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November 4, 2020 SPECIAL MEETING

Mid-Prairie Community School District    

Kalona, Wellman, West Chester

Mid-Prairie Central Office Community Room, Wellman, IA  52356

November 4, 2020 – 6:00 p.m.


President Marianne Schlabach called the meeting to order.

Superintendent Schneider made a statement to explain why there was not a twenty-four notice prior to this meeting. This meeting is considered an emergency meeting resulting in information that came to light this morning due to staff and student absences where action may be required.

Board members present Mary Allred (in person), Denise Chittick (in person), Gabrielle Frederick (via Zoom), Jeremy Gugel (via Zoom), Jodi Meader (via Zoom), Jeremy Pickard (joined the meeting via Zoom at 6:10pm) and Marianne Schlabach (via Zoom).

Board members absent:  Jeremy Pickard.

Staff Present:  Superintendent Mark Schneider, Business Manager/Board Secretary Jeff Swartzentruber

Principals in Person:  Robin Foster, Marc Pennington, Bill Poock, Amy Shalla, Jay Strickland

Principals by Zoom:  Rachel Kerns

Other members of the staff and public joined the meeting by Zoom Link.

Denise Chittick moved to adopt the agenda as presented.  Seconded by Mary Allred.  Motion carried 6-0.

Current District COVID Situation

Superintendent Schneider discussed the current COVID situation as there has been a spike in COVID related illnesses and quarantined related numbers in the area for Washington and Johnson Counties.  The increase has translated into corresponding increases absences for staff and students within the District buildings, particularly one building West Elementary.  Schneider shared absence numbers for staff—teachers, paraprofessionals and bus drivers—for the current day.  These are absences for reasons which are beyond our/their control—COVID infections, quarantine, other illnesses, and care for family members affected.  This rise in numbers not only affects the health of students and staff but also creates staffing concerns, especially in finding substitutes for staff.  The administration recommends to the Board that the District closes Preschool classes for the short term starting November 5th with a re-examination of the closure on November 11th for possible reopening on Monday, November 16th.  It is also recommended that the Board take up further discussion during the November 9th meeting on decision making criteria in an effort to insert predictability into decisions on holding in person learning/classes for the remainder of the School Year.  The Board asked questions for clarification and discussed initial thoughts and insights on the on-going issues surrounding COVID affects on in person learning.

Denise Chittick moved to approve the short term suspension of Preschool three year-old and four year-old Classes starting Thursday, November 5th with a re-evaluation on Wednesday, November 11th.  Mary Allred seconded the motion.    Motion carried 7-0.


The meeting adjourned at 6:17p.m.