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West County planning for normal start to school

West County planning for normal start to school

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West County planning for normal start to school

The first day of school for the West County School District will be Aug. 23.

During the July meeting, West County Superintendent Dr. Kevin Coffman told the Board of Education that the district would be starting school as normal on Aug. 23.

“We do have a plan in place should the need arise,” he said about the ongoing COVID-19 situation. “But as of right now, we're what we call level one, which we'll be back full as normal on the first day of school with no mandates.”

Administrators also updated the board members on the preparations and cleaning and sanitizing being done at the buildings in order to be ready for the return of students.

Coffman said inservice days will start on Aug. 12 with a half-day substitute teacher training, which is new this year. It will be paid training for new substitute teachers this year but is also open to those who have substituted in the past.

“During that time, we're going to go over some general guidelines and expectations of subs (and) give them some information that we kind of expect some people to know,” he said. “This way, we can guarantee that everybody's on the same page when they walk in that day. And we also want to invite them to provide feedback after each time they sub on their experience and working in our district. (We’re) always looking for ways to improve that process.”

During the meeting, the board also approved a $5 pay increase for substitute teachers. In the past, certified substitutes earned $75 and non-certified $70.

Aug. 13 will be orientation for new teachers in the district and all faculty will return on Aug. 16.

New student registration will also be on Aug. 13 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m. at all buildings. To schedule an appointment, call 573-562-7535. Registration for returning high school students will be at the same date and time.

Open house for all the buildings will be Aug. 17 from 6-8 p.m.

The board  discussed the budget for federal program expenditures. Coffman said the district will be getting a little more than $350,000 in Title I funds and he updated the board on how they planned to use that money.

He said they planned to use Title II and IV funding to reduces class sizes in the elementary school.

“We already have numbers that meet DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) standards, but we've opted to utilize some funds to lower those numbers,” he added.

Title V funds will be used for technology needs.

The next board meeting will be Aug. 26 with the tax rate hearing at 4:45 p.m. and the meeting starting after.

In other business, the board members:

  • Approved an update for the parent/volunteer background check policy. West County requires a background check for any parent, volunteer, or chaperone, Coffman said, and in the past, there was a free option available. That has changed and it will now be $14.
  • Were given updated job descriptions to review before discussion at the August board meeting.
  • Gave approval to seek bids for a new convection oven and stove for the high school cafeteria.

Nikki Overfelt-Chifalu is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at noverfelt@dailyjournalonline.com.

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