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School Board hears COVID-19 learning struggles
Boscobel School District

BOSCOBEL - The Boscobel School Board met virtually and in person for their February meeting on Monday. 

Elementary Principal Danielle Schmid shared her report with the board. 

“We continue to plan PLCs to provide in-time learning opportunities for staff that align with the essential questions of what do we want all students to know and be able to do? How will we know if they learn it? How will we respond when some students do not learn” How will we extend the learning for students who are already proficient?,” Schmid explained. “We are afforded the opportunity to grow and learn ourselves while better serving our students.” 

Schmid also shared that the elementary had been working on Child Development Days to fall within the parameters of COVID protocol. 

“Flyers are going out, announcements are ready for the paper and area signage, and we will be ready to work with families to get students registered for Early Childhood and 4K. We will be asking them to register by April 1, but can certainly work with families if it’s after that date deadline to give us time to plan and reach out to families if needed.”  

Additionally the principal shared that Bridging Brighter Smiles visited the district again to provide dental care to students. “They are seeing a fair number of students this year, which is great! We appreciate their services,” Schmid reported.

Earth Day plans

A update on the school forest and upcoming Earth Day was also mentioned. 

“Greg Plotz will still tap the trees for syrup and we are planning to have a pancake lunch for students with the syrup in March. The third grade generally helps with this task and they will enjoy this activity,” Schmid reported. “Plans are also underway for students to be able to experience our school forest for Earth Day. We are weighing options, considering creative ways to have a speaker come in, and configuring the logistics of the event. “

The Boscobel Athletics Director Robert Scherrer also shared his report.

Team quarantines

“The boys’ basketball team had two separate quarantine issues this past month,” Scherrer reported. “The first quarantine removed all the JV players and five varsity players. We felt it was in our best interest to reschedule the games during that quarantine. It made our boys basketball schedule full for the last two weeks of the season.  When the JV and varsity players came off the first quarantine, we had another quarantine issue with the remaining players not involved in the first quarantine. At that point, it became impossible to reschedule any more games moving forward.

“As of today, all players and coaches are done with their respective quarantines and the team is back to full strength. The girls’ basketball team struggled also with a quarantine issue. Due to the time restraints of quarantine we had no choice but to cancel the remaining regular season games. They also are back to full strength and will practice five consecutive days before their tournament game. The girls’ team received a four seed in the regional bracket and will host fifth seeded Iowa-Grant in the opening round of regional.”

Spring play

Scherrer also shared with the board that the Boscobel Middle and High School will have a play production this spring, on Friday March 5, Saturday March 6 and Sunday March 7. It has not been determined how many tickets will be available nor what the protocols for the play will be yet. 

Complications have arisen with the softball team’s Gulf Shores trip as Scherrer shared. 

“Last year, the school board approved our softball team to take a trip to Gulf Shores during spring break to compete against other softball teams from around the country. With the changes in the spring season start dates, the trip no longer falls within the parameters of the WIAA season,” Scherrer explained. “This throws a wrench into the legalities of the trip in terms of the WIAA allowances for games.” Scherrer explained he is continuing to work toward clarification into what the WIAA allows and as well the matter of the ever looming pandemic and complications it brings to travel. 

Interm-District Administrator Bryce Bird shared his report as well. 

“The DPI has a proposal before the legislature regarding funding. They have the allocations to each school and the ways that the money can be used,” Bird reported.  He added that the district should know “in about a week if this gets approved and if any modifications are made.” He shared in his report the district is allocated $661,996. The money can be used to help schools deal with the cost incurred because of COVID, as well as a broad use of the funding including repairs to facilities. 

Some potential ways the district could use the money are:

• Technology upgrades, including replacing the virtual server

• HVAC upgrades and repairs

• Fix the problems at the high school where there is water in the tunnels.

• Pay for staff to work with students to catch up in the summer or during the upcoming school year.

“This funding will help our students and our budget,” Bird noted.