USD 377 leaders social distance farther apart as they gather for a school board meeting Wednesday night at the Atchison County Community High School in Effingham.

EFFINGHAM, Kan. — USD 377 Board of Education members heard first hand from Superintendent Andrew Gaddis that their student enrollment has decreased by about 30 students from the previous schoolyear.

“But don’t panic,” Gaddis said as he referred to the way the funding is calculated and weighting for what is considered as at-risk students.

The student count as of Sept. 20 checked in at 468 for the 20-21 schoolyear. There were 496 students the previous year. Currently the 44 sixth-grade pupils comprise the largest class in the Atchison County Community School system and the 29 seniors represent the smallest class.

Board members convened Wednesday, Oct. 14 in the commons area at Atchison County Community Junior Senior High School in Effingham.

Concerning some other matters, board members:

Approved to transition from the Valedictorian/Salutatorian system to a system of graduation with honors. The Honors system is planned to be fully implemented for the graduating class of 2025.

Approved modifications to the COVID-19 reopening plan to enable quarantined staff to isolate and from a different location remotely continue to work with students; allow outside groups to use school facilities for functions during times when school is not in session and no students are present in the building contingent on Atchison County Health Department approval; and approved criteria for indoor sporting and activities event attendance.

Recessed from public session to discuss matters of non-elected personnel for 30 minutes. After board members resumed in regular session the unanimously approved the following personnel action that included contracting for consulting services with Janelle Wohletz for $5,000; to pay Ernest Bautistia $12 an hour while serving as a substitute custodian outside of his normal work day; the incentive and hazard pay as presented.

Accepted resignations /separations from: Corey Thomas as the Junior High head boys’ basketball coach, and Katie Wilbourn from her position as junior high girls’ basketball assistant. Thomas formerly served in another coaching position until recent weeks.

“The board of education met on September, 21, 2020 and determined that Corey Thomas will not serve as the head football coach at the present time, “Gaddis said in a written statement to the Globe. He remains as an employee of the district.”

According to a previous Globe report, board members had gathered for a special meeting session on Sept. 21 to discuss employee insurance negotiations and to enter into an executive session to discuss a matter of nonelected personnel in the presence of Gaddis and ACCJHS Principal Deanna Scherer for 30 minutes, according to a published Globe report.

Hired Jennifer Reams as a COVID nurse and Karen Swendson as a COVID Academic aide. For part time custodial positions: Kevin Hobbs, Madison Gill, Ryan Keith, and Skyla Stanley.

Transferred Charlie Buttron from bus mechanic position to substitute bus driver, effective Oct. 14.

Extended a supplemental position to Mike Eckert serving as junior high girls’ basketball assistant.

Recognized the Junior High Volleyball team for being tied for regular season North East Kansas League Champions and earning third place in the recent NEKL Tournament.

Mary Meyers can be reached via mary.meyers@atchisonglobenow.com.

Follow her on Twitter:@MARYMEYERSglobe

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