School board watchers, buckle up, Wednesday’s meeting is going to be a meaty one.
After several months in which the Teton County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees considered two or three action items at each meeting, the board has eight things to vote on at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Included in that heavy slate are a few thorny issues.
School district administrators have recommended amending the boundaries for Kelly Elementary School to reduce class sizes and crowding at the outlying school. The new boundary, which a staff report says would go into effect for the 2022-23 school year, would be Sagebrush Drive, so anyone living north of the road in either Kelly or Moose would attend school in Kelly, while those south of the road would go to Jackson Elementary School.
Some of the affected parents aren’t pleased.
“Please think before you change all our lives drastically,” parent Isabel Bradford wrote to the board. “You hold the future of our kids in your hands, and I hope you do not make this decision lightly.”
The school board will also consider increasing the Teton County Recreation District mill levy from 0.25 mills to 1 mill, in part to cover another thing the board will talk about Wednesday, the replacement of the synthetic turf fields, which are older than industry standards dictate.
After putting out a request for proposals, the district has a bid from Field Turf to replace both soccer fields and the football field for nearly $1.5 million. That’s a bit higher than the $1.3 million trustees had previously talked about, but administrators are still recommending the contract be approved.
Trustees will also consider the teacher compensation package for the 2021-22 school year, the 2022-23 school year calendar and the final design for an expansion of the skatepark, which would still need state approval as well.
A bevy of parents also sent public comment over the past month regarding masks in schools. Some asked that masks be kept in place for the rest of the year, while others said they should be a choice. A state health order mandates that masks be worn in schools at least through May 16, though the order could be extended as it has been many times over the course of the pandemic.
The state does allow for districts that fit certain criteria to apply for exemptions. A district’s community must have fewer than 19 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people and a positivity rate no higher than 4.9% to qualify to be in the “green zone.”
Communications director Charlotte Reynolds said Teton County doesn’t fit those requirements, so she doesn’t anticipate the board taking up a discussion to ask for an exemption, something board Chair Keith Gingery also told several parents in correspondence.
Go to TCSD.org to find login information for the meeting, which will be held in person at the school district administration building and over Webex.