Graduation is tentatively scheduled for late in the evening on July 24, and prom on July 25.

The Chillicothe R-II School Board held a virtual meeting Tuesday evening to discuss graduation, finances and end of the school all amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, which has had the district closed since March 17.

Superintendent Dan Wiebers discussed how COVID-19 has effected school finances and how the changes in funding sources will have an effect on the 2020-2021 school year.

Some changes that can be seen in funding sources from the state and federal governments may be hard to anticipate. Governor Mike Parson said he expects the state’s revenue alone to fall by $500 million by June 31, and the amount of shortfall in revenue could affect the state’s budget, and possibly educational funding. The budget for the 2020-2021 school year must be approved by the end of June and Wiebers said when working on the budget he will take into account the levy that is on the June 2 ballot.

The board, Wiebers and administrators held a lengthy discussion about the end of the year procedures and graduation.

Wiebers noted it is important to allow children to retrieve items they may have left at school and it is important that all school materials like Chromebooks, text and library books, sports uniforms and other materials to be returned to the district. Wiebers has been working In collaboration with Sherry Weldon, administrator of the Livingston County Health Center for guidance. The plan approved by the board includes, for high school and middle school students to be able to drop off and pick up any materials, is: seniors, May 7; juniors and eighth grade, May 11; sophomores and seventh grade, May 12th; freshman and sixth grade, May 13; and a make-up day will be held on May 14.

High School Principal Dan Nagel said the plan would be to implement a system, like many retail stores have, with signs, or cones marking the appropriate space for social distancing and keeping the number of people in one area down.

Wiebers noted staff is still working to develop a plan and time frame for elementary students to be able to collect and return items. Teachers will run to the building and begin preparing the elementary school on May 4.

“We would like to have all of this done by May 15,” Wiebers said, noting that students would be given a packet of character-building education items, that they would be expected to continue to work on through May 19, which would have been the last day of classes for the school year.

Wiebers also reported that more than 500 meals are delivered to area children weekly. He said a federal grant is funding the program, and there are talks to continue the meal program through June 30. If that did happen, he said, the 2019-2020 budget would have to be amended to include salaries of the employees who are working to prepare or deliver meals.

Nagel discussed plans for graduation and prom, should social distancing requirements be lifted by the end of July.

Graduation is tentatively scheduled for late in the evening on July 24, and prom on July 25, complete with the grand march in the PAC.

Baccalaureate will be pre-recorded but will be available online for students and the public on May 7, the originally scheduled date for the event.

The Senior Video will be released the day Senior Breakfast was scheduled.

During an executive session, also held Tuesday night, the board approved several personnel matters, including, hiring Jacqueline Smith as the Chillicothe Elementary School behavior interventionist. This was a move within the district. Shelby Rains was hired as a Field School special education teacher, and Natalie Holcer was hired as a Dewey School special education teacher. The board also approved the retirement of Joyce Sanson at the end of the year. Sanson is a bus driver for the district.

The board has not yet made a decision on in-person summer school classes. High school summer school classes, held online, begin May 28.  

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