The Swanville School Board and school leaders agreed to keep the Swanville Public Schools at in-person learning for the time being.
At Wednesday’s regular School Board meeting, the Board and Superintendent Gene Harthan discussed the issue of the rising COVID-19 cases in the area, and that the school has not been hit with too many students missing time due to the pandemic.
“I kind of ran this by Public Health yesterday, and they said that if you’re comfortable with this, you don’t have to change,” Harthan said. “Every time I look at a neighboring school, it makes me nervous, because should you be doing something else or not.”
Harthan said that the district did have a staffing crunch in the past week, which may have necessitated a change, but they were able to navigate through it.
“We want to keep them in the building as much as possible, but when we were short all that staff, it was getting tough,” Harthan said.
Harthan recommended to the Board that the school remain in-person through the Thanksgiving holiday, and then re-evaluate in the beginning of December.
All of the Board members, except Tom Beseman, who was absent, agreed, and said that playing it by ear is the way to go.
“I don’t think there are any long-term plans,” said Board Treasurer Luke Peterson. “I think everything is a week or two at a time.”
Secretary Chris Kircher agreed.
“We could wake up tomorrow and have 15 kids test positive, and we have to change everything, so I think go with what we can day by day,” Kircher said. “The longer we can keep the kids in school, the better.”
“You go until you can’t, and then you go from there,” Peterson said.
Swanville School Board Briefs
In other business, Wednesday, the Swanville School Board:
• Approved a resolution that allows a combined polling place for any special elections that would take place in 2021;
• Heard an update that the school did receive a check for $6,500 for the gym floor;
• Approved the hiring of Amy Michel as a part-time custodian; and
• Approved the hiring of the following winter coaches: Derek Pfeiffer, boys head basketball; Carter Loven, boys assistant; Barney VanHavermaet, boys volunteer assistant; Thomas Pollreis, boys junior high; Aaron Gapinski, girls basketball head coach; Chad Brever, girls assistant; Adam Gerads, girls junior high; Jason Lee, robotics head coach; Joel Rieffer, robotics assistant and Chantel Frie, theater and speech.
The next meeting of the Swanville School Board will be at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 16, in the media center.