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The Moniteau County R-1 School District Board of Education met Oct. 21, discussing updates about the district's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, bond issue projects and CARES Act money.

The board started off the meeting by approving the new substitute list.

"While this is an item that the board approves every month as part of the consent agenda, I make mention of it now because we have been working hard to recruit more subs recognizing the severe shortage and a greater need for subs due to quarantine," superintendent Dwight Sanders said.

Next, the board approved the list of early graduates for the 2020-21 school year. Seventeen seniors applied to graduate at the end of the first semester.

The board then began a discussion on a new COVID-19 antigen rapid testing program that is being made available to all public and private schools in Missouri through an application process to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The district has submitted the application. Results of testing are available within 15 minutes. It is intended to only be administered to staff or students that are showing symptoms of COVID-19. The board approved the testing for staff only, until the district gets the process down, with Tammy Kirchoff as the test administrator in the California Middle School health office.

The board then discussed the progress of the construction projects throughout the district related to the bond issue and Guaranteed Performance Contract.

"All projects associated with the GPC are scheduled to be completed by the end of October, except for some brickwork in the mechanical room at the high school," Sanders said. "On the bond issue scope of work, most of the larger supplemental projects have been completed. There are some repairs needed on the concrete project at the high school that Septagon plans to complete over our Thanksgiving break. The bleacher renovations in the high school gym have been completed. On the new construction of the new building addition on the elementary and middle school campus, the lower level floor was scheduled to be poured last Friday, but weather did not allow it. Hopefully, the weather improves and they can get that project rolling again."

The board also approved change orders regarding the projects in the following amounts: $1,200 to Heartland Seating for a new motor for the mechanized bleachers; a $3,436.59 credit from GBH Builders to reuse an existing manhole; a $3,805.22 credit from GBH Builders to reduce one door and one card reader in the middle school's vestibule area; $628.79 to GBH Builders to buy unfinished doors and having them stained on-site to match existing doors; and $2,637.60 to GBH Builders to modify the size of steel beams needed in the middle school cafeteria renovation. The board currently has a balance of $754,143.21 dollars remaining in its contingency budget.

Meanwhile, the district has requested and tentatively been approved to receive some of Moniteau County's Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds.

"I shared with the board that I have completed an application to Moniteau County requesting some of the CARES money the county received," Sanders said. "So far, we have tentatively been approved for $259,000. The requested funds are to be used to purchase items that would be beneficial to the district during any environment but especially during a time of shutdown where virtual instruction is our primary mode of curriculum delivery."

The board has requested 300 student Chromebooks, licensing and protective cases for $90,000; 120 iPads for staff to be able to effectively create interactive lessons during a time of shutdown, including the device, Smart Pen and protective carrying case for $69,000; and 120 14-inch Chromebooks with touch screens for staff for virtual instruction that include the device, licensing, wireless mouse and protective carrying case for $60,000. The district also will be purchasing four digital thermal scanners to perform mass temperature checks as students and staff enter the buildings. There will be two at the elementary, one at the middle school and one at the high school, in total costing $40,000.

Some additional COVID-related expenses have been discussed with the county but have not yet been submitted for reimbursement. Sanders said the district will be working to submit that list before the application submission deadline of Dec. 31.

The school board's next regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 18.

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