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The Moniteau County R-1 School District Board of Education met at California High School Wednesday, July 21, to discuss COVID protocols for the upcoming school year, following a tour of new construction around the district.

Also on the agenda were milk, bread and flooring bids for California schools, and income eligibility free and reduced lunch.

Beginning at 4:45 p.m, the board gathered together to see how new construction was moving along at California Elementary School and California Middle School. Superintendent Dwight Sanders said while the construction is not yet finished thanks to various delays, the district does plan to have the project completed early on in the school year.

After their tour ended, school board members moved their meeting to California High School in order to continue with their usual business. Superintendent Sanders brought up the topic of COVID-19 procedures and protocols. With a raise in cases in Moniteau County, Sanders said he wanted to gauge the opinion of the board before writing a policy that affects students during their upcoming school year.

Board members reviewed recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), brought to their attention by Sanders, as well as Gov. Mike Parson's advice to educators to promote vaccination. Both Sanders and Board President Derek Vanloo wanted to inform their fellow members of the guidance given by the governor before making a policy for students.

Ultimately, the board decided to wait until its next meeting in August to implement any COVID policies for the upcoming school year. Members decided to evaluate where COVID cases and vaccination rates would be closer to when school starts to have a better grasp on how the district should handle the coronavirus moving forward.

Several bids were made by businesses to provide milk and bread for students during lunch time. However, the board was content to continue to do business with Central Dairy - Prairie Farms and Ellis Bakery for such services, and approved bids from both companies.

A bid from Sommers Interiors from Jefferson City was also approved for the replacement of carpet in the CHS band room. Flooring repairs will also be provided by the business through the duration of this process. The project is estimated to be complete by late August.

This discussion led into the topic of free and reduced lunch income eligibility guidelines for the 2021-22 school year. These guidelines were approved by the board with only a small increase of a couple hundred dollars, according to Sanders.

New faculty and staff that will be joining the Moniteau County R-1 School District as of July's meeting include Tyler Kirchner, district full-time substitute; David Austin, assistant elementary principal; Tanner Dicus, high school science; John Heimann, high school body and conditioning; Gary Reichel, high school Vo-Ag; Patricia Roth, high school language arts; Kayla Stewart, high school language arts; Seth Womack, high school PE and activities director; Jacob Small, middle school and high school band; Patrick Truman, middle school technology and high school business; Eric Stout, middle school PE; Abigail Rorhbach, fifth grade reading; Twyla Williams, middle school special education; and Taylor Walters, kindergarten teacher.

The Moniteau County R-1 School District Board of Education's next meeting is set for Tuesday, Aug. 17 at California High School in the library media room.

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