Billtown board OK’s draft plan for fall restart

Weekly Post Staff Writer

WILLIAMSFIELD – The Williamsfield School Board approved a draft plan for the resumption of school this fall in case students are able to return to the school building. The plan, modeled after one used by JEFFCO Public Schools in Golden, Colo., lays out possible schooling options – with an understanding that scenarios could change depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois.

The plan would provide remote learning options for all students, but would also offer optional hybrid learning if the school building can be opened.

Social distancing is a key part of hybrid learning, which would feature dividing students into two groups with alternating in-person schedules at school. Under the hybrid learning option, students would be screened for temperature upon entering the school or district buses.

The use of face coverings would be dependent on Illinois Department of Public Health recommendations at that time. Social distancing of at least six feet would be required in school and would also be required if students ride district buses. Superintendent Tim Farquer said a staff working group will finalize plan details to bring to the board in July for formal approval. The board also approved opening outside athletic facilities for high school students to do conditioning and for thirdparty use, pending certain requirements.

No more than 10 people are allowed on school grounds at a time, 6 feet of social distancing is required, temperature screening must occur and shared equipment must be sanitized after each use. In other business, the board approved an amended Fiscal Year 2020 budget that added $875,000 to the Fire/Life Safety Contract Services line item and increased budgeted costs for worker compensation insurance from $29,000 to $36,500 and upped insurance premiums from $30,000 to $37,250.

In other action, the board:
• Approved a Fiscal Year 2021 power purchase agreement with IEC/Nextera for the electricity produced by the district’s solar panels, which should be operational soon.
• Approved the hire of Jason Danner as a fulltime teacher.
• Approved declaring the school’s 2008 Chevy Uplander a surplus item.
• Accepted Pam Courson’s letter of intent to retire June 30, 2021.
• Approved Advanced Plumbing to replacement the kitchen sanitary pipe at amount not to exceed $28,654.
• Approved a Fiscal Year 2021 salary freeze for Farquer.
• Heard that a $52,194 allocation from the federal CARES Act will be used on safety/sanitation and technology to support remote learning