USC ready to have students in school this fall
But federal law mandates masks will still be required on buses
“I do not see us having any distance learning options this fall,” United South Central superintendent Keith Fleming told board members at their July 21 meeting.
What the 2021-22 school year will look like was one of the many topics discussed during the evening.
“As it stands now, we will have local planning and control,” Fleming shared. “Decisions will be made by our local health team.”
There was one area where the School District will have to follow federal guidelines.
“The students will have to wear masks when riding the school buses,” Fleming explained. “Busing is part of the public transportation system, so just like on airplanes, students will be required to wear masks when they are riding on the bus.”
High school principal Julie Stauber was at the meeting and reported the projected high school enrollment for the coming school year is 330 students in grades 7-12.
“That would be eight more students than last year,” Stauber noted. “Of course, that number may change by the time school starts.”
She also gave an update on USC’s summer school program.
“We had 20 students from seventh and eighth grade participate,” Stauber shared. “We had 34 students in grades 9-12 start the program and ended with 26 of those attending regularly.”
The last item Stauber talked about was the Spanish trip planned for next March.
“The trip is still on and plans are being made,” she said. “It is something the students are excited about.”
Elementary principal Jennifer Taylor also had a report for the board members.
“Our projected enrollment for grades K-6 for the beginning of the upcoming school year is 367, although we know the number will fluctuate,” Taylor commented.
Taylor, who was hired by USC in May, said she is enjoying her time at the school.
“I have had the opportunity to meet many of the teachers,” she said. “One of the things we are talking about is the new math curriculum and how we will be introducing it to our students.”
School Board members also heard from Community Workforce Coordinator Emily Davis, who was at the meeting to share what the program has been able to accomplish during the past year.
“This is the first time I have actually been able to be here in person,” Davis remarked. “COVID changed the way we had to accomplish our objectives but we still were able to get many things done.”
She explained one of the highlights for the USC students was when the Big Ideas Trailer was at the school on May 14.
“Students had the opportunity to experience things such as operating an excavator, welding and other jobs through a virtual reality platform,” Davis explained. “It was probably the most popular event we offered last year and it has already been booked for the coming school year.”
She said students have been able to do some in-person tours of various businesses but, because of COVID, many tours were done virtually.
“It has been a good way to show our young people what kind of jobs are available in our area,” Davis said. “Many students are unaware of the job opportunities which are available in the local area.”
The board also had a number of business items to address.
A bid for new track equipment in the amount of $28,964 was accepted. Most of the new equipment is for the pole vault and high jump areas.
“It is to the point where it needs to be replaced,” Fleming told board members.
Board chairman Dale Stevermer shared some more information on the need for the purchase
“The current equipment came over from the old school,” Stevermer informed his fellow board members. “It has been around awhile.”
The board also took action on a number of personnel matters.
A vote to accept the resignation of social studies teacher David Rysdam was approved. Contracts for credit recovery teacher Paul Meyer and technology integration and support specialist Tyler Hintz were also approved.
A medical leave request for custodian David Mosser was granted by the board.
The board passed a motion to approve the sale of surplus equipment, which in this case, consisted of Apple education products. Next, a motion was approved to sell the equipment to Diamond Assets for $55,930.
“We have done business with Diamond Assets in the past and have a good relationship with them,” Fleming commented.
In other business, the board:
• Voted to designate Fleming as the official with authority to authorize user access to the Minnesota Department of Education secure website.
• Approved participation in the National School Lunch breakfast and lunch programs.
• Voted to accept milk and bread bids. Prairie Farms was awarded the milk bids and Bimbo Bakeries, USA secured the bread bid.
• Approved the Faribault County Adult Basic Education Consortium Agreement with the Blue Earth Area School District.