Superintendent Tim Davis said last week was probably the best of the year in terms of the ongoing battle with COVID-19 and school board member Jerry Walker said administrators decided correctly at the beginning of school year to offer in-class instruction despite the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’d like to go back maybe nine months when someone commented, ‘how many people have to get sick before you close school?’” Walker said during board member reports at Monday’s Hillsboro Board of Education meeting. “I remember at the time … I think everybody here recognized that we wanted to put confidence in our staff and our students and our community, and we wanted to make education available across the board. Now that were closing down in 20 days, I look back and say that was a good decision.
“I think the path we followed had bumps, of course, but that’s Covid. I am appreciative that the students in our community were given the opportunity to be in school in person and to maybe meet the traditional standards of education.”
During his superintendent’s report, Davis said that during the past week there were several days with no new Covid cases. He said that as of Monday, only two students were in quarantine due to family Covid cases.
In other news from the meeting, Davis said the school is looking to expand its Tomahawk food truck summer feeding program this year. He said the school district is looking to possibly purchase a van so it can expand the food program into more rural areas.
“We’re looking to expand out into the county and we’re very excited about that,” Davis said.
He said the district is exploring expanding to eight or 12 stops.
He said there may be funds available to purchase a van and that food service director Jessica Walker has already applied for grants.
In a letter Walker sent to The Times-Gazette dated April 1, she said the food program delivered more than 99,000 meals last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Walker’s letter said the school district is planning a Summer Kick-Off event for the food program that will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, May 28 at the former high school site off West Main Street.
The board approved a summer food truck worker classified job description during the meeting. Davis said the school wanted the description in place so the job could be offered to people in the district other than food service workers.
Davis said the prom, cancelled a year ago due to the pandemic, will be held from 8-10 p.m. this Saturday with the annual after prom party taking place from 10 p.m. to midnight at the high school. He said there will be no grand march this year and the prom will be limited to juniors and seniors only.
The superintendent said the first performance in the school district’s new $6 million, 800-seat auditorium was held last weekend and the students performed admirably.
The board approved raises of 3 percent for the 2021-22 school year for the district’s classified staff, admininistrative/supervisory staff members, and the exempt classified employees. Davis said the raises get the employees back on the same raise schedule as the teaching staff.
The board also approved the purchase of six new copiers and two 78-passenger school buses. One of the buses is being funded by the EPA’s 2020 DERA School Bus Rebates, which Davis said basically means the district is getting a new bus for free.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.