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Board amends calendar to shorten school year

The Tri-County School Board of Education held a special meeting, via Zoom, on Thursday evening, May 8, 2020 with a major purpose of amending the calendar to shorten the school year. The board unanimously approved a plan to have the last senior day on Friday, May 15 and the last student day on Friday, May 22. Meal delivery and childcare will continue through May 28.

Board member Jena Caldwell asked if childcare would be continued through the summer. Superintendent/principal Ryan Baron responded that they would do so only if mandated to do so, adding that they currently wouldn’t have a way to pay for it.

Other topics of the meeting included the parking lot improvement project, graduation and grading.

Regarding the parking lot, board members Mark Koland and Steve Murray expressed concerns about the project becoming a burden to the taxpayers.
“We have already stretched our taxpayers a lot,” stated Koland.

They suggested doing only the very urgent projects of tarring and dealing with water issues.

Baron responded that improvements to the front parking lot were also very necessary for safety reasons. He also noted that if the cost of the project were too low they would be required to pay for it out of the general fund rather than from aid to school credit/ abatement funds.

The board will vote at their regular meeting on May 20 whether or not to go ahead with the parking lot improvement project this summer.

“Tentatively we’d like to have an outdoor graduation with social distancing in mind,” stated Baron of graduation plans. He noted that they’ve considered using the school’s football field or Wagon Wheel Ridge for the ceremony. Only immediate family would be allowed to attend. The graduates would parade through the streets following the event. Baron noted that these plans are dependent on the state allowing them to do them.

In reporting on grading during this time of distance learning, Baron said they are not changing the grading types (in other words, they are still giving letter grades), but they may do some adjusting on the grading scale for the reason that distance learning is new to both the teachers and the students

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