Superior Middle School will open for the first time
August 13, 2020
When school opens, brighter corridors and classrooms will greet the Superior Public School student body this morning (Thursday). LED bulbs have replaced the fluorescent lights and each area has been adjusted to provide optimum light. A member of the school board’s building committee said, “It is projected the change will save the district $6,000 each month on electricity.”
Lighting is just one of the many changes. Students return to a middle school and high school with air conditioned gymnasiums. They return with staff wearing masks and will be encouraged to social distance and wear masks themselves.
Instead of elementary, junior and senior high, there is an elementary (k-5), middle school (6-8) and senior high school. Many teachers have changed classrooms over the summer.
Athletic Event Fan Guidelines
Monday evening, in regular session, members of the board of education approved guidelines for hosting events in the gymnasium. They are based on DHM mandates.
Available seating will be figured at 50 percent capacity minus coaches, players, officials, game staff, school staff and social distancing guidelines. The high school gymnasium seats 1,250, thus fans will be limited to 500. Once 500 fans enter the building, access will be denied to anyone else wanting to enter.
The home crowd will be seated in the north bleachers and masks will be encouraged with six feet social distancing between family groups. Family groups must sit together and students must sit with their families.
Visitor seating will be in the south bank of bleachers with the same guidelines.
There will be no band, no student section, no one on the game floor before or after the game, no one in the first row, no one within two rows of the players bench or score table and no meal fundraisers at games.
Concession workers must wear masks and gloves. There will be no community condiments, only water, pop and prepackaged food.
Fans of the two opposing teams will enter the gymnasium through different doors to minimize interaction.
Fan capacity of the football stadium is still being determined.
Enrollment Up Slightly
During reports, Doug Hoins reported there are 158 kindergarten through fifth grade students enrolled as school opens. Kindergarten will start with 25 students ( eight boys and 17 girls). First grade has 28 students ( 17 boys and 11 girls), second grade has 22 ( five boys and 17 girls); third grade has 26 enrolled with equal number of boys and girls; fourth grade 31 enrolled with 16 boys and 15 girls and fifth grade has 25 students enrolled with 15 boys and 10 girls. Elementary classes are up 11 students over the summer.
Middle school includes sixth grade with 12 girls and 11 boys (23 total), seventh grade is the largest class with 42 ( 18 boys and 24 girls) and eighth grade has 34 enrolled with 15 boys and 19 girls.
In high school the freshman class has 16 boys and 15 girls ( 31). The sophomore class has 15 boys and 19 girls ( 34 total). The junior class has 32 members ( 15 boys, 17 girls) and the senior class has 27 members with 12 boys and 15 girls.
Supt. Kopza reported 28 students will be attending virtual classes. Students attending virtual classes will not be part of school activities. They may opt to return to the public school classroom at the end of any quarter and vice versa — students who are attending school in person may opt to go virtual at the end of any quarter.
Virtual students’ progress will be monitored by the school. Home schooled students are not counted in school enrollment numbers. They were to register and be approved by the state earlier this summer.
Supt. Kobza said, “If we go to green on the COVID risk dial, everyone comes back to the public school classroom.”
Title IX Policy Recommendations
In 1972, Title IX changed public schools sports. It mandated girls and boys have equal sports opportunities. Title IX as revised by the legislature this year addresses equality not only by gender, but also race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and addresses all around harassment and bullying.
New Title IX guidelines take effect Aug. 14. Superior Public Schools received a revised Title IX policy guidelines from legal council this month. A full version will be available on the school website. Staff will be trained so the school is in compliance with the new mandates. Members of the board approved Jodi Grabast will serve at the Title IX coordinator, the guidance counselors as investigators, principals as decision makers and Supt. Kobza as appeal. Each position is mandated by the revised Title IX policy.
In other business, the board approved expenditures from the general fund in excess of a million dollars. Part of the expenditures included moving cooperative funds left from the SCUD5 (South Central Unified District) to the depreciation fund where unused budgeted money from one year can be held into future years for school needs.
The board asked to have another budget workshop. It is planned for Wednesday evening, Aug. 26, beginning at 6 p.m.
Supt. Kobza expects the district’s tax ask to be $500,000 less than last year largely because of $800,000 in increased state aid. No major building maintenance projects are planned for next year.
He is expecting valuation to drop by eight percent in the district. Official valuation stats are not yet available.
Supt. Kobza also reviewed continuing curriculum plans.
In other business, an interlocal agreement with the City of Superior, Brodstone Hospital and the school for the management of a shared T1 fiber optic cable was approved. The cable is leased by Glennwood.
All members of the board were present except for Matt Bargen who was excused.