By Amber Hayden
GLENWOOD CITY — With the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling many of Glenwood City School Districts plans for the end of the year, board members were challenged to put a plan in place for the graduating class of 2020.
High school principal Patrick Gretzlock offered a plan after meeting with superintendent Tim Johnson and police chief Robert Darwin which would involve a drive-up graduation with students remaining in their vehicle in a checker board pattern in the lower parking lot of the high school.
“We would send out tickets to the 49 graduates as an entry into graduation as well as it being the stall they would park in,” Gretzlock explained. “We would also ask students not to drive as it would mess up the distribution process.”
Gretzlock further explained that they would set up a stage in the lower lot and had been looking into an FM transistor in order to broadcast to each vehicle and call the students up that way.
Vehicles would proceed to the front of the stage to receive diplomas, then head toward the football field for pictures with their family members and move their tassel to show they had completed the requirements for graduation.
The class picture would also look much different with the drive-up graduation as students would be standing next to their vehicles and respecting social distancing guidelines.
Gretzlock had given a tentative date for this type of graduation as June 4, but board member Lisa Logghe was not in favor of the informal ceremony.
“I think something more can be done,” Logghe stated.
Tim Johnson explained it was recommended by the law firm representing Glenwood City School District to not have an in-person graduation at all this summer, and they were hoping this would be a good solution.
“We run the risk of not being able to honor all 49 students if we have something after June 15,” Johnson said. “The further we stray from that June date the less will be in attendance I feel.”
After much discussion Johnson offered the board the suggestion of having something in June while scheduling an in-person event at a later date.
Gretzlock stated he did not want to minimize the importance of the traditional graduation that they have held for 110 years in Glenwood City, but noted things could not be done like they have in the past.
After much discussion the board members came up with planning a Saturday, July 11, graduation on the football field at 11 a.m., this would be after the “Safer at Home” order had expired at the end of the school year in June.
Board members were in agreement that it is the right thing to do for the seniors and that the drive-up graduation will be a last resort.
The Board of Education approved several improvement plans for the school which included capital and technology improvements.
The board accepted a bid from Quality Roofing Inc to replace roofing over three areas of the school, band room, kitchen, and TSA, that will cost the school $60,196.00.
Quality Roofing had replaced areas of the roof in 2016 for Glenwood City schools, and was the best option according to Johnson.
There will also be 10 exterior doors replaced at the cost of $61,062 which will be handled by Berghammer Builders, and GL Design and Painting LLC will be repainting the teal portions of the buildings to royal blue and power washing other areas.
Elementary school principal Betsy Haltinner explained technology updates that will take place in the high school and middle school.
“We have a common school fund that will be used to purchase 100 new chromebooks for the high school,” Haltinner explained. “We feel like those are the ones that use them the most and their old chromebooks will be filtered down into the middle school and elementary.”
The common school fund sat at $20,000 and the price of the chromebooks will cost $20,500 which includes the management license and the chromebooks.
The middle school will also receive three new Promethean interactive white boards, which are similar to the ones installed last year in the elementary, at a cost of $11,608.86. And they will also receive three new Samsung interactive TVs at the cost of $2,588.19.
The board approved all of the action items as they were presented.
During the meeting the Board of Education:
• Accepted the retirement of custodian Duane Zielsdorf.
• Approved the posting for a full-time custodial position.
• Approved full-time Special Education paraprofessional Karen Peterson.
• Approved part-time Special Education paraprofessional Judy Peskar.
• Approved part-time kitchen support staff Deanna McGee.
• Accepted the resignation of Laren Oehlke as Administrative Assistant.
• Approved the posting for a full-time school year administrative assistant.
• Approved full-time Hilltopper Hangtime employee Nicole Johnson.
• Approved performance stipends in the amount of $5,250.
The Glenwood City Board of Education will meet again on June 15 with a committee meeting at 6 p.m. and a regular board meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m.