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By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — Although the Elk Mound Board of Education approved contracting with the Accelerated Diagnostic Laboratory in October to conduct on-site COVID-19 testing, a start date has not yet been determined.
An employee from the company will be on-site in the Elk Mound school district to conduct the COVID-19 testing, but the company has not provided a date, and the testing most likely will not be available before the Christmas break, said Eric Wright, school district administrator, during his report to the school board at the November 15 meeting.
For now, the school nurse can offer testing on days one, four and seven, or students can go to UW-Stout for an antigen test, and if the antigen test is negative, the student can remain in school, he said.
After Accelerated has provided a start date, a letter, with a consent form, will be sent home to parents, Wright said.
COVID-19 testing will not be done without a signed consent form from parents, and if a student must be tested, the school district will call parents first to see if they want to be there when their student is being tested, he said.
If the parents want to be there, then the testing will not be done until the parent(s) arrives, Wright said.
From September 1 until November 15, the Elk Mound school district has had 127 positive cases of COVID-19. As of November 15, there were 19 active cases in the school district and 16 people were in quarantine, he said.
The flooring is finished in the middle school gymnasium. The bleachers need to be placed yet, and there is some electrical work to complete, Wright said.
The band room and the weight room at the high school are nearing completion and are in the “punch list phase,” he said.
The state inspector inspected the band room and weight room the previous week and found several items that the contractor is now working on, Wright said.
Voters in the Elk Mound school district approved the nearly $16 million referendum question during the April of 2020 spring election on a ratio of two-to-one.
Referendum projects include safety and security updates at all three schools; updates to the woodworking and metal shops; building systems that will include roofs and boilers at all three schools as well as Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) updates; library improvements; a high school band room; a new middle school gymnasium; remodeling the existing middle school gymnasium into a classroom; updating the high school locker rooms; athletic field improvements; and extending the high school weight room.
In other business, the Elk Mound Board of Education:
• Learned that the ornament workshop will be held at Mound View Elementary on December 13 and that the elementary school concert will be held on December 20 at 6 p.m.
• Learned that the Elk Mound Middle School concert will be held December 16, with the fifth and sixth grade concert at 6 p.m., and the seventh and eighth grade concert at 7:30 p.m.
• Learned that the Elk Mound High School concert will be held December 21.
• Approved a prioritized list of short/long-range planning recommendations from the committee and approved spending for items on the list as the funds become available. Items on the list include curriculum, software, upgrades for security cameras, track equipment, seal coating of the Mound View parking lot, a “short” bus, and replacing concrete where needed.
• Approved a review of safety drills completed on November 7 as per Wisconsin Act 143.
• Approved purchasing an International bus from Mid-State for $94,000 with trade-in and license fees. Three dealerships were invited to bid, but only one submitted a bid. The earliest that the bus will be delivered is late March or early April.
• Approved for a first reading Neola school district policies. Neola is a consulting company that provides policies for school districts and provides updates to the policies as needed, such as changes in state statute. Wright and the school district’s policy committee reviewed the policies last summer. The policies are expected to be on the agenda for approval on a second reading at the December meeting.
• Approved one early graduation request, pending the meeting of graduation requirements.
Following a closed session, the Elk Mound Board of Education:
• Approved hiring Kamryn King, a graduate of Elk Mound High School, as the freshman girls’ basketball coach.
• Approved hiring Stacie Nelson as a regular route bus driver, pending proper certification.
The Elk Mound Board of Education meets next on December 20 following the Mound View Elementary concert that begins at 6 p.m.