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September 8, 2020 at 6:30 PM - Board of Education Special Meeting

1. Call to Order and Roll Call
Speaker(s):  Mrs. Suzanne Cannon
2. Oath of office - Swearing in of Don Rowe, Board Member
Attachments: (1)
3. Reports/Comments from Superintendent and/or staff
Beginning of a 30-day public comment and review of the new and revised policies DEE-R2, DEC, DEC-R1, DEC-R2, FMH, FMH-R1, FMH-R2, FMH-R3, DG-R1-F, DA, DAB, DF, DEE, DEE-R, FB, FB-E1, FB-E2 with the intent of a second reading and board action during the October 5, 2020, regular board meeting.  The full policies can be found by clicking on the link:
Speaker(s):  Dr. Simeroth
Discussion:  Dr. Simeroth addressed the merits and pitfalls of the last two weeks' of continuous learning.  Athletics are continuing so that we do not ruin opportunities for our students.  We went with OSSAA and did not want to rob students of their scholarship opportunities by allowing them to compete as long as they practiced using as many precautions as possible.  OSSAA is over all athletics, speech, drama, ag, pom, cheer, band, and many more.  The closing of school had nothing at all to do with Redstone not being able to open.  This is very untrue. We had already made plans for the classes to begin at the middle school.  Thank you to the board for being here.  The decisions we make start with the students, always the students.
4. Board Member Communications and Announcements
Speaker(s):  Mrs. Suzanne Cannon
Discussion:  Mr. Rowe: Grateful for the contacts.  You are all important to me and us.  We are thankful for your opinion.  Teachers you have gone above and beyond, thank you.
Mrs. Hawthorne:  You took the words out of my mouth.  I understand your concerns.  I too have a child - we are getting through it.  Thank you teachers and staff for helping us.
Mr. Cunningham:  Thank everyone for the contacts.  I want to reiterate this board always acts in the best interest of the children.  We have them in mind - number one.  I'd like to thank Ms. Bellamy for her years of service and congratulate her on her retirement.
Mr. Wells:  I'd like to echo what's been said about our teachers and the communication we have received.  I'm sorry I did not return all calls or emails.  I have read and heard them all.  I thought the athletic dept. did a great job Saturday in preparation for the game.  
Mrs. Cannon:  Thank you teachers for your outstanding performance.  You've been thoughtful, creative, and flexible.  Thanks to those who reached out respectfully with ideas.  I was happy to hear from each and everyone.  
5. Finance Consent Docket- All of the finance consent items will be discussed, considered and approved or disapproved by one vote unless a board member desires to have a separate vote on any or all of the consent items.
Speaker(s):  Mrs. Suzanne Cannon
I move we approve all items in the Finance Consent Docket as presented Passed with a motion by Mr. Leonard Wells and a second by Mr. Chris Cunningham.
No Action(s) have been added to this Agenda Item.
Discussion:  Mr. Wells - why no treasurers report?  Due to the holiday.  
Dr. Simeroth - Everyone please complete a free and reduced form, please.
5.A. Encumbrances and Change Orders as recommended by Dr. Jason Simeroth, Superintendent, and Jim Fenrick, Chief Financial Officer
Attachments: (1)
5.B. Child Nutrition Report
Attachments: (1)
6. Approve minutes of the August 4, and August 31, special board meetings
Attachments: (2)
I move we approve the minutes as presented Passed with a motion by Mr. Chris Cunningham and a second by Mrs. Michele Hawthorne.
No Action(s) have been added to this Agenda Item.
7. Discussion and possible action on returning to the classroom.
Speaker(s):  Dr. Simeroth
I move we vote on the return to class September 16, and September 21. Passed with a motion by Mr. Leonard Wells and a second by Mr. Chris Cunningham.
No Action(s) have been added to this Agenda Item.
