(BEDFORD) – The North Lawrence Community School Board approved several contracts for the upcoming school year. These contracts include the purchase of Chromebooks for eighth-grade students and freshmen.
The Edmentum EdOptions Contract for online school was also approved. The total cost of this contract will be based on the number of students enrolled for online courses. With the COVID-19 pandemic, several students could take advantage of online courses this year.
The Bloomz For Schools contract was approved for Early Learning and Elementary students. This will serve as a communication tool for parents and students to provide reminders.
The school board also approved an AT&T contract to provide WiFi and internet services for some North Lawrence Community School buses. This will serve students who may not have online services or poor reception within their area. Part of the CARES money may also be spent to provide more services to address these issues.
Several handbooks were approved for the 2020-2021 school year which includes Playful Pathways Pre-School, the elementary schools, the middle school, the high school, and the North Lawrence Career Center. Some of the policies updated included cell phone recordings of middle school students during events and issues that occur on school properties. These recordings include fights, disturbances, and other events documented electronically.
The attendance policy was also addressed for the upcoming school year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which may have more students being encouraged to stay home based on symptoms related to a COVID-19 illness.
The support staff handbook is still a work in progress as the corporation is working with JA Benefits in updating the employee handbook to make it fairer. Several support staff members are concerned that some benefits may be taken away. Concerns were raised during the meeting about low pay and the possibility of any benefits being taken away, thus causing hardship on employees.
School board members and Dr. Ty Mungle assured the employees that no decisions have been made on pay scales and benefits.
In other business, the stipends for athletics for both elementary and middle schools were approved for coaches and assistant coaches. These include all athletic programs.
On July 25, a surplus auction will be conducted and the school board will receive a full list of items that will be up for sale. That full list will be made available at the July 2 at the school board meeting. This is an annual event to get rid of items that are no longer being used by the corporation.
Joe Timbrook and Heather Nash from Lawrence County Economic Growth Council updated the board on the upcoming Introduction to Local Jobs and Skills Program that will be conducted in July at the Career Center.
The students of the program will take part in this program in accordance with the probation ordered by the local court system. This will give them an opportunity to get familiar with many skills and jobs that are available to them to improve their situations.
Some of the skills include machining, welding, and construction with many local businesses supporting the program.