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ELC officials planning for new year

Classes begin Aug. 24

July 22, 2020
By David Swartz - Managing Editor , Estherville News

Unless new directions come from the state, area schools, including Estherville Lincoln Central, will start on time this fall with full capacity.

The Estherville Lincoln Central School Board learned about some of the plans already in place to make the environment as safe for learning as possible.

Last Friday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds released a proclamation announcing schools would open this fall.

ELC Superintendent Tara Paul said she expects more guidance from the state, most likely by Aug. 1.

Under the current guidelines, school will begin with in-person classes.

"We have to have 50 percent or more instruction in our buildings, and so based on the plans that we have, that's the only option that we have right now," Paul said.

During the meeting, Paul discussed student temperatures will be taken at the start of the school day.

She also didn't know exactly how busing would work, but if a student has a temperature of 100.4, they can't get on the bus. Paul said "perhtaps a TA (Teacher Associate) will be on the bus to help take temps." She said TAs and secretaries may help take temps at the school.

In other business, the school board directed Paul to hire a second nurse for the year.

ELC School Board member Sandy Fandel made the suggestion.

"The state recommends one school nurse for each 750 students," Fandel said. "We're a little under that."

Christina Dunlavy is the current nurse for the whole school district.

During this pandemic, Fandel suggested at least a a part-time nurse is needed.

"We have nervous parents, teachers, and staff," said ELC board member Jeff Soper. "Another nurse could help alleviate some of those fears."

Paul said if a second school nurse is hired, the district would not hire a diabetic aid.

The ELC Board also approved changes in the school calendar. Classes will begin Monday, Aug. 24 for K-12. School officials are still planning how to conduct in-take conferences at the K-8 levels prior to the start of the school year in an effort to limit the number of people entering the schools.

Also the four dates scheduled for parent-teacher conferences will not have any early out. Classes will go to 3:30 p.m., with the conferences following that.

The board approved increasing substitute teacher pay from $100 to $115 per day for daily substitutes and from $135 to $150 for long-term substitute teachers.

The board approved the following hires: Lee Hansen as high school social studies teacher, head wrestling coach, and middle school football coach; Jesse Nitchals as head cross country coach, Amanda Zylstra as student council sponsor, and Martha Greenwald as dance sponsor.



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