Posted Date: 01/04/2021
Question and answer articles have received very positive reviews in the past. So, I thought I would start out the year with one.
Why did we decide to go to Remote Learning at BHS the last 6 days of the first semester?
Our student absence rate was increasing the week of December 7th. The week before, BHS student attendance was excellent. We noticed some other illnesses popping up like strep throat, etc. We had a number of COVID-19 tests pending. On Wednesday, December 9th we had 22 students gone due to a variety of illnesses. This didn’t include all of our quarantine students which totaled close to 70. Again, a reminder that quarantine kids aren’t necessarily sick. They are just close contacts. Based on all of our information, our leadership felt like it was important to go Remote at BHS. BES and BMS absence rates were very low, and that is why we stayed On Site with these buildings.
USD 244 decided to suspend activities at BHS from December 10-22 until the statewide KSHSAA moratorium from December 23-January 3. Why did we do this?
Our leadership discussed this issue thoroughly. We considered many things. Do we allow activities to continue while we are in Remote Learning? Do we allow the BHS boys’ basketball team to continue since they were in quarantine the week before we went to Remote Learning? Do we suspend all activities? Ultimately, we decided it was in the best interests for the health safety for everyone to not have activities and try to get our health trend going in the right direction for the second semester and the start of practice on January 4th. I can tell you all that there were many people involved in the decisions, and they were taken very seriously.
Does USD 244 plan on opening back up On Site in all three buildings after Winter Break?
The answer is an emphatic yes. Thank you all in advance for everything you are doing to help our health safety in the county. Remember do “All of the Above” and a little bit more. Social distance, cover coughs, wear masks, sanitize, and anything else you can think of to help with health safety for you and others.
I heard USD 244 received the grant for the daycare. Is this true?
Yes. We received two different grants from the Walter S. and Evan C. Jones Testamentary Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee in Emporia for $325,000 for the daycare and $50,000 for the playground for the daycare. We are so fortunate for their generosity. We also have wonderful gifts from Wolf Creek ($25,000), Coffey County Economic Development ($10,000), Trust Point ($1,000 a year for five years), and the Coffey County Rotary ($100). These gifts and grants will allow us to renovate the old district office and have money for start-up costs associated with the daycare. We will look to hire a director in January to start the process of creating a wonderful environment for our little kids. We look forward to working with our local daycare providers to help support all of the daycare needs in our county. A tentative date for opening is June 1, 2021. More information later on how to sign up for slots if you have kids.
How is the baseball/softball concession stand project coming along?
Great. It is about 75% finished. We have had a few delays in materials due to COVID-19 issues. It will be ready for the spring sports season, and it will be a wonderful asset for us in the spring and summer months with Burlington Recreation games. This project has had no change orders, and it is slated right now to come in at or under budget. A big thank you goes out the Walter S. and Evan C. Jones Testamentary Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee grant of $100,000 and the Burlington Recreation Center for their $100,000 donation ($20,000 a year over five years). This facility will enhance our excellent softball and baseball fields for our students, athletes, and fans. Restroom facilities in close proximity is so important for our fans.
What are you thankful for during the holiday season?
Everything. In this difficult time, we all have to remember the numerous positives that are all around us. I am constantly reminded of our wonderful students and staff. Their resilience is on display each day. I am so thankful for our board of education and our administrators and directors that help me with leadership in our school district. I am very thankful and proud of the many improvements we have made in our district over the past 4 ½ years. It is truly amazing what we can accomplish when people work together, communicate, and dream. I am thankful for my personal family, my work family, and my home community of Burlington. I could go on and on, but I will stop here and challenge you all to remember the positives each day.
Please contact me at your convenience if you have any questions. I can be reached at email@example.com or 620-364-8478 EXT. 3040.
I want to wish you all wonderful things in 2021! May you all be blessed with happiness and excellent health.