Riverside board recognizes two staff members

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Riverside Superintendent Jeff Priest recognized two members of the staff for their achievements at the Monday, July 6 school board meeting.

Priest recognized Dr. Brandi Wallace, curriculum coordinator, for completing her doctorate degree in educational leadership and Matt Ziegler, high school principal, for completing his specialist degree in educational leadership.

Following a presentation by Rick Vance with Entegrity, the board voted unanimously to enter into a solar agreement to place a solar array on the Caraway campus. The solar energy is estimated to save the district $1.5 million over the life of the contract.

Ziegler gave the logistics for graduation which will be held at 2:30 p.m. July 26, in the gymnasium. Each graduate will receive 10 tickets for family members to attend. Masks will be required and temperatures will be checked upon entry.

The district leadership team presented the re-entry plan for the 2020-2021 school year. Riverside will follow the ADH guidelines and Arkansas Ready for Learning report issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in planning for the school year.

The first day of school for students was to begin on Aug. 13, but Gov. Asa Hutchinson mandated schools open between Aug. 24-26.

Among the re-entry guidelines are: students in 4th grade through 12th grade and all Riverside staff will be required to wear masks when mobile in the buildings. The district will provide one mask for every student. Bus transportation will be provided. Based on current ADH guidance, students in 4th-12th grades will be required to wear face coverings when riding the bus. Exceptions may be made for students with health, sensory or other conditions.

The goal of the staff is to have the days as normal as possible while providing as much safety as possible. Students will continue to participate in physical education, art, music, guidance and library. Elementary students will have outdoor recess with restrictions on the number of students at one time. Playground equipment will be sanitized between groups. Social distancing guidelines will be observed as much as possible. Classrooms will be arranged to provide more space between students. Plans are for students to attend school daily following a very similar schedule to the traditional school day.

The district will follow the latest guidance from ADH if an individual tests positive for COVID-19. Students and adults will self-screen by answering several questions including fever of 100.4 or greater in the last two days; cough, difficult breaking, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell; in contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 within the previous 14 days and any person entering the building may be required to have a temperature check.

Parents will have the option to enroll students in the ROC program which will be taught by the same grade level Riverside certified teacher and will receive the same content as the on-site students. Parents will need to sign up for the ROC program by Aug. 3 but students may opt into the ROC program at any time but they will not be permitted to opt out of the program and back to the traditional classroom until the current nine weeks has concluded. The ROC program has no cost to the student. Students will be provided with a tablet, Chromebook, etc.

Several other items are covered in the re-entry plan including temporary school closure; visitors in the building; limiting lunch seating using alternative areas; and sanitizing as a high priority; designing of a modified version of open house; extracurricular activities and sports with modifications.

In other business:

*The board approved the legal student transfers as presented by Mr. Priest.

* The fuel bid of Central Quick Shop for the East Elementary campus and MFA Fuel bid for West Elementary and High School campuses were accepted.

*The board accepted the fixed milk bid from Prairie Farms.

*The bread bid from Bimbo Bakeries was accepted.

*Federal Programs Statement of Assurance was approved.

*Updates on the handbook were approved.

*The ASBA COVID-19 Resolution was approved.

Riverside School Board meets at 6 p.m. the first Monday of each month.