R-80 school board

Salem R-80 Assistant Superintendent John Smith submitted his official resignation and plans to retire June 30, 2022, the board learned in its regular meeting Tuesday night.

“I appreciate John doing this early, so we have enough time to find the right candidate. We will post this job early in the school year,” said superintendent Dr. Lynne Reed.

Tin gym renovations and construction were also discussed after a meeting was held July 8 with coaches. Reed reported coaches had “really great input into the process.”

Coach Derek Freeman spoke about the need for renovations to the current tin gym. While Freeman has made changes to the interior and used the space as adequately as possible, he reported it is time for renovations. Locker rooms and the tin gym need excessive renovation, according to coaches and several board members who agreed with the pursuit of renovations.

“Renovations have more merit than just the physical building,” Freeman said. “Whether is it psychological impact on players or health issues, we (the coaches and students) are ready for more action than words.”

According to Reed, the next steps are to see what a budget for this project might be and continue from there. A lower cost option would use the current facility and extend to the north side of the building. The renovations would be a long-term investment for the community and school and provide usage for a variety of teams, as well as extracurricular activities such as marching band, when weather does not allow outdoor practice.

Also Tuesday:

• Discussion was held concerning the Return to Learning Plan for the start of the 2021-22 school year in August. The CDC has offered additional guidance with regards to COVID cases in the U.S., according to Reed.

The board discussed the plan and voted to accept it with no changes. With an everchanging climate of cases in surrounding areas, the board agreed to discuss changes as the needs arise.

“The vulnerable population has had opportunity to vaccinate,” said board member Holly Erway.

• Bids were discussed and approved for milk, bread, food, supplies, pest control and fuel.

• One additional resignation was approved, Cole Price, from middle school special education. Principal Rich Parks shared that sixth-grade science teacher, Mr. Beckett will move into that role. A science teacher will be hired for the opening left by Beckett.

The next board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 19, with the tax rate hearing to be held 15 minutes prior, at 5:45 p.m.

See more on Tuesday’s meeting in the July 27 edition of The Salem News.