The Belle Plaine School Board voted to adopt the Health and Safety Measures for the 2021-22 school year during the board meeting on Monday, August 23.
Superintendent Ryan Laager told school board members that the reopening plan will enforce all state and federal mandates and notify parents that recommendations are suggested but not required.
He spoke about keeping the plan apolitical and ensuring that all students and staff members are respected for their decisions regarding the recommendations.
Under this year’s guidelines, masks will be recommended, regardless of vaccination status but not required. Dr. Laager said he will likely wear a mask some days and not on other days to ensure all students feel comfortable to make the choice that is right for them.
All staff, students, and visitors are recommended to follow the strategies of physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory etiquette, cleaning and disinfection, and staying home when sick.
The school will do some contact tracing and notify parents if there has been a possible exposure. The district will not be quarantining individuals unless required by state or federal orders.
If a student needs to quarantine, teachers will work with students to provide at-home work asynchronously. Students will not have the option to log on and learn with their peers in real-time.
Distance learning is not an option this year, but students with certain circumstances have the opportunity to enroll in a certified online provider program through Southwest Metro.
Dr. Laager noted the plan could change throughout the year.
“This is where we are starting. It doesn’t mean it’s where we’ll end,” he said.
BPEA Contract Approval
The school board approved the new contract for the Belle Plaine Education Association for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 fiscal years.
The contract includes a $2,000 stipend for current BPEA members to be paid in Sept. 2021 for the 2021-22 fiscal year only. It also includes increased district contributions for health insurance.
BPEA members also received an additional Professional Leave day, bringing the total to 12, to be used as the individual chooses.
Two Belle Plaine staff members left their positions in early August. Oak Crest Teacher Gloria Schmidt retired and Chatfield Counselor Kelli Quast resigned.
Following the board meeting, the school board held a closed session to review Supt. Ryan Laager.
There will be just one school board meeting for the month of September, on Monday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m.