NEW MARKET — During a relatively short meeting of Southmont’s board of trustees Monday, Superintendent Dr. Shawn Greiner said he and other educators are closely observing trends in the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to maintain in-person instruction.
“The last decision we made, on Sunday, to try to keep us in school and COVID-free ... is none of the Montgomery County teams will compete with a team where the county is in red,” said Greiner, referring to a color-coded map updated by the Indiana State Health Department. Greiner said the decision was made in tandem with North Montgomery Superintendent Dr. Colleen Moran and Crawfordville Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowling.
“The map is updated, as you know, on Wednesdays (at www.coronavirus.in.gov). Right now, Fountain County is in red, so we will not be competing with Fountain County until they are out of the red zone. We’re going to review that data every Wednesday,” he said.
The superintendents are also meeting every Sunday with Montgomery County Health Department Administrator Amber Reed and Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Scott Douglas; furthermore, the district leaders are meeting with local officials every Thursday.
“We’re meeting to get updates on the positivity activities with regard to COVID,” Greiner said of the sessions, which are increasing in frequency. “We’re also now meeting again, instead of every other week, with city and county officials along with emergency management and the health department.”
Mike Manion, parent of a high school student, was present Monday and thanked district leaders for doing what they can to keep students in school.
“I came to show my gratitude to South on how they’ve handled not only sports so far but the school as we transitioned into full time,” he said. “I think it’s important, as probably everyone here does, that our kids have in-person learning and some sort of routine they can count on every day.”
Board President Brad Monts responded to Manion by saying he hopes to continue making progress in the battle with COVID-19.
“The administrative team has done a tremendous job. The challenges are now from bus drivers to our staff — having enough people to manage each building is getting tougher,” he said. “Quarantine and isolation requirements have really been tough on all. Every day is a new day.”
The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 14 in the district administration office, 6425 S. U.S. 231.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the 2020-21 Master Agreement ratified by the Teachers Association.
• Approved the hire, transfer, termination and resignation of multiple employees, including: Rachel Fielder, hired as instruction aide at New Market; Amanda Reed, resignation as preschool aide at New Market; and Lori Stewart, transfer from cafeteria monitor to preschool aide at New Market.
• Approved stipends for extra duty recommendations, including: Jesse Burgess, athletic supervision, $200; Josh Hagenow, athletic supervision, $200; Jane Coudret, athletic supervision, $300; Kevin Wilkinson, athletic supervision, $300; Kathryn Yoakum, athletic supervision, $1,000; Melissa Norman, fall concessions, $2,000; Jake Turner, football score/announcer assistant, $150; Bart Jochim, football announcer, $75; Aaron Charles, 2020-21 corporate sponsorship, $2,450; Juan Grino, junior varsity wrestling coach, $1,654; Kyle Boots, varsity assistant wrestling coach, volunteer; Alan Clifton, varsity assistant wrestling coach, volunteer; Wilkinson, varsity assistant wrestling coach, volunteer; Stephanie Kennedy, varsity assistant girls’ basketball coach, $2,910; Emma Wolfe, varsity assistiant girls’ basketball coach, $2,100; Tricia Stanley, varsity assistant boys’ and girls’ swim coach, $1,334; and Dan Burkman, varsity girls’ basketball coach, $6,316.