OSWEGO — The Oswego USD 504 Board of Education voted this week to make a move to the new federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, allowing those diagnosed with COVID-19 to come back after five days of isolation and then wear a mask for five days.
The board also changed its masking policy.
“We’ve had the 2% rule in place for some time. If you had a 2% positivity rate in your building you have to wear a mask. We’ve now moved that up to 3%, and there is a chance of even moving that higher as we move forward,” said USD 504 Superintendent Douglas Beisel Wednesday. “This new variant is just spreading so fast. We are hoping we can stay in school. We’re starting to lose staff. We have teachers out and no subs. The idea is keeping kids in school. Kids need to be in school.”
Beisel said he had heard several reports of schools in Southeast Kansas having to close temporarily because of not having enough staff.
“We are OK for now, but you just don’t know,” Beisel said.
The board approved seeking bids to repair the Oswego High School football field.
“We’ve just had two different companies look the field over and give us their basic specs. They were so far apart on what they each thought should be done, and because the cost is going to exceed $20,000, we’re going to go ahead and put out official specs and ask people to submit bids to the board,” Beisel said. “Right now we were just seeing maybe what needs done and what the costs might be. We thought it would be below the $20,000, but it looks like it is definitely going to exceed that. We want to make sure we have a competitive bid process for all companies who want to get involved.”
IN OTHER BUSINESS, the board:
— Heard the district is scheduled to officially close on the general obligation refunding bond Jan. 19. The refinancing will save the district about $65,000.
— Accepted two donations from the Oswego Recreation Commission, one for $800 to cover the cost of a D.J. for dances and $600 for a reading class to take a trip to the Outsides Museum in Tulsa.
— Received an update on the principals’ evaluation process and heard how each was doing. Suggestions for renewal or non-renewal of contracts will happen at the February meeting.
— Heard teacher and staff concerns regarding stress, burnout and the additional workloads being created due to COVID-19.