'We're in good shape as a district'
November 4, 2020
Three members were present for the Alva Board of Education meeting Monday, Nov. 2, barely making a quorum. Present were Jane McDermott, Karen Koehn and Shane Hansen while Tiffany Slater and Larry Parker were absent. The board continues to meet in the Alva High School Library where tables are arranged for social distancing.
Superintendent Tim Argo presented the financial report. While revenue has shown a significant decrease in gross production taxes, Argo said they are seeing a small rebound in those numbers. The mid-term state aid amount is a current concern.
However, Argo says, “We’re in good shape as a district.” He said although revenue is down, expenses are also down. He commended school administrators for being “mindful” of the budget.
The only change in the activity fund report came from the FFA paying for the blue and gold sausage fundraiser expense.
In the child nutrition report, Argo said Principal Eric Smith arranged high school schedules to allow students time for a pickup breakfast. This has almost tripled the number of students eating school breakfasts.
Supt. Argo noted several purchase order encumbrances. The school spent $2,400 to repair and sanitize the indoor turf which is becoming an annual expense. An $8,000 expense is for an upcoming teacher seminar on behavior. The school’s ag farm had a water line break and spent $3,250 to replace concrete around the line. A $10,423 encumbrance to Wells Fargo is for the lease agreement for the 14-passenger bus which is being used for smaller extracurricular trips. Argo said this has worked well instead of taking a larger bus or a couple of Suburbans.
In the building fund, Argo pointed out encumbrances to Kyler Construction for the art building project, a Luckinbill cost for a required inspection at the Middle School and some added services on the art building project.
In the child nutrition fund, there was an expenditure $1,200 to Fair Plumbing for repairs for some ovens.
The superintendent had no resignations, retirements or reassignments to report. Argo showed the board a report to the community he made for Nov. 2. “For the second week we are in the category of Orange 2 according to the Department of Education color code system with the average case count of 27.62,” he wrote. “Although this number has decreased from the previous week, the impact on our schools has increased over the course of the last few days.”
He provided a graph showing how the school is tackling COVID-19 in the district. In current cases, no school has a staff member with a positive test. Washington and the middle school each have one staff person who had close-contact and is in quarantine.
Alva Schools currently have 85 students in quarantine with the largest number of 50 at Alva Middle School. There are 15 at the high school, nine at Lincoln, five at Longfellow and six at Washington. Alva Middle School has three students with positive tests who are in isolation. Alva High School has two students with positive tests who are in isolation.
“As you can see from table, the numbers for COVID-19 in the Alva Public School System have increased since the last time this was reported on October 23,” Argo writes. “The majority of absences continue to be quarantines, but we are seeing some new positive cases. We will continue to monitor our numbers and communicate with our local and regional health agencies. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions.”
Supt. Argo told the board classes have been held for 55 days so far with no need to close. He reminds everyone at school to wear a face covering when social distancing is not possible, practice good hand hygiene and have parents bring students to school to reduce the amount of bus riders.
Argo thanked school administrators for the time and work they spent on developing and enforcing protocols. He also thanked the secretaries, custodians and support staff for their behind the scenes work. He mentioned the schools are doing a lot of contact tracing and making phone calls to notify people who have been in contact with positive cases.
“We have about eight percent of students in quarantine and positive tests,” said Argo. The health department is concerned with the increase in positive cases in the community and carefully monitoring the situation.
The school has developed basketball protocols, posted on their website, for the season just starting.
For compliance with the open bid act, Argo said agenda items involving bids listed rejected bids as well as successful bids. The board approved rejecting the base bid for bid package #2 (demolition) from Midwest Wrecking and approving the bid from Jackson’s Wrecking and Demolition. The acceptance of alternate #7 makes Jackson’s the low bid.
Bloyer and Sons was accepted as the low bid for bid package #7B for roofing with the Alva Roofing bid being rejected. Acceptance of alternate #2 makes Bloyer the low bidder.
The board approved quotes from the Resource Door and Hardware and from Hallmann Sales for bid packages 8A and 10D respectively. Argo explained that Kyler Construction received no bids for these items so went out and got the lowest quotes they could find from these companies.
Board members approved the guaranteed maximum price amendment from Kyler Construction Group, Inc. of $884,795.26 on the art building project.
Board meeting dates for 2021 were approved. The board will meet on Jan. 11, Feb. 1, March 1, April 5, May 3, June 7, June 28, July 12, Aug. 2, Sept. 7, Oct. 4, Nov. 1 and Dec. 6.
The regular Election Resolution was approved calling for a vote for the Board of Education member from Office Number One. Currently Shane Hansen holds that position.
The board also approved closing of precincts 020110, 020220, and 20310 in Alfalfa County as well as Precinct 7600008 in Woods County. Argo said the majority of voting in these precincts is by absentee ballot and closing those precincts will save money.
One change was approved in the extra duty salary schedule. Supt. Argo said Alisa Beleele has “stepped up” as the academic team sponsor.
The board also approved the AEA contract for the 2020-2021 school year. Argo said there was no change to the previous contract. “I really want to give gratitude to our teachers this year,” he said. “They have been outstanding.”
With no new business, the board adjourned to sign documents.