The Fredericktown R-I School Board met for its regularly scheduled meeting, March 17.
Superintendent Brett Reutzel said all school closings in the region have been reported to DESE (the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) and the focus has been on safety and safeguarding students, staff and the community.
"There are many, many districts trying to support their students nutritional needs during this time," Reutzel said. "We are utilizing the summer food service program, and we are just automatically delivering the next day's breakfast with lunch even if they don't make the order."
Reutzel said the district has different people who are going to volunteer to help the drivers as they move through some of the routes. He said training took place for those people helping with food service. They will follow the guidelines of the summer school food service program.
As of meeting night there were 177 meals signed up for with 113 to be delivered.
"I look for this number to grow because the updated letter went out in my building today (March 17)," Kelly A. Burlison Middle School Principal Ken Lunsford said. "We went to every classroom and talked to the kids about it, and what the parents need to do."
Lunsford said the community has responded with an overwhelming response for the Catpack Program.
"We have two tables set up," Lunsford said. "They are constantly full with people bringing in donations and we've had a pretty good amount of money that has been donated."
Lunsford said one parent donated $500 and another group donated $1,000. He said the donors did not want any recognition or to have their picture taken.
"That's very good to see that the community is worried about our kids," Lunsford said.
One of the donations to the Catpack Program, which sends food home with children who need it, was from the Rotary Club. The club was forced to cancel its annual banquet for students due to COVID-19 and chose to donate the funds they had planned to use for the banquet.
Reutzel said the district has come to an agreement with OPAA. He said they have agreed to donate funds in excess of the extra charges for wages to help purchase a freezer.
Next, Reutzel reported to the board that health insurance discussions are nearing completion and the basic plan will go up 6.35 percent costing the district more than $150,000. He said deductibles, copays, and out of pocket maximums will also have to go up slightly.
Reutzel told the board he made the decision to purchase ransomware in the amount of $11,000.
"We do have some ransomware technology built into our servers, but it doesn't reach out to each individual computer which was extra," Reutzel said. "I declined to purchase it at first because it was a lot of money. Well I ended up purchasing it, and they gave me a little bit of a better price."
Assistant Superintendent Shannon Henson said the soccer concession project is underway. He said with school being closed for a few weeks, he hopes they will be able to work later on site since they will not have to be gone by 2:30 p.m. every day.
Reutzel said he has been getting questions regarding when the last day of school will be.
"I said I would have a more definitive answer tonight but I will not," Reutzel said. "I think we probably need to wait and see what happens before we can actually determine what our last day of school will be. Which would also dictate what our first day of summer would be so I'm not really prepared."
The board voted to have a special meeting at 5 p.m., March 31 at the district offices.
The board voted to hold board reorganization and rehiring of classified staff at the next regularly scheduled meeting at 5 p.m., April 21 at the district offices.
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at email@example.com
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