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Blevins School Board

By Liz Woll, 09/15/20 11:00 AM

The Blevins School Board met Monday afternoon at 6:30pm in the Blevins School Cafeteria. The meeting started with prayer, the pledge, and the approval of the last meeting’s minutes.


Among the topics discussed was the purchase of a new school bus. Superintendent Stephanie Dixon noted that while the current fleet was functional, every bus they had was on the road, some were very old or handled poorly, and it was very likely they would need to take one or two off the road in the near-future. Dixon also addressed that the school’s budget would only be tightening in the next few years, and if the school was going to invest in a new bus, now would be the time. There was some debate amongst the board on whether the new bus should have air-conditioning. Apparently, such buses fare very poorly on dirt roads and will break down quickly, and it is near impossible for any of the bus routes to completely avoid dirt roads. However, the school currently only has two buses with air, and there was some concern over their availability for long trips. In the end, the school board approved the purchase of a new, air-conditioned bus.


Another issue addressed was the unexpectedly large number of students attending virtually. While the number has gone down from the start of the year, the district currently has around 130 virtual students. Concern was raised about the strain this placed on the teachers. Over the summer, some of the teachers pre-recorded enough lessons to last through the first nine weeks of class, and currently that is how they teach their virtual class while also teaching in person. Any questions parents ask them have to wait until they have an empty classroom at the end of the day, which can be as late as 3:45pm, and teachers have been finding themselves answering parent questions long into the evening, sometimes not leaving the school until as late as 7pm, or even 10pm. There is also a wave of virtual homework work to grade at the end of each week, and even then, the work is sometimes lost or does not submit properly. On top of all of this, the teachers will soon begin recording the next 9 weeks’ worth of lessons. In light of this, Dixon has been considering shortening the in-person school day, with the hope that it will give the teachers more time to interact with and help their virtual learners. Nothing was decided as of yet, but there was concern all around for how unexpectedly demanding this was on all teachers involved.


Other matters discussed include continuing changes to the Ready for Learning Plan, an increase in the number of paid sick days for staff out with Covid-19, the transfer of two students from junior high athletics to senior high athletics, and the Elementary Principal expressing pride in how well the Elementary students were learning and following the new health procedures.

For a full account of the meeting’s minutes, you can find them on the Blevins School District’s web page.