and Monday, Aug. 3 for the eighth-graders.

Principal Deanna Scherer said there are 42 high school seniors and there are 45 students in the eighth-grade classes of 2020 at ACCJSHS. The graduates will be seated on the football field. Scherer told board members about some of the ideas parents and senior class members have shared with her.

Superintendent Andrew Gaddis said he expects the school officials will need permission to meet the stipulations that apply to mass gatherings in compliance with the reopening rules. Gaddis indicated the choir and band will not likely be a part of the graduation program like in past years.

The crowds that attend the eighth-grade promotions are about a third of the size in comparison to crowds present for the high school graduations, Scherer said.

Concerning other matters, board members:

Appointed Greg Smith and Jim Cormode to represent the board on the design committee for the proposed new addition as an Atchison County Community School Foundation project.

Approved as presented the “USD 377 ReOpening Plan Version 2” that includes specifics concerning the playground for community members; the weight room and wrestling rooms open only to students and coaches to monitor and ensure students abide by the rules and not congregate. All equipment wiped and washed down after each use and disinfectant spray down before daily closures. Read plan in detail at www.usd377.org on the June 10, 2020 Board Agenda.

Heard a summer project update from Gaddis and a transportation report from Transportation Director Dwight Myer.

Authorized Board Clerk Megan Gracey and Gaddis to encumber outstanding purchase order and make necessary transfers to close out the fiscal year budget if final general and supplemental general state aid is not received until July to record it as a June 2020 payment.

Approved the following personnel matters: Hired Margaret Sundby and Spencer McNerney for temporary employment for $9.50 an hour; hired Extended School Year Transportation employees for $15 an hour – Bud Chatman, Duane Feldkamp and Rob McLenon.

Recessed the public meeting to convene in executive session to discuss a matter of non-elected personnel for 15 minutes, Scherer and Atchison County Community Elementary School Principal Mandi McMillan were present for several minutes. After the public meeting resumed, board members adjourned for the night.

Approved the salary adjustments for Corey Thomas and Gracey and numerous supplemental contracts.

Following some discussions about some other agenda items, board members set a special meeting for 8:30 a.m. Monday, June 22 in ACCHS commons area – the same place they gathered for Wednesday’s meeting. During the special meeting, board members expect to:

Review the number of lunches served before they make a decision about whether or not to continue the summer grab and go lunch program for July 1.

Take action and concerning the acceptance of a donated chicken coop for the Outdoor Learning Campus. The board discussed that it might take as long as five years before the campus would be able to accommodate the chicken coop. Board members directed Gaddis to consult with the donor to ensure he understands there might be a lengthy delay before utilization of the gift.

Mary Meyers can be reached

via mary.meyers@atchisonglobenow.com. Follow her on Twitter:


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