School trustees vote for district-wide masking for staff, students
by Nancy C. Butler
After reviewing information about the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in the area and the comparison of the number of cases in schools that had masking and those that were not, the trustees voted unanimously to have universal masking, at least until their regular meeting in January.
During the discussion, trustee Greg Billups said that he and other staff at the Idaho ChalleNGe Academy in Pierce had tested positive for COVID-19. He said he was ill for three days with fatigue and a headache. Cadets' programs were speeded up so they could graduate and be on their way home last week. Some of the cadets had also tested positive.
Chairman Charity Robinson, M.D., said she had been working in Clearwater Valley Hospital since last Thursday and that they had seen a major increase in COVID-19 patents, instead of one to two a week, it had become one to two per day.
Superintendent Michael Garrett said he is very concerned about the number of staff that are out either with positive test results or in quarantine from possible exposure. He is hoping that they can keep enough staff availablel to make it until Thanksgiving break next Tuesday. He also said that Public Health-Idaho North Central District had notified them that could no longer keep up with contact tracing due to the number of cases in the region. Public Health is prioritizing who they contact.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Heather Sparano spoke about how important she feels that sports and other extra-curricular activities are to students. She is a graduate of Orofino High School and participated in sports. One of her sons is now at University of Idaho and the other one is a senior at OJSHS and very involved in sports. She asked that the trustees not impose any more restriction on athletics than required by the state and to seek exceptions if they can.
The audit report listed on the agenda has been postponed due to COVID-19. Garrett said when the final draft is prepared it will email it to the trustees and then have a special meeting to get it approved.
New hires were approved including Brittany Hosley as head Volleyball Coach at Timberline School and substitutes: Matthew Leavitt and Rachel Scott.
Their next regular meeting will be Dec. 14.
Those who would like to view the meeting may do so at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_adKQ-cOcE&t=13s.
|Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Phone: (208) 476-0733
Fax: (208) 476-4140