Prior to the Thursday meeting of the Salem R-80 Board of Education, the board held its reorganizational meeting, which included swearing in new board member Steven Patterson and a reaffirmation of the oath by Chris Heavin.
The board also appointed officers, including Dustin Howard as Board Chair, Holly Erway as Vice-President, Amanda Walker as Secretary, Chris Heavin as Treasurer, Steven Patterson as delegate and Andrew Wynn as alternate delegate.
At the meeting, the board voted to lift the mask mandate, given the low numbers of positive COVID cases in Salem. The lift took effect Friday.
The vote passed 6-1 with Board Chair Dustin Howard voting no. Superintendent Dr. Lynne Reed pointed out that CDC quarantine guidelines remain in effect. If someone tests positive, everyone within three feet will be quarantined.
Also at the meeting, the board discussed budgetary items.
Superintendent Dr. Lynne Reed presented a bid from Schultz, Wood & Rapp to perform an external audit on the school for a price not to exceed $9,500. It was the only bid received. The board voted to accept the bid 7-0. She also reported that the gym floor can no longer be sanded and refinished, needs roof work done and is badly in need of HVAC updates.
Reed recommended that the board hire Energy Service Partners, a company that has done work with the school on various projects in the past, to assess the current projects that R-80 is hoping to accomplish in the future.
Andrew Wynn motioned to accept the bid. The motion passed 6-1 with Walker voting no.
The board discussed staff insurance bids and opted to go with Scott Schroepfer Insurance in a 7-0 vote.
The board also voted to raise tuition costs and to purchase 375 Chromebooks to be distributed to students. A student will receive a computer in first grade, it’s intended to last that student through fourth grade, and they will receive a new one in fifth grade that’s intended to last through middle school.
School principals gave their reports:
• William Lynch Lower Elementary Principal Herman Blau pointed out that there are two additional Kindergarten registration days on May 4 and 5 and Pre-school registration on May 12 and 13.
• Salem Upper Elementary Principal Melanie Wisdom during her report said that the school production of Willy Wonka Jr. is a big success. “It sold out on Thursday and Friday, and we are close to selling out for the Saturday matinee and Saturday evening shows,” she said. “Our kids have been working hard in their rehearsals. Nervous, but I think they’re going to be great.”
Wisdom also reported that there are 26 students enrolled in summer school so far. Wisdom also said, “I had three athletes that earned gold medals in the Special Olympics. They were very proud and I told them that I would tell you guys that,” she said.
• Salem Middle School Principal Rich Parks reported that with an enrollment of 259 students, attendance is at 93.4% year-to-date with 187 in-seat and 72 virtual. Parks said that they are in the middle of doing MAP testing. Parks also said that the sixth grade will be doing a “Wax Museum” (they will dress up as various historical figures and go through the narrative of their lives), seventh grade is working on their science projects and some of the eighth grade is practicing for EOC testing. Parks stated that the students of the month are Kayli Carr in the sixth grade, Ana Cottrell in the seventh grade and Park Holtz in the eighth grade.
• High School Principal Marty Anderson said during his report, “We’re just gearing up for graduation and prom.”
• the board also accepted the following resignations 7-0: Robin Wells from payroll and HR, Jordan Conway from alternative parent and Will Hubbs resigned from Quiz Bowl.
• In closed session, the motion to approve extra-duty contracts for Robyn Taylor, HS yearbook; Amy Halinar, UE yearbook; Tania Wood, MS yearbook; Mary Beth Patrick, WL yearbook, Alec Conner, HS STUCO; Elaine Russell, music; Scott Frederickson, band; Charles Mosley, assistant band; Susan Sheeley, quiz bowl; Sarah Sanders, quiz bowl; Taylor, junior class sponser, and Herman Blau, federal programs, passed 6-0.
The motion to hire Makayla Schafer, HS art, passed 7-0.
The motion to hire Phil Karr, high school head football coach, was made by Andrew Wynn; second by Chris Heavin. The motion passed 5-2. In favor: Erway, Heavin, Howard, Sirois, and Wynn. Against: Patterson and Walker.
The motion to approve an A+ Citizenship Appeal for Student A was made by Dustin Howard; second by Andrew Wynn. The motion passed 5-2. In favor: Heavin, Howard, Patterson, Walker, and Wynn. Against: Erway and Sirois.