In her update to board members regarding mitigation practices in the District, Superintendent Sue Kaphingst said that in addition to opening up the Engler Center, the gym, the weight room and pool, swim lessons would be offered this summer and the pool locker rooms would be available for families to use.
Kaphingst acknowledged that a lot of time has been spent the past several weeks discussing masking on campus, with several families expressing their desire to end the practice. Board member Donna Koenigs pointed out that families knew ahead of time that the mask policy had been extended through summer school, which was optional, and masking in the fall semester had not yet been discussed.
Referring to social media, Koenigs noted that a couple of board members had been a target of ridicule for their earlier positions regarding masking in district buildings. Koenigs said, “I have been referred to as a snowflake, evil, democrat; this is not political for me. I am not a democrat, nor do I have some personal agenda. I do believe in medicine. All this hatred and name-calling is so unfair, it’s sad. I am not perfect, but I pray every day and in the end it’s a higher power that I answer to.”
While board member Dave Bailey reminded those present that the mask mandate expires June 30, a formal motion made by board member Terry Criter to return the district to pre-COVID practices beginning July 1 was passed unanimously. Board member Randy Lisowe added that he expects the superintendent and the administrative team to keep the board updated if there are any changes that need to be made.
Regarding the mental health of students in the district, which had been cited as a reason to not wear masks, Kaphingst said the district has not overlooked the students’ mental health, noting it has been on the forefront since July 1, 2016, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of grant money has been spent to address the mental health concerns of the children.
(For more School Board information please see the July 1 issue of the Tri-County News.)