EDGINGTON -- School was back in session on Aug. 31, with a sixth day student count down 59 from the previous year, Rockridge school board members learned Monday night, Sept. 14. "That’s an approximate $60,000 loss," said Superintendent Perry Miller, referring to the amount of state aid given to the school district per student (around $1,000 per student). "There are approximately 30 students that should be here," he added. The lower student count was partially attributed to the recent COVID-19 pandemic which is affecting school districts all over the nation.
The total sixth day enrollment was 1,016, with a little more than 17 percent (175) signed up for completely remote schooling.
Speculation is that students are either being home schooled or attending private schools.
The board discussed implementing tuition waivers for students of full-time staff working in the district, with no final action taken. There was some concern about what the number of students would be, as well as the impact on residents moving their students into other districts where they work. Superintendent Miller estimated there might be around four students this year, with numbers edging up to 14 students in the future. The situation will again be addressed in October.
The board also approved the 2020-2021 school budget with $10,135,000 expected in revenue and $11,225,950 in expenses for the top four funds -- education, operations and maintenance, transportation and working cash.
There was a lengthy discussion on how the new school year is working using a modified remote/in school schedule. Scott Daly, assistant principal at the high school, mentioned there was some major concern about the burden teachers are feeling doing both remote learning and teaching in school. Other staff members tested are nurses and staff being used to do contact tracing. There was speculation that additional staff may need to be hired.
One barrier which is slightly less obvious is the required six-foot social distancing. The gymnasiums, lunch room and other areas are being used to bring about the required distances between students, but if everyone returns to school, this requirement will be difficult to accomplish. The schools are still going to be required to keep offering remote learning, even if everyone returns to the classroom, the board learned.
It was noted that in-school instruction works better for student learning. The board suggested that parents be surveyed by building and by grade level to find out how many plan to return their children to the classroom and how many plan to continue using remote learning.
In personnel matters the board accepted resignations from Toni Stoneking, paraprofessional; Diana Bush, junior-senior high cafeteria cashier; Dale Kling, bus driver and Jim Garrett, volunteer softball coach. Cindy Ward, was approved as a 3/7 resource/intervention teacher at Taylor Ridge Elementary for the 2020-2021 school year and
Dana DeKeyrel was approved as volunteer assistant high school boys’ golf coach.