ROARING SPRING – No new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the last three weeks in the Spring Cove School District, according to Superintendent Betsy Baker.
“I do not remember when it last happened,” she said during Monday night’s school board meeting. Last week, Blair County’s COVID-19 community transfer rate dropped from high to significant as county cases continue to decline.
Also during the meeting, Baker announced that representatives of the Blair County Electoral Board visited the district’s schools and decided to proceed with plans to use the Spring Cove Elementary and Martinsburg Elementary for elections – beginning with the November general election. The election committee will create four districts in total – two each in Spring Cove and Martinsburg elementary schools, Baker said.
“For the safety of our students, the school will not be in session on election day,” she said, adding that the district is required by law to allow the election committee to hold polls in its facilities.
Baker also reviewed a copy of the cafeteria review, which ended on March 4, noting that there were no compliance concerns, the meals and portion sizes met the requirements of the National School Lunch Program, and all meals were served on time.
However, the report contained a few recommendations, such as offering water to students through water coolers instead of in the lunch line, allowing students to self-service their utensils and implementing the spice program Spice It Up at the secondary level to address students’ desire for more flavor.
“Based on input from students during the review, we are also making an effort to serve some additional student favorites more often, including Salisbury steak, macaroni and cheese and BBQ chicken.” said Baker.
The auditors recommended that the district consider increasing its wage rate for food service workers next year, she said.
“Wages in the food service industry have escalated in the last two years,” said Baker. “We will need to address this in our next food service agreement in order to deliver competitive salaries, retain staff and be more successful in recruiting staff.”
This was stated by the auditors, according to Baker “the teams in all four buildings were very welcoming, knowledgeable, lively and worked very hard.”
Also in his report, Baker said that due to the shortage of teachers, Law 91 would allow schools to issue emergency permits to classroom monitors. These monitors must be at least 25 years old, have earned at least 60 college credits, and have completed a classroom management course offered by the intermediate unit.
“The supervisors are allowed to act as substitutes who follow the lesson plans given by the teacher, but they are not allowed to plan lessons.” said Baker. “So they would not be used as a long-term replacement, but to maintain normal activities.”
In other matters, the board presented a certificate of recognition to Cayden Wright and Parker Gregg for their U.S. patented invention Air Alert. Wright accepted the certificate on behalf of himself and Gregg, who attended the meeting.
“I appreciate that it’s something of a feat for you, and again, it’s not an easy process,” School Board Chairman James Butler said. “You’ve learned it along the way, and it’s a great experience.”
Mirror Staff Writer Rachel Foor is at 814-946-7458.