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At a special meeting held Tuesday, May 26, the Mount Ayr Community Schools board of directors approved plans for a four-week summer school and officially set the opening date for the 2020-2021 school year.
The board formally approved a summer school program that will run four weeks from June 15 through July 10 for elementary students.
Elementary principal Chris Elwood said he would soon be sending a letter to parents of elementary students with details of the summer session, but he added 188 students had already signed up for the voluntary summer session.
Summer classes would last from 8 a.m. to noon five days a week with breakfast and lunch served in the classrooms each day.
There is no charge for the morning summer classes.
Following lunch, students may choose to stay for the afternoon Junior Raider program from noon to 5 p.m. The cost for this program is $10 per day.
Transportation for students will be provided with pickup and dropoff at pre-determined locations in each town served by the district.
The summer school staff will follow guidelines by the Iowa Department of Public Health including taking student temperatures upon arrival at school, practicing social distancing, and disinfecting surfaces throughout the morning.
Students and staff will not be required to wear masks, but they are welcome to do so if they choose.
Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles because the water fountains will be turned off. However, the water filling stations will remain in service.
Each morning will include one recess with activities to be determined.
After weeks of discussion, the board formally approved an amended school calendar for the upcoming school year.
Under the new calendar, teachers will report to school on Monday, August 17.
Students will begin classes the following day, Tuesday, August 18, five days earlier than the original August 25 start.
The school year for students will end Friday, May 21.
Teachers will report for one final day of professional development on Monday, May 24.
District superintendent Joe Drake explained the new calendar did not require any additional days be added to 190-day teacher contracts.
In other business the board:
• approved a bid from Mitchell Lutrick Construction for replacement of concrete on the driveway extending from the west middle school doors north to Columbus Street.
The bid to replace 3,133 square feet of 8-inch concrete was approved for $21,931.
• approved the beginning of high school baseball and softball competition.
Under state guidelines, practices in both sports may begin June1 with game play allowed on June 15.
Further details concerning the curtailed sports seasons can be found in an article on page 14 in today’s Record-News.
• learned retiring superintendent Drake’s last day in the office will be Friday, June 19.
New superintendent Jason Shaffer was scheduled to spend the entire day Wednesday, May 27 in Mount Ayr with the following day spent in Bedford.
Shaffer officially begins his duties as the shared superintendent between Mount Ayr and Bedford Wednesday, July 1.