June 19, 2024

USD 457 Board of Education Meeting July 13, 2020

USD 457

The USD 457 Board of Education met Monday, July 13th, during a regularly scheduled meeting.

The Board of Education conducted its meeting in the Board Room at the Educational Support Center.  This is the first time that the Board has met in person since its meeting on March 26th.  The meetings since that time have been conducted virtually due to the social distancing expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This was being done to make sure the public, Board members, and school staff involved in the meeting were safe. 

The Board went through its reorganization during the meeting and elected Lara Bors as President of the Board for the 2020-2021 school year.  The Board elected Alex Wallace as the Vice-President of the Board.  The other Board members include:  Dr. Tim Hanigan, Dana Nanninga, Janene Radke, Mark Rude, and Jennifer Standley.

The Board approved a number of handbooks, appointment of the Board Clerk, Deputy Board Clerk, Treasurer and Attorney, set meeting dates, tuition rates for the 2020-2021 school year, appointment of officers for a number of programs in the district, recognizing GCEA as collective bargaining unit for 2021-22 school year, establishment of Home Rule and payment of district bills. 

Glenda LaBarbera, Assistant Superintendent, presented an update on the school district planning process for the 2020-2021 school year.   There are 18 advisory committees that are looking at various aspects of Instruction and Operations to help develop contingency plans for students and staff should the community have a resurgence of the virus in the community.  The contingency plan for the 2020-21 school year will prepare for three different educational options allowing the district to move into different learning environments with little to no downtime.  The first is On-Site Learning in which students will learn in the traditional classroom setting.  The second is Remote Learning where learning occurs at home with remote instruction and support provided by teachers and staff. The third is Blended Learning which will combine in-person and remote learning.  All learning settings will follow protocols set by state and county directives, as well as district safety standards. The ultimate goal is to provide a quality education in the safest environment for both students and staff.  The state released a draft copy of their guidance last week and the final version will be available to be shared this week. It appears that the work that the district has been doing will fit very well with the states guidance. 

The Board approved a revised 2020-2021 school calendar.   Based on information coming from the planning committees, district leadership recommended a change to the school calendar for 2020-2021 in order to have more professional development days before school begins in the Fall.  The district administration has also been worked with the Garden City Educators Association leadership to create more professional development/collaboration time throughout the year and shorten the daily student contact time by 15 minutes to create additional time for teachers to communicate with students/families and plan. The start of the school year will now be Monday, August 17th, with a morning session of school held for elementary, fifth, seventh, ninth and tenth grades and students new to the district.  The first day of school for all students is Tuesday, August 18, 2020.

The next meeting of the Board of Education will be Monday, July 27, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. at a location that will be determined at a later date.