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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Coleman Schools To Reopen With Normal Rules In Place

Issue Date: July 15, 2021

At their monthly meeting on Monday, July 12, members of Coleman School Board and Administrator Doug Polomis solidified the decision made last month to have everything as normal as possible when school opens in August for the 2021-2022 school year.

Normal pre-pandemic rules will be in effect in classrooms, in the building, on the grounds and in school provided transportation. There will be no cohorts this year, and no quarantines of entire classrooms.

As approved by the board in March, masking will be optional. There will be all face-to-face classes without at-home options. There may be some attempts at social distancing, "but in reality, they (the students) will intermingle," Polomis said. They are also starting to approve field trips, and the board informally approved having this year's 7th graders, who missed the trip last year, join this year's 6th graders for the stay at Camp Bird.

"Our community has made it clear what they want," Polomis declared. The only change may be if WIAA sets some kind of rule that would not allow Coleman to participate in athletic events if more onerous rules are in place.

Polomis said Mrs. Mitchell, the school nurse, will need some direction on how to handle things if someone in a student's household tests positive for Covid-19. There are no plans to pursue contact tracing. Students will be advised to stay at home if they are ill or have a positive test. Otherwise, they are to come to school.

"I'd like to see us stay consistent throughout the school year," Board President Ryan Wendt declared after expressing views similar to those voiced by other board members. He said everybody who wants the vaccine has had a chance to get it..."Now we've got to open things up and keep kids in school!"

Kuchta said some kids may come to school ill because they take seriously that if they have no absences they will be excused from taking final exams, and that policy may need to be changed. Polomis suggested the board could easily modify that part of the policy at the August board meeting.

Wendt asked if it would be possible to give extra help to kids who have fallen behind due to the restrictions last year. He said concerned parents have talked to him about this.

Polomis said they had hired another counselor, but have no money to hire more teachers. However, as the year goes on they will look at baseline data to see if there were lapses in the student's learning, and perhaps after new teachers graduate in December and January they could bring someone aboard to help.

Kuchta expressed appreciation for the teachers who came in early and stayed late last year to help students struggling due to absences, quarantines or at-home studies.

"We can't make the teachers do that, but some do it on their own, without extra compensation. "We really do have some awesome teachers here," he declared.

The board has been looking into repairing the tennis courts, and in August will act on a proposal to convert them into multi-purpose courts. It will be an expensive project, with the preferred option costing about $120,000. However, it was noted that even with maintenance costs over the years, with the 20-year anticipated life span of the new surface, cost will only total about $6,000 a year. In the past Coleman Village Board had offered to help pay for restoration of the tennis courts, since most of the users will be from the village, and at the board's request, Polomis said he will attend the August Village Board meeting to seek their support. When not in use for school classes the courts will be available for use by all area residents. There was also a suggestion that the Cougar Booster Club might help.

As to the combined Camp Bird trip for 6th and 7th graders, board member Jo Ann Nowak commented the camp should easily be able to accommodate the approximately 90 students in the combined group, since in previous years individual classes had almost that number of students.

Polomis noted requirements for staff time will be approximately the same, whether for one class or two. The 2021-2022 7th graders did not get to go to Camp Bird last year because of the Covid restrictions.

Wendt thanked Polomis and Elementary/Middle School Principal Yvette Marshall for looking into the possibility of combining the classes and making Camp Bird possible happen for both classes.

The board approved academic standards for the coming school year that are the same as the standards in effect last year.

Jan Glime reported on activities of the Literacy Council, which she said works with people in Marinette and Oconto counties who need help with reading, and much of their work involves Hispanic agricultural workers who are learning English and often have problems understanding health care instructions. She said most of the learners were hesitant on use of telephones, and few students participated last year.

The Literacy Council headquarters were formerly in Coleman High School and now their main office is in the Village Suites building owned by lori and Dennis Gross.

"We are an all-volunteer organization and would be happy to help anyone," Glime declared, adding that they handle all clients with confidentiality, and hold most of their lessons in the library.

The board approved hiring Coleman alumni Megan Graetz as an elementary teacher, with Regina Johnson as her mentor, and Brooke Tupper as MS/HS Science Teacher, with Sarah Thomas as her mentor.

The board also accepted the resignation of Jeff Bronson as High School Track Coach. Polomis thanked Bronson for filling in last year, and noted that he would only do that job for one year was part of their agreement.

Marshall reported that summer school wrapped-up on Wednesday, June 30 and thanked the teachers who provided summer school classes this year and the staff who supported them. "The team's dedication and commitment to the program is very much appreciated," she declared.

The All-Sports Meeting is Thursday, July 15. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the High School Gymnasium.

The Student Open House and Orientation has been tentatively scheduled (pending direction of the Reopening Plan), with open house for students is on Monday, August 30. Elementary will be from 1 to 3 p.m. and 6th grade orientation will be at 2 p.m.

"The Buildings and Grounds crew have been working hard throughout the summer on our playground and building," Marshall said. "We certainly appreciate their efforts in getting the area ready for the new school year!"

In his report, Polomis congratulated the baseball team as they claimed the state runner up title on Tuesday, June 29. They won their first game against Regis 6 to 4 and then lost in the finals to Kenosha St. Joseph 7 to 4.

Student Online Information Update/Registration for 2021-2022 will open on Wednesday, July 14. Polomis said they are asking all parents of students who were enrolled in the Coleman School District last school year to complete this information by the first day of school. This is requested of all parents. "We have found this process to save a lot of paper and time not only for the district but for the parents as well," Polomis said.

The All Sports Meeting will be Thursday, July 15 in the high school gym at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for parents to start completing paperwork/ forms. The Fab Lab will be open this evening as well for parents to complete online registration. HS Football begins with equipment handout on Aug. 2 and practice can begin on Aug. 3. Volleyball and cross country begins on Monday, August 16. The preliminary audit was done online this year on June 24. The final audit will be conducted in house on July 14 and 15. Mrs. Beland is working on the ending financials. They will again this year have money to transfer to Fund 46.

Polomis will be attending the WI Assoc. Of School District Administrators Legal Conference in Sturgeon Bay from July 28 to 30, and said it will give him the opportunity to gain insights into labor and employment law updates. The high school office will reopen for the 21-22 school year on August 9. New teacher inservice is scheduled for August 24.


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