When: Lancaster School District Board Meeting, Nov. 9.
What happened: Unvaccinated workers will begin weekly COVID-19 testing on Nov. 29, after the board elected a partnership between Career Match Solutions and Kodiak Testing to administer antigen nasal swabs. Florida-based Career Match will open an office in Lancaster and hire locally, district spokesman Adam Aurand said after the meeting.
More information: Board members chose the partnership from 14 other candidates. The contract calls for up to $500,000 in testing, and the money will come from pandemic funds. Employees can choose from at least four district locations for their tests. About 200-300 workers are unvaccinated of the district’s 1,600 members, Aurand said.
Background: The school board voted unanimously on Sept. 21 to require weekly COVID-19 testing after members discussed the need to keep students and employees safe. About 17 employees have resigned since the announcement, Aurand said. The district never asks employees for layoffs, and Aurand noted that the district has seen similar departure rates over the same period in recent years. In addition, the district has hired 33 employees.
Future-oriented centers: Plans to convert two libraries in JP McCaskey and McCaskey East into glass open spaces called future-ready centers ran aground when a few board members asked where the books and teaching library skills would go. The centers, funded in part by a donation, would allow students to meet counselors, community members and each other to prepare for college and careers.
quotation marks“I’m not saying that our students don’t deserve a future-proof center,” said board member David Parry. “But I’m not sure we need two at the expense of cannibalizing libraries, considering what a library does.”
Background: An anonymous graduate has offered $1.5 million to help pay for the renovation of the libraries, which also requires about $1.5 million from the school district.
Soon: McCaskey director Justin Reese said he will meet with teachers, librarians and students about what kind of structure would best fill those spaces.
End of small learning communities: McCaskey will move away from its small learning communities to join the district’s goal of encouraging more students to take advanced classes, which will be offered in each of the three new learning paths.
More information: Student and parents can also click on a course online and be transferred to the school registration software and allowed to register. The online course guide can also be translated into any language spoken in the district.
Next one: The next school board meeting is Tuesday, November 16 at 7:00 PM. The public can view the meetings and register to comment on the district website.