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By LeAnn R. Ralph
BOYCEVILLE — The Boyceville Board of Education has given its blessing for a Spanish trip to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico scheduled June 5 to June 12, 2023.
School board members asked Tyler Moy, Boyceville High School principal, at the board’s December 15 meeting how many students had signed up for the trip.
As of the school board meeting, the number of students is “zero,” Moy said, because students did not yet know about the trip.
Erik Evenson, school board member, said his daughter had been signed up for “Music Ambassadors” but that the organization had cancelled the event because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The contract had a clause about cancellations but contained nothing about refunds if the organization cancelled the event, he said, noting that obtaining a refund had been a difficult process.
The contract includes a clause about pandemics, Moy said.
Depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, some countries may be closed yet at the time the Spanish trip is scheduled, noted Bonnie Barker, director of special education and school psychologist.
According to information included in the school board packet, the cost for students under the age of 23 is $2,290, and the cost for adults aged 23 and over is $2,771 for the seven-day trip.
The “Yucatan Adventure” through a company called WorldStrides includes round-trip airfare, seven overnight stays in a hotel with private bathrooms, breakfast and dinner daily, full-time services of a professional tour director, guided sightseeing and city walks, visits to select attractions and tips for local guides and local bus drivers.
The tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees or fees for any required passport or visa.
Yucatan is famous for the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico and Mayan ruins.
The Boyceville Board of Education unanimously approved the proposed Spanish trip.
Fall opening plan
Nick Kaiser, district administrator, reported that following a meeting scheduled the next day with the Dunn County Health Department, he believed there would a change in how close contacts for COVID-19 would be handled.
The idea appears to be that if a household is quarantined but if the student has no symptoms, the student could come back to school without being tested, he said.
Most of the school districts in the county try to stay consistent with each other on protocol, and if there is a change, would the Boyceville school board allow him to make the change, or would the school board want to wait until the January meeting? Kaiser asked.
Would the change be because of best practice, or would it be because the health department is overwhelmed with the number of COVID cases? asked Amber Carlsrud, school board member.
Kaiser said he believed the change would be due to the health department being overwhelmed and the effort to deal with what can be handled.
Carlsrud said she would like to hear more information about the situation with quarantine before making any kind of decision.
There are still lots of positive COVID cases, and whatever keeps people healthy is the best option, she said.
Kaiser said he would bring the information on any changes to quarantine for the school board’s January meeting.
In other business, the Boyceville Board of Education:
• Learned from Barker that the mindfulness activity for December is “25 Days of Merry Mindfulness” that involves a calendar with suggestions for a mindfulness activity each day. Barker provided a small holiday bag for each school board member that contained jingle bells, a stocking, hot chocolate mix, a snow globe, ginger bread cookies and a candy cane to assist them with the activities. Some of the activities on the calendar include “listen to the jingle bells,” “senses and stockings,” “color for peace,” “mindful eating,” “settle the snow,” “love your gifts” and “bear hug.”
• Accepted the resignation of Brent Klefstad as director of buildings, grounds and maintenance. Klefstad has worked in the school district for 12 years.
• Approved hiring Derrick Retz as the director of buildings, grounds and maintenance.
• Approved hiring Suzanne Lombardo as the wrestling cheerleader advisor.
• Approved hiring Sarah Mahoney as a part-time, limited-term paraprofessional.
• Approved hiring Deb Rosen as the prom advisor. Rosen will replace Connie Becker.
• Accepted a $1,000 grant from Rural Mutual Insurance Company to the Boyceville FFA chapter.
• Accepted a $600 memorial donation from the Bob Stalker family to the Boyceville music department. Stalker passed away at the age of 85 in February of this year.
• Accepted teacher mini-grants from the Community Foundation of Dunn County totaling $3,250. The grants include $1,000 for Jacob Peterson for Bulldog Adventures to help pay for new equipment; $1,000 for Taryn Score for outdoor winter activities to help purchase broomball sets and flying saucers; $800 for Elizabeth Stolte for flex seating to purchase five floor seats and five wobble chairs to promote movements while learning in the classroom; and $450 to support student basic needs, such as school lunch balances, meals and snacks for hungry students, winter gear, personal care items and family tragedy support.