By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — At least for the time being — and if there are no spikes in COVID-19 cases — the Elk Mound school district is planning to proceed with fall sports.
The Elk Mound Board of Education approved proceeding with fall sports at the August 24 meeting with the condition that if 25 percent of the season is completed, but then the sporting events are shut down because of the pandemic, or if school is shut down, then Elk Mound will not pursue those sports in the spring.
School districts have the option of playing their fall sports in the spring, when the infection rate from COVID-19 may be more under control, and playing their spring sports during the summer.
School board members decided they did not want to put students in the position of completing their academic work while trying to play two sports at the same time in the spring, said Eric Wright, district administrator.
If students are trying to play football and baseball at the same time, for example, or volleyball and softball, in addition to making it more difficult to complete their school work, they also would be put in the position of either missing games for one or the other or missing practices, he said.
School board members also were reluctant to move fall sports to the spring because of the situation with spring sports last year when the students did not have any opportunity to participate, Wright said.
No decision has yet been made about spectators or running the concession stand, he said.
There are many considerations for spectators, such as immediate family members only or parents only, Wright noted.
Another complicating factor is that Elk Mound is in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference for volleyball but is in the Cloverbelt Conference for football, he said.
The Cloverbelt Conference stretches from the Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls area east to the Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids area.
Much will depend on infection rates in the various areas when the teams start playing, Wright noted.
In the event that Elk Mound decides not to allow spectators at sporting events, the events are always live-streamed on the school district’s website so people will still be able to watch the games, he said.
“We will have to navigate all of that as we get closer,” Wright said.
Cross country and golf are already underway, and volleyball and football will start on September 7, he noted.
In other business, the Elk Mound Board of Education:
• Adopted Policy 113 Nondiscrimination in District Programs, Activities and Operations and Rule 1, 2 and 3 related to the new Title IX law.
• Approved a request for retirement from Mary Harrison, the school district accountant. Harrison’s retirement will occur at some point during the school year after a replacement has been hired and has received some training on the job, Wright said.
• Learned that Requests for Proposals (RFPs) have been sent out for roofs on the middle school and the high school and for the pool unit that will be replaced. Work continues on finalizing the drawings for the middle school gymnasium; converting the existing middle school gymnasium to classrooms; the weight room at the high school; the band room at the high school; the technology education room at the high school; and the athletic fields.
• Accepted the resignation of Brenda Kroening, food service employee.
During a closed session, the Elk Mound Board of Education:
• Approved hiring Mike Miller as a part-time school psychologist.
• Approved hiring Jeri Rykal as the Spanish teacher.
The Elk Mound Board of Education meets next on September 21.