Discussion:  Dr. Simeroth gave the results of the teacher poll concerning returning to school.  Better than 70% of the teachers wish to return to the classroom with some concerns and 30% are a care giver to someone who is high risk.  These are the same concerns we have been discussing since March.  He then went over the document we created for potential closings, the number of teachers we can have out due to illness, the number of students we can have out due to illness, etc.  He gave options:  discuss in October and return after fall break, everyone return September 23, or PreK - 3 return 9/16 and all others return 9/21.  Mrs. Cannon asked if we considered an A/B schedule.  Dr. Simeroth indicated the state and our administration do not suggest an A/B schedule one of our concerns is the academics.  You will only get half the education.  Mrs. Cannon asked is there a way for students to remain in the continuous learning platform and zoom in while a class is in session?  Dr. Simeroth: This is not a best practice.  It is not a good idea to go to virtual if you prefer not to go back to the classroom as you will be 4 weeks behind in their curriculum.  You will have to complete those 4 weeks to catch up with the class.  Mrs. Cannon asked can a student leave virtual and return when we return to class?  Dr. Simeroth: Virtual was a semester commitment.  Last Friday we made personal phone calls to every student who was struggling to make a final decision to come back to class.  At that point they committed to the semester.  Mrs. Cannon asked if on Tuesday we are in class then Wednesday we are on the continuous learning due to illness, how will teachers get classes uploaded and continue seamlessly?  Dr. Simeroth:  When we have to close a class or pod, we will make contact with parents and there will be a 48 hour lapse.  Mrs. Cannon asked if we are back and forth, parents will have to be prepared with childcare at a moments notice?  Mrs. Hawthorne said that is definitely part of it.  As a parent, I understand it is not ideal, but we have to be flexible to get the most out of what we have and can do.  Dr. Simeroth indicated due to this 4-5 weeks of continuous instruction our teachers and students are very prepared and well versed in how to do this and we shouldn't have too much problems with opening and closing because of our preparations.  Mrs. Cannon asked where is the outline for what will close, when, why for the parents to see?  In our return to learn plan on our website.  Why sports and no school?  Those activities are voluntary and education is compulsory.  Parents/students choosing to compete, it is their choice and we are not requiring them to participate.  Dr. Simeroth added that academic scholarships are just as important and that is why we are working with our students to get as much information and education as possible.  Mr. Cunningham is trying to understand classroom disinfecting between classes and returning to school will be as safe as possible?  Dr. Simeroth indicated every school has a plan complete with lunch, cleaning, hall passing procedures.  Part of the extra days for the pre-k thru 3rd is to help us to see if we are missing or over doing anything.  Mr. Cunningham wanted to say again we can only do what we can do and we are doing all we can at the best of our abilities and there is no right answer, this is a bad situation.  Mr. Wells: What can we do for the people who absolutely do not want to return to the classroom?  Dr. Simeroth:  I believe the vast majority of our parents know if there was a 100% way to keep our kids safe, we would be there.  But I believe most people in the district trust us.  There will be a huge upheaval in our staffing if we were to have students go to virtual.  Virtual is closed.  Families had ample opportunity to sign-up for virtual before school started.  Mr. Cunningham:  Parents are wanting options.  We are only giving a classroom or virtual option for full semester.  Options were the number one concern.  I would like to see we give them more options.  Dr. Simeroth:  The only option we could give is a one semester option mostly due to staffing.  Mr. Cunningham:  Students who do not want to return to the classroom have no option at this time?  Dr. Simeroth:  The question is not just what is the school doing to us, the question is how are we as a community helping to make this the safest it can possibly be.  Mr. Wells:  The state department shows at orange one a recommendation is an A/B plan.  Dr. Simeroth:  Read aloud the whole recommendation which includes distance learning.  Mrs. Hawthorne:  If our numbers go up, will it change our return date if we set one?  Dr. Simeroth:  Unless the numbers go up over the recommended threshold, it would increase our safeguards, yes.  We also need to remember these are recommendations given by the state department of education.  These are not hardfast lines.  When we do go back, I believe we should go on a case by case or site by site basis.  Mrs. Hawthorne:  I know there are a lot of parents who send their children to school sick.  Dr. Simeroth:  That is why I said it would be up to the community to help us make this the safest situation possible.  We all have to work together to make this work.  The return to learn plan indicates our requirements with respect to temperature checks and other procedures.  Mr. Wells: When we entered this plan, everyone was overly optimistic numbers would drop by now but it appears we may stay at 10% for some time.  I believe now is a good time to reconsider this.  Mrs. Cannon:  Michele brought up kids who will come to school sick.  This information is covered in our school plans.  