The Osceola School Board was faced with its latest arduous decision regarding COVID-19 during its meeting Nov. 18.

The administration was recommending having students in grades 5-12 return face-to-face Nov. 30, after the closure due to COVID-19 confirmed cases. 

“I think it sends a bad signal if we open our doors to sports and youth sports, but we can’t have them in to teach,” said member Pete Kammerud. 

Fellow member Kysa Marten had a differing take. 

She was in favor of keeping the younger children in the building, but believed the children in grades 6-12 should remain remote learning. 

“With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s coming up, it should be about keeping students and staff safe.”

President Brooke Kulzer stated the rollouts from what happened in the spring to now have been drastically different. She said her sixth-grade child has been energized, laughing and engaged during this recent closure.

“She’s still getting what she needs, even though it’s different,” she continued. Meanwhile, she’s not as confident that would happen with her first grader. 

The motion for 5-12 students to return in person Nov. 30 was approved on a 3-2 vote with Kammerud, Brian Meyer and Lanette Johnson voting yes with Kulzer and Marten voting no. There was one condition: Any changes will be announced no later than the week of Nov. 23 based on staffing/positive cases/quarantined students/staff. 

School forest

Approved the school forest bid process and for the money from the sale to be designated for agriculture and environmental science programming and instruction. Sealed bids will be due Jan. 15, 2021 and will be opened at the Jan. 27, 2021 board meeting. Meyer was the only to vote no on the motion. 

Winter sports guidelines

The Board approved for winter sports to start (girls basketball started Nov. 16, boys basketball and wrestling Nov. 23) and spectator guidelines for those sports.

Among the key highlights of the guidelines are:

Student athletes participating in a sport will be provided two tickets for participants at no charge. To be admitted, the ticket will need to be presented at the ticket table/gate. 

No visiting fans will be allowed.

The Osceola student section will not be allowed at the moment. 

Masks are required for indoor events with physical distancing to be practiced whenever possible. 

Live stream links will be shared weekly on the Osceola High School athletic website. Athletic events will be live streamed by the We Are Network. 

Staff season passes will not be provided this year. 

Personnel hires

The following hires were approved: 

Aaron Schmidt as OMS Wrestling coach; Julie Mussell, Makenna Ross and Lindsay Kaiser as OES regular aides; Lisa Mangelsen and LaDonna DesJardin as OIS certified aides; Lisa Clausen as an OHS assistant cook and Josephine Doyle as an OHS certified aide. 

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