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Seneca School Board delays any action on old insurance matter
Seneca School District

SENECA - It was a rather short meeting of the Seneca School Board Monday night.

With little on the agenda, the board finished their open session in a half hour and adjourned to a closed session to discuss employment issues.

The board tabled a discussion of terminating insurance coverage for four former employees, some of whom have not been employed by the district for almost 20 years.

An insurance consultant suggested the district could save several thousand dollars per year by not continuing insuring the individuals. It will be necessary for the district to give the individuals involved a 90-day notice of their intent to terminate the coverage.

The issue was tabled, when Seneca School Board president Mark Johnson questioned what some of the language might have been in contracts signed with the employees when they left the district.

It was decided the matter could be tabled until the next board meeting, while district administrator Dave Boland checked the records on what the district’s obligations to the four former employees might be.

Boland assured the board there was no hurry on giving the four individuals their 90-day notice of termination of coverage, because the insurance review on establishing a new rate will not take place until summer.

A youth options request was also tabled because the student involved is still considering whether he wants to do it. Youth options allow students to take college courses at the district’s expense if the material is not offered by the district.

In the district administrator’s report, Dave Boland explained what happened during a recent Emergency Alert designed to test the school’s ability to respond to emergency conditions.

“It went pretty well,” Boland told the board. Because it was only a test, a student who was being checked out with their parent was allowed to leave and they were walked to the door.

Other than that, all the doors were locked and things went smoothly.

Although art teacher Cody Sime’s door was locked, he later asked if an emergency alert was underway since he had not been made aware of it. The maintenance staff checked the speaker in his room and found it was not working.

A designated teacher, who decides on their own the day and time of the alert notifies the district administrator and that triggers the emergency alert. This means there is absolutely no prior knowledge of the event by administration or staff.

Another emergency alert will be conducted in the spring, Boland told the board. A different teacher will be selected to trigger the event.

“There’s no way to anticipate what will happen unless you do it as a surprise,” Boland said.

Later, the situation was discussed with middle school and high school students. They were told that while emergency alerts are practiced an actual lockdown is not practiced.

Instructions for emergency alerts and lockdowns are distributed to every teacher and are included in the substitute teacher packets.

In other news, the SHARE program prepared 260 food baskets for distribution in the community, Boland told the board.

Later, the board agreed the Seneca Area School District’s Monthly Recognition Award should go to teacher Diane Yaeger and the SHARE group for their community service work.

Boland also reminded the board that the spring election-filing deadline for two board seats is Tuesday, Jan. 2. The seats held by current board members Brian Reynolds and Gary Allan are up for election.