North Sanpete board making plans based on loosening of COVID restraints

MT. PLEASANT—The North Sanpete School Board celebrated the fact that things are slowly moving back to normal.
Speaking at a school board meeting last week, North Sanpete High School Principal Christine Straatman said the school plans on conducting 1300 COVID tests on students in April for the Junior Prom; but if that is what it takes to see these kids doing things again and involved, “they are all in!”
“I know numbers are going down, state wide, country wide, and boy if we can just keep it together a little longer, I think we will past this thing,” stated school board President Richard Brotherson. “I am ready to get COVID off the agenda.”
He continued about how thankful he is for the students, faculty and parents for helping get through this pandemic; he’s happy to see the Junior Prom taking place; and even though it’s not normal, it’s great to see it happening.
The Junior Prom dates were moved back to April in hopes that the COVID numbers would be lower and some of the restrictions would be lifted.
The district has been working with the local health department to make sure the prom was a go.
The students attending the prom will be tested 48 hours prior. Tickets will be sold online and there will be a limited number sold. Masks will be required.
Other dances that were proposed for the high school were a girl’s choice put on by the FFA and a boy’s choice Senior Prom. COVID regulations will take place, such as testing and masks, but it will be nice to see the kids back doing activities.
Personal Services
There are eight employees whose names were presented to the board with letters of resignation. Most were teacher’s assistants and there was one coach, Spencer Dyches, who took the wrestling coach job a year ago, but had the option to be promoted in his regular employment. One middle school teacher, Marcie Maynes, has also chosen another direction.
“It’s very daunting to see the list of those leaving,” stated Assistant Superintendent Odee Hansen. “But the list, with the exception of one, they are not leaving over anything bad within the district, just better jobs elsewhere. Only one stated the job was more difficult than expected.”
School Fees
Superintendent Nan Ault mentioned that the state sent their Certificate of Compliance Assurance Survey Results for each school and that locals schools are at low risk, which is great.
One of the state’s few concerns were that families who needed fee waivers were not applying. The district is making sure and doing everything they can to make sure parents know how to apply.
There are a lot of changes in school fees from the state, but the middle school and high school have been reducing fees over the years and so that has helped.
2021-2022 School Schedule
It has been recommended that students return to the classroom five days a week with a 2:30 p.m. release time. The state requirement will remain 180 days.
Remote learning will not be an option next year. It was mentioned that it would not be fair to the teachers to have another year of remote. The teachers would like to see their students in their classrooms.
“It’s very misleading when the news reports teachers do not want to be back in their classrooms,” instructor Ryan Syme said. “That is not the case at North Sanpete and I wish they would send their news media here, because our teachers want to be in the classroom with their students.”
Mt. Pleasant
The city is requesting that the district pay for three lifeguards for swim practices and meets at the city pool. The high school practices five days a week for a couple hours at a time. When a rough estimate was looked at, it came to around $3,000 a season, which is a huge expense for the swim team.
One board member suggested having the coaches certified and have them do the job instead. Superintendent Ault mentioned that they already are, but she is wondering if it is a safety issue and that lifeguards can’t be doing other jobs while there. Ault will be looking into this further before a decision is made.
Impact fee?
On another city note, the Mayor of Mt. Pleasant approached Ault and asked when the school district was going to pay a fee that was hanging over the city’s head. Ault said that she didn’t know what he was talking about.
In 2012, Mt. Pleasant City was going to charge an impact fee for the elementary school, but the law stated that they couldn’t.
District Business Administrator Darin Johansen recalls the city stating that they will not charge anyone impact fees, but now the city is stating that the district owes them an offset fee. He also recalls paying the city for an upgrade on the transformer. The documents from the city were only received by Ault on the day of school board meeting, so she is going to take the time to look over them and possibly seek legal advice.