Each school has their reaction.  What do we do for students who can not wear masks?  How are lunch rooms set up?  That is also in our site plans.  These things have been planned for and well documented.  Mr. Rowe:  6 feet spacing of students when possible.  Social distancing as best we can.  How many students in a classroom at a time?  For us we tried a checkerboard for students and that does not seem to be enough.  I have emptied my classroom and made as much room as possible and there are only a few students who can come into the room.  18 students is difficult.  10 students is fine.  Dr.Simeroth:  There are many options of classroom spacing and there was a 13 minute rotation of 6 feet and that doesn't work.  There is talk of cohorts (groups of three or four) limiting the exposure to a smaller group.  We have moved furniture, we have emptied classrooms as much as possible.  We are utilizing outdoor learning opportunities.  We believe masks and grouping will help to greatly reduce exposure.  Logistics is the hardest parts.  Mrs. Cannon:  One of the best solution based letters she received was a group of parents offering to make partitions.  Mr. Rowe:  What about subs or class coverage when teachers are ill or quarantined?  Dr. Simeroth:  We never have enough subs.  We have a high percentage of coverage.  As all other districts will struggle, we will.  If we have a lack of supervision, we will isolate that classroom or building, we have alternative class coverage plans and will use all personnel available.  Mrs. Cannon:  Is there a chance that we will join classrooms?  Dr. Simeroth:  We have teachers covering classes, but not combined in a single room.  I will even offer to cover, if necessary.  Mr. Rowe:  Do we have a plan for teachers teaching in class and teachers helping online only classes, will they be able to move at semester?  Dr. Simeroth:  Students committed to semester.  We will look forward to how and if switches will be allowed as we go.  We will make adjustments as needed.  Mrs. Cannon: 678 students in virtual, does that effect our funding?  Those who went to Epic took funding with them?  Yes.  Mr. Wells:  Are the 16th and the 21st actually doable for our teachers?  Dr. Simeroth:  If we make the decision tonight, yes.  It will give our teachers adequate time to prepare for returning to the classroom.  
8. Business Consent Docket: All of the consent items will be discussed, considered and approved or disapproved by one vote unless a board member requests to have a separate vote on any or all of the consent items.
Speaker(s):  Mrs. Suzanne Cannon
I move we approve all items in the Business Consent Docket as presented Passed with a motion by Mr. Chris Cunningham and a second by Mrs. Michele Hawthorne.
No Action(s) have been added to this Agenda Item.
Discussion:  Dr. Simeroth:  I really appreciate the communications we have with the YPEA.  It is a great group who works hard at what they do.  The document is well worked out.  
Mrs. Cannon:  The maintenance surplus items need to be adjusted the top two items were approved at June's board meeting and the bottom three (mowers) are not being surplussed.  They are extra and are being used in places other than by the maintenance staff.  We are only voting to surplus the middle two items.  
8.A. YPEA Negotiated Agreement
Rationale:  The vote was 194 to 3, or 98.5% approval rating. All changes can be seen in red or strikethrough. There were close to 650 eligible voters.
The Negotiated Agreement can be seen here:
8.B. Surplus
Rationale:  YALE has 3 computer desks and 1 small brown table for surplus.
Transportation has 4 former classroom portables that are no longer functional.
Attachments: (4)
8.C. Sanctioning
Rationale:  Attached are applications for sanctioning of more Booster Clubs and Parent Teacher Organizations.
8.D. Adjunct application for Wes E. McAtee
8.E. Adjunct application for Deanna Maki
8.F. Adjunct application for Jennifer Bean
8.G. Adjunct application for Michael Turner
8.H. Adjunct application for Megan Beck
8.I. Out of state travel request 
Rationale:  Mr. Halphren, YHS Ag-ED requests permission to travel 9/24-9/27, 2020, in a school vehicle to Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa to visit pig farms to find show pigs for his students at greatly reduced prices.  He will be traveling alone.  
8.J. Fundraisers
Attachments: (68)
9. Personnel Docket:
Speaker(s):  Mrs. Suzanne Cannon
  • PERSONNEL- We will recruit, retain, and compensate highly motivated educators that are committed to professional growth and excellence.
9.A. Personnel-Vote to convene or not to convene in executive session pursuant to 25 O.S.307 (B)(1) to discuss the resignations, employment of support and certified personnel, promotions, recommendation of change of assignment, and/or transfers as listed on the attached Exhibit A.
Discussion:  As we can not convene in executive session during a special meeting, this is moot.
9.B. Acknowledge the board has returned from executive session. Executive session minutes' compliance announcement.
Discussion:  This is moot.
9.C. Approval of Personnel Items as listed on Exhibit A.
Speaker(s):  Mrs. Suzanne Cannon
Attachments: (1)
I move we approve all Personnel items as listed on Exhibit A Passed with a motion by Mr. Leonard Wells and a second by Mr. Chris Cunningham.
No Action(s) have been added to this Agenda Item.
10. Adjourn the meeting
I move we adjourn Passed with a motion by Mrs. Michele Hawthorne and a second by Mr. Chris Cunningham.
No Action(s) have been added to this Agenda Item.
Discussion:  Time: 8:13pm

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