The Rugby Public School Board reviewed and made small changes to their in-person safe return service continuity plan at their regular meeting held on September 14 at Rugby High School.
Superintendent Mike McNeff told council the changes would be posted on the district’s Facebook page that evening. The changes include the removal of an outdated list of participants who developed the original return-to-school plan in 2020. Board members also removed a clause that allowed vaccinated people to attend and participate in. activities after being exposed to people positive for COVID. “If they show no symptoms and are tested (negative) 3 to 5 days after exposure.” “ The clause required vaccinated people exposed to people who tested positive for COVID to wear masks.
The council decided to leave in place the current district policy of not requiring the wearing of masks in schools.
The plan also includes a sample message that will be used to notify parents or guardians of students who have been exposed to a COVID-positive classmate. “It is recommended that contacts close to the school stay at home, but it is not compulsory” the message reads. The message asks that students be supervised at home for seven days and kept at home if they have symptoms until symptoms improve.
Council also considered a presentation on the 2022 district budget presented by McNeff. The budget takes 60 miles for the general district fund and assumes a two percent increase in state aid payments per student. The budget also assumes a slight increase in the average daily membership, the number of students attending school in the district per day.
The Rugby Public School District will not receive funds distributed through a funding formula developed by the North Dakota Department of Education in fiscal year 2022, according to McNeff. The district will not be eligible as an increase in property tax revenue resulting from the Rugby District absorption of the Wolford School District renders rugby schools ineligible for the formula.
The district’s budget also aligns with a growth cap, limiting the growth in dollar revenues collected to no more than 12% of dollars received in the previous year.
Other considerations for the budget include a two-year deal for teachers’ salaries, which went into effect in May 2021; increasing costs for special education and upgrades to the Ely Elementary campus. Project Ely will use money from the Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER). According to McNeff, the Ely project should not incur expenditure on other funds in the budget.
Three members of the audience heard the presentation but did not ask any questions. The final district budget will be submitted to the Pierce County Auditor on October 10.
The council also heard from Brittany Lovcik, who teaches family and consumer science classes at Rugby High School. Lovcik presented information on the Family Career and Community Leaders of America club, or FCCLA, which has active chapters in Harvey and Rolette high schools.
Lovcik requested the support of the Board of Trustees to start an FCCLA Chapter at Rugby High School. Although the district would provide funds to the club, Lovcik said the chapter will be funded primarily through fundraising activities. She noted that four students from Rugby High would travel to Bottineau with her on September 22 for a leadership activity. She told the group that she hoped to spark students’ interest in the new program.
The board of directors voted unanimously to establish the club at Rugby High.
In other cases, Ely Elementary Principal Jason Gullickson told the board that students in grades 4-6 are signing up to compete in the Lego League. Rugby High School Principal Jared Blikre told the board sophomores and juniors are attending college and career fairs in Devils Lake and Bottineau on September 14. Students were also excited about reunion week, which will be held September 20-24.
The council also voted to increase the salary of substitute teachers from $ 125 per day to $ 150 per day. The board tabled discussions on an annual compliance report, an extracurricular participation policy and summer school reports.
The Board of Trustees will hold their next meeting on October 12 at 7 a.m. in the Rugby High School library.