The Mount Pulaski Board of Education met November 2nd for a special meeting at 6:00 PM with all members in attendance.
Two visitors asked to speak, high school teachers Ralph Allen and Jamie Selinger. Mr. Allen explained to the Board how he felt the school day needed to be extended for the benefit of students, while Mrs. Selinger presented test data that demonstrated that her students had shown good growth despite the pandemic.
The Board then entered Executive Session to discuss personnel items before returning to open session.
Under New Business, Superintendent Lamkey presented all added features to the District Back to School Plan 2.0. A key feature in the 2.0 plan was the ability extend the school day when circumstances would allow. There are five options which include remote instruction, 11:30 am dismissal, 1:30 pm dismissal and eventual 3:00 pm dismissals. The plan allows for administration to extend the school day giving families a 7 days’ notice in preparation. The plan also allows the school day to be reduced if circumstances require.
The 2.0 plan places junior high and high school students on a 1:30 pm dismissal plan which shortens class periods, but allows all classes to meet every day. Grade school students will also attend until 1:30 pm with morning classes entailing core instruction and afternoon classes including physical education, music and focused classroom work. Additional information about the plan is available on the district website.
Next on the agenda, the Board approved Hilltop Return to School Plan 2.0 with a 7-0 vote. Following this vote, Principal Lora and Principal Morgan answered board questions about the obstacles caused by the pandemic and how it has forced teachers to completely restructure their student planning and instruction.
Superintendent Lamkey finished the meeting by thanking the Board, teachers and administrators for their support during the changes that were enforced during the pandemic. Now that the 2.0 Plan has been approved, it will allow district administration to consider appropriate time to extend the school day once circumstances allow. The plan calls for a minimum of 7 days’ notice to parents if the school day is to be extended. Mr. Lamkey states that factors the district is addressing include the approval of a memorandum of understanding with the Mt. Pulaski Education Association, the allocation of additional kitchen staff, development of grade school schedules, a staff prepared for extended instructional day and safe conditions for students and staff. Mr. Lamkey will be working with Board members; staff and administration to mitigate these factors to extend the school day.
The meeting adjourned shortly after 8:15 PM.