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R-III Board Hears Enrollment Numbers

At the regular August meeting of the Holden School Board, members discussed the current enrollment numbers for the 2020-2021 school year.

As of the August 10 meeting, there were 997 students enrolled, 50 who had started the enrollment process but not completed it, and 187 who were not yet enrolled.

Of those who were enrolled, 82.5 percent signed up for in-person classes and 17.5 percent signed up for virtual classes.

There were a series of questions regarding availability of technology at home, what type of internet, and which cell phone carrier students had available to, as part of the enrollment process.

The Holden School District will make sure Chromebooks are available to those who need them.

They will work with the students signed up for virtual classes to determine what other technology needs they have.

District Superintendent Dr. Mike Hough explained that staff would start reporting to work this week.

Each staff member will get four PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) units – two face shields, a regular mask, and a mask with a clear opening.

It was reported the classrooms have been rearranged for social distancing, and the maintenance staff has made more than 170 clear plastic dividers for areas where physical distancing is not possible. “We will follow all county guidelines,” said Dr. Hough.

In a discussion about students participating in virtual classes, Dr. Hough explained that those students would still be able to participate in extra-cirricular school activities.

“They are still our kids,” he said. He added, those students will also have the opportunity to choose to attend in-person classes starting in January of 2021.

In his superintendent’s report, Dr. Hough shared building improvement updates.

He reported the new windows were set to be installed on August 12 and the furniture will be in by the end of the week.

The AC units are ready and the roof drains are being worked on.

The new second set of doors is being shipped on August 19, and crews will work weekends to make sure they will be ready by opening day (August 24).

In new business, the board approved the extra ballasts and light bulbs, along with the old technology items that were being stored, to be listed as surplus items.

That would allow for people to bid on them, or the district can choose to donate them, or simply discard them.

In other news, the board heard the Early Childhood report from Sarah Burks.

The district offers three different early childhood programs – Early Childhood Special Education, Eagles Nest Preschool, and Parent’s as Teachers (PAT).

As part of his superintendent’s report, Dr. Hough showed the August MSBA video.

The video highlighted challenges schools are facing with reopening, federal laws regarding staff leave for COVID-19 reasons, and differences between virtual education last spring versus what virtual education will look like this fall.

The board adjourned the August meeting and convened in executive session.

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