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USD 426 Bond Questions and Answers

USD 426 has hosted three bond informational meetings in the past month.  Two had building tours and the last was held at the board room on October 20th.  These meetings were held to provide information about the projects included in the requested bond question and also to answer questions of those in attendance.  I would like to provide some answers to some of the questions that were asked for clarification.

  1. Can the projects be changed now?Once the information is presented to the State Board of Education and to the county clerk for the election, no changes can occur.This was done several months ago.

 

  1. Did the electrical upgrades include all new wiring at Courtland?No—the project includes updating the electrical panels in order to handle a larger workload.This also includes updating lighting and the fire alarm system at Courtland.Mr. Joonas is working with Jake Englebert (maintenance director) on a plan to update the wiring in the oldest portion of the Courtland building.This will be a multi year project that will be paid out of capitol outlay or contingency reserve dollars.In all of our discussions, we knew that not all concerns could or would be addressed through the bonds.

 

  1. Was there any consideration during the process about the sewer/water aspects of the old building?Although this was not discussed during the initial process, we have decided to have a company come in and run a camera through the system so we know what we might be dealing with.Again, this will be part of our multi year process with capitol outlay and contingency reserve funds.

 

  1. Why are we adding 2 more lockerrooms at Courtland, when they already have 4?In our initial plans, we were going to expand the 2 lockerrooms on the east side of the gym and make those tornado shelters.When the architect came and looked at our ideas, he shared that we would have to totally tear out the old lockerrooms and basically start from scratch in order to meet the FEMA guidelines for a tornado shelter.This was going to cost way more than just building two more lockerrooms and attaching to the existing building.It was also asked about using them as classrooms/STEAM room instead of a lockerroom.In order to meet the FEMA guidelines, you have to have so many square feet of space for each person/student or staff member.When you start putting desks/tables/chairs into the room—it would not hold enough room for our entire building.Most schools put in wrestling rooms or lockerrooms to act as a tornado shelter.

 

I want to assure everyone that we have tried to be as mindful as possible with the tax dollars we are requesting.  I also would like all those that attended any of our meetings to know, we did listen and are planning accordingly.  We appreciate everyone’s comments and questions during this process and would simply conclude by saying, “Please remember to vote on November 2nd.” 

Respectfully

Steve Joonas

Superintendent of Schools

Community UnifiedEstBond

Plan for Continuity of Services

USD 426 was able to have in person school the entire school year last year (except for 10 days at the Jr/Sr High Level) and we look forward to another successful year in 2021-22.  As part of the federal government allotting many dollars to states and school districts, we must post our basic plan for the continuity of school services. 

  1. USD 426 plans to start the school year as we ended this past year, no masks, but will continue all cleaning and hygiene protocols.All guidelines that we had this past year will be followed until further notice.
  2. We will continue with our plan using social distancing wherever possible and especially in large group gatherings (lunch, concerts, etc…)
  3. If there is a confirmed case of COVID, we will continue to work with our county health organizations in the requirements of quarantine and testing.We will continue to work with them in regards to contact tracing, diagnostic and screen testing.
  4. Vaccinations were provided and offered last school year.We will continue to work with county health in regards to continued vaccination offerings for those that might feel more comfortable with the process.
  5. As with all areas of our USD 426 education, we will continue to focus on providing equity for all students, including those with disabilities.
  6. We will continue to work with local, county, and state officials as the need arises.
  7. We want everyone to understand that we will always keep everyone’s safety and well being at the forefront.We will be prepared to move to online if needed and ask that all families be aware of this possibility moving forward.
  8. At any time, we may be forced to move to the mask requirement once again, but only in situations that we have confirmed cases driving that decision.
  9. The District will continue our efforts in observing and being aware of the social emotional aspect that this pandemic has caused in relation to learning, mental health and overall well being.
  10. The District is aware of the academic concerns associated with the pandemic and are continuing to put in place programs to address those concerns.
  11. All meals will again be free for the entire 2021-22 school year.We will have a survey that all families will need to complete at enrollment, but there will be no charges other than for extra milk or an ala carte.

Please feel free to give Mr. Joonas a call with any questions or concerns about this plan.  It can be adjusted at any time with patron and board input.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP)

Cunningham Telephone & Cable

 

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP) is a government program intended to help low-income households pay for broadband internet services.  The Program provides a monthly discount of up to $50 for eligible households.

This program is temporary and will end when the funds are exhausted or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares the end of the COVID-19 health emergency.

In order to qualify for the program, an eligible member of the household needs to meet or participate one of the following:

  •  
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
  • Has income that is at or below 135% of Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Free or reduced-price school breakfast/lunch program (including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision) in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year
  • Received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year
  • Experienced substantial documented loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020

How to Apply:

  1. Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you.
  2. Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to print off a mail-in application, and return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility to:

Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742

After receiving an eligibility determination, households can contact Cunningham Telephone and Cable to select an Emergency Broadband Benefit eligible service plan.