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Lanesville schools reach day 66 of in-person instruction

Board picks up 50% of health insurance increase
Lanesville schools reach day 66 of in-person instruction Lanesville schools reach day 66 of in-person instruction
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

The Lanesville Community School Corp. Board of Trustees met last Tuesday as Superintendent Steve Morris was happy to announce the school was at its 66th day of in-person instruction for the year, something he wasn’t sure they would be able to accomplish at the start of the school year.

However, Morris did announce that Prosser Career Education Center in Floyd County moved to virtual instruction for the remainder of the semester, so about 50 students from Lanesville who travel there for classes will return home for that portion of their day and attend class online.

“As long as we are able to staff our buildings, we will continue in-person instruction as long as we can,” Morris said.

(Due to shortage of cafeteria staff Lanesville moved to virtual instructiong for Monday and Tuesday. Students will return in person Monday.)

While Harrison County remains in the orange zone, per Gov. Eric Holcomb’s recent mandates, all events will be held at 25% capacity. Morris mentioned at the meeting that this means 375 people can be in attendance of games played in the Lanesville gymnasium. He also noted that if the county moves into the red zone, this would mean only two people per athlete can be in attendance.

The ELF Program, a canned food donation drive done by the Lanesville Community School Corp., will take place Dec. 7 to 18, with family pickup on Dec. 19. Morris said if learning does switch to a virtual method at that time, his hopes are to continue with the drive and have people bring donations to the school.

He also said there will be no January intersession. The last day of classes for students this semester will be Dec. 22; second semester will begin Thursday, Jan. 7.

The board unanimously voted during the meeting to modify the health insurance contract for teachers for 2021. Morris explained to the board that health insurance rates would be rising by 9.79% and, after a bargaining and discussion meeting with the teachers’ association the prior week, he recommended the board approve for the corporation to pay 50% of the increase dollar amount and the teachers pay the remaining 50%.

Morris made a note that by the corporation doing this, they would save each teacher, based on the insurance plan they chose, anywhere between $413 and $1,200 for the calendar year.

“I think this is a nice gesture on our part, considering the tough year that everyone has had,” Morris said. “No one was happy about this increase in our insurance, but I think this is a good thing that we, as a corporation, can do to help.”

Liz Schigur, a kindergarten teacher and representative from the Lanesville Teachers Association, read a letter from the association to the board of trustees regarding the rate increase. She stated that while the teachers are thankful and appreciative of the 50-50 split between themselves and the corporation for the rate increase amount, she had hoped for more.

Schigur noted it would have taken an additional $13,000 in funds to cover in full the increased amount for teachers, also stating that the current education fund cash balance was in very healthy condition.

In other business at the meeting, Lisa Hammond, Lanesville Elementary School principal, was excited to share that the elementary Spell Bowl team had a virtual competition last Monday and placed fifth overall in the state.

The board also unanimously approved an increase in student tutor pay from $5 to $7.50. Brandon Mullens was approved as a volunteer coach for elementary boys’ basketball, and Jeremy Alberts was approved as a volunteer assistant coach for seventh-grade girls’ basketball.

The Lanesville Community School Corp. Board of Trustees’ next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 5 p.m.