School Board: No plans to cancel Homecoming 2020

by Charles Gerian

The Blackwell Board of Education met Monday night to discuss the school district’s back-to-school coronavirus safety plan, and to discuss other matters related to the unprecedented school year ahead.

The board voted to make some adjustments to the school district’s calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. Two “distance learning days” were added: September 18 and October 9. Teachers will return for a work day August 19 before school starts August 20. The last day of the fall semester will be December 18, and school will end for the summer May 20.

District principals spoke about enrollment numbers at their schools. They also provided information about the number of children who will be staying at home to practice distance learning during the upcoming year.

Superintendent Shawn Haskins confirmed that sporting events will be conducted as usual. So far, he said, there are no plans to cancel Homecoming 2020 festivities, such as the parade or football game. But he noted that the annual coffee breakfast might be cancelled; in that case, individual classes would host their own private morning gatherings. He also said that Homecoming assemblies might be split up to better manage crowds.

The board approved the resignations of Blackwell Middle School librarian Jessica Hand, Blackwell Middle School social studies teacher Randy Bishop, and Blackwell Elementary School music teacher Sallie Lamb. The board hired Mary Hall as the middle school librarian, David Means as the middle school social studies teacher, Jim Lawrence as a middle school science teacher, Lynn Fields as the elementary school librarian, and Timothy Bradfield as a rural route bus driver.

Annilyn Young, Connor Cline, Jerry Wieland, and Amy Smith were all rehired as lay coaches. Susan Harris and Michele Stone were hired as district substitute teachers.