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October 24, 2021

9/28/2021 1:30:00 PM
Iowa-Grant board revisits, revotes on quarantine policy

The Iowa-Grant School Board meeting Monday saw the board approve a quarantine measure they hope will work for the district.
But will it make district residents happy?
The board heard from the public for an hour before resuming their regular meeting during which the president, Renee Linscheid, excused herself. She said she needed a break but did not return to the meeting.
When the meeting resumed, a board member told the large audience attending in person and on zoom that the entire board was feeling the stress and she felt it got to Linscheid.
"We are doing our best here," the board member said. "We don't have it right yet at this time. Other schools are not having this much of a problem. We are frustrated and it is putting a lot of stress on all of us. We have to compromise. There is no political agenda here."
Also stated was the reaffirmation that face to face education is preferred and that the staff at I-G is respected by the board. Those present were reminded the district was in person for 149 days last year.
Public comments ranged from the present quarantine requirements, problems between the two county health departments serving the school district, masking requirements and why the board did not hire an administrator after Stephanie Hubbard left. There were also comments from staff about confusion concerning being forced to take personal days if they were sent home due to close contact or if their children were sent home and no child care was available.
Board members then debated the proposed quarantine considerations and voted down one motion that would include masks for everyone. The second motion offered was to approved the revised quarantine protocol for vaccinated students and staff as presented. That motion passed unanimously.
Following is the motion:
Quarantine Protocol:
In the event of a positive COVID case with a student or adult, the Iowa/Grant County Health Departments will coordinate with the school district administration to determine any potential close contacts and quarantine restrictions. Positive COVID cases will be required to quarantine for 10 days. Students or staff that are vaccinated and come into contact with a positive case of COVID, and are asymptomatic, are not required to quarantine at this time, however, they will need to be masked for 14 days. If someone is known to come in contact with someone that tested positive for COVID and are unvaccinated (cannot provide proof of vaccination), those individuals will be required to follow the Iowa County Health Department quarantine requirements.
The board then discussed how to handle teachers who are sent home and the difficulty in finding substitutes.
"All the districts around here draw from the same sub pool which means there is a lack of resources," one board member said. "Also we put pressure on our residents when we send kids home."
"We are still in a pandemic and the numbers are frightening," said another board member. "It scares me."
Another board member said there will be criticism no matter what the board does. He said he does not feel the staff should be forced to use their personal days if sent home.
Finally, the board voted to reinstate the use of COVID hours for the staff up to 80 which can be used if they or their children are sent home.
Also approved was reinstating WIFI/MIFI for virtual learning if the need arises.
Under personnel matters the board voted to accept the resignation of junior varsity boys basketball coach Logan Leverton.
Later in the meeting a letter was read on behalf of the district coaches questioning what expectations are for coaching in the district and what the board process will be in choosing coaches.
The board approved memoranda of understanding with Oregon Mental Health Services and SWWCAP which would operate a Foster Grandparents program.
The board considered two early graduation requests where the students have completed programs through SW Tech and will now enroll as post grad students there. The board approved the requests.
The board heard reports from the principals, interim administrator and student representative.
Several donations were approved and included:
-$550 from the Pink Jacket Group to start a HS Panther Pack program called IGHS Helping Hands Program.
-$839.24 from the Livingston, Montfort and Cobb Methodist Churches and Mary Sue Divine for IGEMS Panther Packs.
-$442 from the Iowa-Grant Education Foundation for Social Emotional Journals.
-$800 from the Iowa-Grant Education Foundation for a middle school science stream table.

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