KOOSKIA – Some state and federal money through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) looks to be available for Mountain View School District 244, superintendent Todd Fiske stated at the Aug. 17 trustee meeting.
Fiske reported CARES money is available, but that the parameters for the funds are “very narrow.”
“We have applied for the resources, and one we requested funds for is for all our teachers to have laptops – not just Chromebooks, but quality laptops with wireless networks and a good camera,” to assist with the upcoming needs of educating students virtually as needed.
He said some other considerations for the funds include more Chromebooks for kids -- to check out -- who do not own their own devices, as well as some touchscreen models for students with special visual, auditory and stimuli needs. He said although the funds have been applied for, there is no set date on when they might be distributed.
Fiske also addressed some concerns previously raised regarding the district not being reimbursed for some of the bus travel for meal and homework packet delivery during the onslaught of COVID, specifically in the month of June.
“It was a mistake we made,” to continue without reimbursement from the state, he explained. “The good news is, we think we will be able to recoup some of that transportation,” with CARES funds.
Fiske discussed the district’s recent resignations of more than 20 teachers/staff and said some of the positions would be “very difficult to fill.”
Some positions, he said, such as the district psychologist, would probably have to be contracted out.
“Will this save money in the long run? Probably not,” he said, saying the demand for that position across is high across the state.
Later in the meeting, the board voted to accept several new hires with alternative paths to certification, meaning those hired are not yet certified in their discipline in the state of Idaho, but are to work on that certification process throughout the school year.