Local schools are seeing some higher absence rates due to various illnesses that are traveling the district.

School nurse Denise Howe told the Centerville School Board on Monday that several buildings in the district have been over the 10% absent threshold. Schools report to the Iowa Department of Public Health when more than 10% of a building’s student body have been absent.

Howe said normally this is required a couple times each school year. However, it’s occurred multiple times over the past few weeks.

Lakeview Elementary School was missing more than 10% of its student population every day the week of Feb. 3-7. In that week, Howar Middle School was in the same situation Tuesday-Friday.

So far, Centerville High School has avoided the 10% threshold.

The district has done some extra cleaning and sanitation to school buses and school buildings to try and limit the spread of illness in the district.

In other action:

— Administrative staff is still reviewing and compiling results from a community survey on the district’s draft facility plan. The current plan is that during a March 23 work session the board would review the survey responses and work to begin setting priorities on the master facilities plan.

— A bid for a new roof on the Lakeview Elementary School library was approved. Precision Roofing of Lee’s Summit, Missouri was the lowest of two bids at $28,960.24. The bid was approved contingent on confirmation it included labor cost. The other bid was from a Pella-based company for $35,000.

The roof was installed in 2003, but building and grounds director Tim Kaster said it’s been a problem ever since. Money from insurance for hail damage will cover the cost of the new roof.

— The board approved the 2020-21 calendar, which is largely similar to the current calendar format. Students are scheduled to attend 1108.5 hours, or 171 days next school year. The first day of school will be Aug. 24, 2020.

Some highlights: Thanksgiving vacation will cover Nov. 25-27; winter break will run from Dec. 23-Jan. 5 for students; there will be no school on April 1, 2 and 5 around the Easter holiday; and graduation is slated for May 23, 2021.

— The board approved the first reading of a new policy that covers transporting students in private vehicles by employees. The policy will require staff members to obtain authorization from the superintendent or designee before students can be transported by staff in the staff member’s private vehicle. Administrators have said this happens primarily in rare, extreme circumstances. The policy also will require staff members to have a valid driver’s license and to have insurance and a vehicle that meets state laws.

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Kyle Ocker can be reached at kocker@dailyiowegian.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-856-6336. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker

Kyle Ocker can be reached at kocker@dailyiowegian.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-856-6336. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker



Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Daily Iowegian. Prior to becoming editor, Ocker was a correspondent, sports editor and associate editor at the Daily Iowegian, and was the managing editor of the Knoxville Journal-Express.

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