Covington Superintendent Kevin R. Smith provided the September 2020 School Board meeting information. The Covington Community School Corporation School Board met for its monthly meeting on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. The meeting was conducted in alignment with social distancing guidelines.

During the session board members received an update on the first month of school from the building and district leadership team. The information presented included the following dat points: positive COVID-19 cases — 2; staff positive cases — 2; student positive cases — 0; student attendance rate — 96.2 percent; student close exposure/quarantine rate — 2.7 percent.

School corporation athletic director Trent McCormick reviewed the work of the athletic department since the opening of school.

“I am encouraged with the students and adults adhering to our masking protocol, while working on social distancing. The challenging side, perhaps the most difficult, is maintaining the messaging to the community and opposing team with our guidelines.” Continuing, McCormick updated the board on the modifications being made to the athletic attendance guidelines. “We will be increasing the opportunities for fans to attend our events, for both indoor and outdoor events.”

Elementary school principal Michelle Beck provided her observations on the first month of school.

“I am almost afraid to verbalize, but things have went very well for us. The moral has been upbeat and positive from both the students and staff. Area’s we thought would be a concern, or a distraction, have not been. We have only had to replace 12 masks since the opening of school, the kids are taking care of them. We purchased a recess kit for each classroom to ensure our students would get the time needed to enjoy themselves. The lunch being served in the classrooms is working out well and we are not having discipline issues.”

Beck added that the academic performance, when considering the fall formative assessment measurement, stood at benchmark levels for the students.

“High school and middle school principal Alison Karrfalt assessed her building next.

“the kids have been awesome. They are doing a great job with the masks and adhering to our protocol. We have made some modifications with the schedule and flow for our middle school students and I am relatively please with where we stand.”

An opportunity for improvement the two building leaders have been working to address is the distance learning programming. Ms. Beck noted that she has made an adjustment to provide more relevant instruction for students in grades K-3 by adding an instructional aide to the process, with Ms. Karrfalt stating that a tutor has been made available for middle school and high school students requiring assistance while working the APEX program.

School corporation director of operations Mike Howard updated the board on the operational processes. He noted that the maintenance and custodial staff have been working short-handed, however the team has been able to maintain the scheduled cleaning and sanitization of facilities in an effective manner.

“The board and I could not be more pleaded with the work of our building leaders, the instructional staff and the support staff,” said school corporation superintendent Kevin Smith. “Their efforts, both individually and collectively, are making a difference int he lives of our children daily. It is because of this dedication we have been able to sustain our operational schedule through the first 22 days of the school year. With this said, we do not for a moment take the success seen early in the school year for granted. Much work lies ahead, but with the continued support from our school — community and parents we look forward to meeting the challenges that may await.”

In other matters, the superintendent advised the board of the upcoming fall ADM (student count) date of September 18, 2020. As of the date of the board meeting, the school corporation enrollment stood at 791 students, a reduction of 38 from spring.

The school corporation and classroom teachers association representative conducted the public hearing on teach compensation. The 2021 Operating Budget Hearing was also held on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.

During the business portion of the agenda, the board:

— approved the following hires: Katie Badger, CES temp roar instruction aide (distance learning); Tammy Pearman, CES mentor; Kyle Hertzog, band K-12/chorus 9-12; Craig Sowers, lighting/sound technician, yearbook sponsor; Carolyn Davis, sponsor — senior class; Eric Stockberger, sponsor — senior class/French Club; Carrie Coffing, sponsor — junior class/Student Council — high school; Jodee Brown, sponsor, junior class; Brad Short, sponsor — sophomore class; Amanda Short, sponsor -freshman class/Art Club; Jordan Rennick, sponsor — freshman class; Mikaela Girdler, sponsor — Spanish Club; Rachel Cotten, sponsor — National Honor Society; Scott Myers — FFA sponsor; Aliah Larsen, girls basketball — junior varsity coach; Scot Vogel, girls basketball — freshman coach; Chad Tanner, girls basketball — eighth grade coach; Travis Brown, girls basketball — seventh grade coach; Jeremy Pettit, girls basketball — sixth grade coach; Kelli Pinkerton, 2020 summer nurse.

— received the following project updates: the middle school security vestibule project has been completed; the WRCTE automotive facility construction project continues to move forward toward a September completion; the vertical unit ventilators, for the classroom improvement project, arrived on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020; working on the replacement of the elementary school front canopy has been delayed by two weeks. The project is schedule dot begin on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020 and take eight weeks for completion; the fencing replacement project at the athletic complex track and soccer field is scheduled to be completed during the week of Sept. 21, 2020.

— approved the recommendation of Ms. Beck and Ms. Karrfalt to accept three out-of-district student transfers.

— approved a proposed sexual harassment procedure as required by new federal regulations under Title IX.

— approved a direct care agreement with Proactive, MSO, LLC. The agreement establishes a dirt working relationship between the school corporation and the wellness clinic being utilized by staff members.

— approved the final payment to PASCO and River Group Architecture for the new corporation offices.

— Heard a report out on the school corporation’s bus route analysis for the 2020-21 school year.

— Learned that the 2020-21 Secured School Safety Grant award notification had been received. The grant award is for $47,828, with funds going towards providing a school resources officer for the high school and middle schools.

The next scheduled meeting of the board of trustees is set for Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.