Winfield board talks masks but no decisions

Courtesy photo

The 2022 USD 465 Board of Education members are, from left, Mike Rozell, Chad Mayberry, Charissa Wall, Jalaine Richardson, Kinnie Ledford, Ed Trimmer and Brent Wolf.

Three new members took their seats Monday night at the first USD 465 Board of education meeting of 2022, held in the newly refurbished board assembly room on the second floor of the William Medley Administration Center.

The meeting covered mostly beginning-of-the-year business, but focused on the continuing impact of the coronavirus on the district.

New board members are retired teacher Jalaine Richardson, Winfield Fire Marshal Chad Mayberry and Juvenile Probation Officer Charissa Wall.

Member Ed Trimmer was chosen to be board president and Brent Wolf is the vice president.

District Director of Operations Kent Tamsen and Coordinator of Health Services Lorri Greenlee brought the board up to date on the pandemic in the schools.

Because of the numbers of students and staff out sick or in quarantine, everyone in both Irving and Lowell was sent home until Tuesday, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, according to board clerk Tom Fell. Teachers and substitutes at both schools have been conducting at-home learning this week.

Tamsen and Greenlee discussed with the board the possibility of requiring all teachers to wear masks to cut down on their susceptibility, but the topic went no further than discussion.

Tamsen and Greenlee also discussed the point that the cloth masks many kids and adults are wearing have been found to be not very useful in protecting them from COVID. The district is ordering N95, KN95 and surgical masks for everyone because they have so far been shown to be the most effective in warding off the virus. They are providing them at no cost.

Because many classrooms at the high school are in quarantine, Fell said, the boys basketball team has had a challenge coming up with enough team members to play. At a game early in the week, only six students could take the floor, and Fell said Friday morning that the same possibility was a concern for Friday night’s game.

Country View principal Desaree Groene updated the board on the school’s daycare center, which is now open. Currently six children, whose parents teach at Country View, are attending the daycare center. The district wants to start a daycare center in another school, but no action has been taken so far.

In other business, the board received four applications for the seat on the Winfield Recreation Commission. Two board members will review the applications, interview candidates if necessary and offer their candidate of choice at the next board meeting on Jan. 24. Once the board approves the candidate, that person will be seated on the commission.

The process of the school district’s selecting a new member of the recreation commission is covered by Kansas statute. The commission can also select one member to serve at-large.

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