'Scrambling is not the answer'

The York Public School Board of Education convened Monday, June 22 for a regular meeting with a light agenda.

The main event was discussing possible school year timelines, in consideration of the status of the coronavirus pandemic. York Public Schools Superintendent Mitch Bartholomew and YPS Administrative Assistant Gayla Knight have been developing school year calendar drafts, based on the extent of coronavirus infection (if any) in York. Bartholomew said he and Knight have been gleaning some ideas from other similarly-sized school districts. “I’ve heard some crazy schedules,” Bartholomew said. “We want to do what we can do to be most consistent for our students and families. No decisions have been made yet; we just need to have a plan.”

The calendar – much like the YPS Return to School Blueprint – is still being tweaked. As calendar drafts continue, YPS committees work on the YPS Blueprint. Now a sizable stack’s-worth of paper, the Blueprint has seen much review, plenty of research and even some brainstorming. “It’s a working document that has a lot of moving pieces to it,” Bartholomew said.

He added that in the next few weeks, protocol for what happens concerning school reconvening and how to communicate said protocol is high on the district’s list. “Scrambling is not the answer,” Bartholomew said.

The board also discussed the decision to forge ahead with summer camps. “We plan to move forward with those things, but with caution,” Bartholomew said. One tenet to conducting camps and other summer athletic activities are waivers for both YPS athletes and visiting athletes. Bartholomew said this is standard procedure among many schools. The status of the coronavirus in participating schools will be approached on a case-by-case basis when considering screening and participation itself.

The final order of business was the evaluation of Superintendent Mitch Bartholomew, which took the board into closed session. Job performance evaluations qualify for closed meetings, per Nebraska State Statute 84-1410.

The next regularly-scheduled York Public School Board of Education meeting is slated for 5 p.m. Monday, July 13.

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