The Menahga School District was one of only 18 in the state to offer in-person learning for the entire school year, according to Superintendent Kevin Wellen.

“Since we have been successful this year, it is our plan to reopen again in person for the coming year,” he wrote in his June report to the Menahga School Board.

Praising staff and the community, Wellen said, “A lot of challenges came, and everyone stepped up.”

In order to qualify for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funding – $1.1 million, Wellen said – the federal government requires a plan for in-person education.

In the plan, face coverings are optional and social distancing is no longer required. All students and staff are asked to conduct daily self-screening and to stay at home, if necessary.

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The plan notes that guidance has not yet been released on whether schools should implement quarantine following COVID exposure.

The Menahga School District will not require students to have a COVID-19 vaccination in order to attend school.

“We do not plan on implementing any restrictions that are not mandated by the federal or state government,” the plan continues.

Wellen said the document is a work in progress.

The board approved the “safe return to in-person learning plan,” as presented. It is posted on the district’s website for public comment.

November election

Two school board members will be elected this fall. One position is for one year, the other for three years.

The filing period begins on July 27. An affidavit of candidacy must be filed with the school district clerk and the $2 filing fee paid prior to 5 p.m. on Aug. 10.

The general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

In other business, the school board did as follows:

  • Accepted a Robotics First Grant in the amount of $10,500.

  • Accepted letters of resignation from Alana Ludwig, second grade teacher, effective June 2; Ruth Rice, Middle School special education teacher, effective May 28; Brian Krause, technology integrationist, and Dawn Poppema, paraprofessional, both effective at the end of the 2020-21 school year.

  • Approved a teacher contract with Kryston Wiseley, elementary music, for the 2021-22 year, contingent coupons licensure and a background check.

  • Approved Family and Consumer Science and Spanish teacher agreements with Sebeka School.

  • Renewed contracts for 2021-22 to the following certified staff: Cory Kapphahn, Alana Ludwig, Allison Schmitz, Kasey Schorn, Gerald Snow, Elyssa Blaha, Michelle Vogel and Baileigh Wagenman, Cassy Smith, Tyler Butler and Tara Weaver.