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Warren School Board discusses COVID decision-making plans

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WARREN–The Warren School Board discussed guidance for Superintendent Dr. Shawn Teske to follow for COVID-19 decision-making at its meeting held on Wednesday, Sept. 16. The discussion resulted from conversations that Teske has heard in regional administrators meetings.

“Some school districts, such as Sterling and Dixon, are getting together to set hard concrete numbers based on county numbers, such as positivity rate and the amount of growth and new cases. They are saying if two or three of these metrics hit or exceeds the parameters then we are cancelling school,” said Teske.

Teske said that county superintendents talked about this with the county health department and superintendents did not agree with those parameters being set.

“If we go ahead and pin ourselves to one of those areas, we could potentially not be in school when we could be or be in school when we shouldn’t be,” said Teske. “A case that the health department brought up is that if a nursing home were to have an outbreak in the county then all of those numbers would be exceeding. An outbreak in a nursing home would most likely not impact the health and safety of our students directly.”

Teske said he didn’t think that it would be a certain number that would force schools to close, but a certain number of the right people testing positive for COVID. The board gave Teske the formal authorization to make decisions on COVID.

“Of course, I will continue to communicate, but that way if something happens at 9 p.m. tonight and I have to act quickly, then I don’t have to get ahold of all seven of you to act,” said Teske.

“I am perfectly fine with Shawn making the decisions,” said board president Kip Sabinson.

Teske said if the board ever does want him to put together metrics he would be open to the idea. According to Teske, Eastland is the only district in the area to explore this option. He said all districts in Jo Daviess County were initially against the idea of setting standard metrics to determine closure.

 

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Other business

•hired Krista Vale, Kristy Krueger and Lynnea Dawson as paraprofessionals.

•hired Brett Janecke as junior class advisor.

•hired Randy Hammond as high school Response to Intervention (RtI) coordinator.

•hired Sarah Harbach as junior high school RtI coordinator.

•adopted the fiscal year 2021 budget.

•approved graduate course reimbursement for Josh Knuth, junior high/high school principal.

•approved trapshooting for Warren FFA students.

•approved the resignation of school nurse Karla Noller.

•accepted the resignations of Robert Culbertson, junior class advisor, and Terry Sigafus, junior high girls basketball coach.

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