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The flexibility about when one or more family members will be able to attend the sports or activities in person at Atchison County Community Schools will be up to the recommendations from the Atchison County Health Department officials.

After some discussion board members unanimously voted to grant Superintendent Andrew Gaddis the authority to allow adjustments to the attendance restrictions even with short notice. Board members agreed that if the restrictions were lifted within a short time frame before game time the word would quickly spread via social media and word of mouth and vice versa if the recommendation would become more restrictive. The latest recommendation from health officials is to allow no more than two parents/or guardians per each family cohort that is an increase of one from what was imposed earlier in the season and is in accordance with Kansas State High School Activities.

Gaddis explained if the restrictions would decrease to allow four family guests per family cohort unit than it would likely mean that team play would occur in two different gyms to allow for social distancing practices.

President Lori Lanter said the numbers of COVID-19 positive cases are better than in recent months. “People are listening,” Lanter said. “They know they have to be respectful and wear a mask.”

Board Member Nancy Keith attended the meeting via virtual platform.

Keith said she is in favor to allow more guests whenever the conditions allow in hopes that they can appreciate our children’s endeavors.

Concerning other matters, board members:

Unanimously e-elected President Lanter and Vice-president Barb Chapman to retain their respective leadership posts for 2021. Board members also made committee appointment tentative scheduled all regular board meeting to convene at 6:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month in 2021.

Unanimously approved the consent agenda that included the personnel matters: the hiring of two part-time custodians for $9.50 an hour—Allison Lee and Tara Coffelt; approved supplemental contracts – Brian Sixbury as the head high school track coach and John Kepler as assistant high school track coach and J. Kyle Gurss as the head high school coach; accepted the retirement of Second-grade Teacher Rita Eckert, effective at the end of the schoolyear contract; and transferred Megan Gracey to the position of administrative aide.

Recognized high schoolers, Bailey Wilson, Gunnar Koontz, Mason Scholz, Kieran Courter and Coltin Myers for making the roster for the Holton Recorder All-area Football Team.

Heard a report from Gaddis who thanked board members for School Board Member Recognition Appreciation month; informed board members it was announced USD 377 will receive $313,000 by way of the second round of federal stimulus to allocate by September of 2023; and offered some insight about the early planning stages for summer learning programs. Gaddis also told board members the bid opening for the new greenhouse is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 28, and that he and Coach Andrew Eckert are reviewing designs and seeking quotes in preparation to renovate the gym floors. Gaddis also advised that the new track installation is mostly done, but installers will return to make minor surface repairs due to extreme temperature changes that occurred during the installation process.

Recessed from public session to convene in executive sessions to discuss matters of non-elected personnel, the first session was for about 15 minutes in the presence of Gaddis. Board members then extended for an additional five minutes to discuss personnel amongst themselves. After the public meeting resumed, board members adjourned for meeting, and were treated to pie in observance of School Board Recognition Month.

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