The Rugby Public School Board reviewed and made small changes to its plan for the safe return to personal continuity of service at their regular September 14 meeting at Rugby High School.
Superintendent Mike McNeff announced to the board that the changes would be posted on the district’s Facebook page that evening. Changes include deleting an outdated list of students who developed the original 2020 return to school plan. The board members also removed a clause that allowed vaccinated individuals to participate in activities after exposure to COVID-positive individuals “If they are symptom-free and tested (negative) 3-5 days after exposure.” The clause required vaccinated individuals exposed to those who tested positive for COVID to wear masks.
The board decided to maintain the district’s current policy of not requiring the wearing of masks in schools.
The plan also includes a sample message that is used to notify the parents or guardians of students who have been exposed to a COVID positive classmate. “It is recommended that close school contacts remain at home, but it is not required.” the message is. The message calls for students to be monitored at home for seven days and to stay home if they show symptoms until symptoms improve.
The board also reviewed a presentation given by McNeff on the district’s 2022 budget. The budget raises 60 mills for the general fund of the district and assumes a two percent increase in state aid per student. The budget also assumes a slight increase in average daily membership, i.e. the number of students attending school in the district each day.
The Rugby Public School District will not receive funding in FY 2022, according to McNeff, that will be distributed through a funding formula developed by the North Dakota Department of Instruction in FY 2022. The district will not qualify as an increase in property tax revenue from the rugby district’s takeover of Wolford school district makes rugby schools unsuitable for the formula.
The district’s budget is also governed by a growth cap that limits US dollar revenue growth to no more than 12 percent of the US dollar received the previous year.
Other budget considerations include a two-year agreement on teachers’ salaries that came into effect in May 2021; rising special school costs and improvements to the Ely Elementary Campus. The Ely project will use money from the Federal Fund for Primary and Middle School Emergency Aid (ESSER). According to McNeff, the Ely project should not incur any expenditure from other resources in the budget.
Three citizens heard the presentation but asked no questions. The final district budget will be presented to the Pierce County Auditor on October 10th.
The board also heard from Brittany Lovcik, who teaches family and consumer science at Rugby High School. Lovcik presented information about the Club Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), which has active chapters at high schools in Harvey and Rolette.
Lovcik asked the board for assistance in starting an FCCLA chapter at rugby high school. Although the district would provide some funding for the club, Lovcik said the chapter is funded primarily through fundraising. She noted that four rugby high students were going to Bottineau for a leadership activity as of their September 22nd. She told the group that she hoped to interest students in the new program.
The board voted unanimously to form the club at Rugby High.
Elsewhere, Ely Elementary School principal Jason Gullickson told students in grades 4 through 6 that they would be signing up to take part in the Lego League. Jared Blikre, headmaster of rugby college, told the board that college and juniors attended college and career fairs in Devils Lake and Bottineau on Sept. 14. The students were also excited about the homecoming week, which will take place from September 20th to 24th.
The board also voted to increase substitute teachers’ salaries from $ 125 per day to $ 150 per day. The board initiated discussions on an annual compliance report, an out-of-school attendance policy, and summer school reports.
The Board of Directors will hold its next meeting on October 12th at 7:00 am in the Rugby High School library.