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R-II board discusses CARES Act funding, basketball protocols

Thanks to funding from the federal CARES Act, most of Marion County R-II students will have access to iPads.

Superintendent Jason Keilholz reported on the CARES Act funding to date to the R-II school board during their October meeting, at which they also discussed protocols for the basketball season and free meals.

To date, the school district has received approximately $75,000 in CARES Act money, which helped purchase some iPads and additional cleaning supplies and equipment.

Keilholz noted the district has submitted another application, which if approved will allow the district to finish purchasing iPads so every student in the district will have access to one.

While iPads are not assigned devices, they are located in the classrooms for the students to use on a daily basis.

“If we would have another shut-down, any student who does not have a device at home would be able to take one home so they can participate in class,” he added. 

In other business, the board voted to allow each Marion County R-II student to invite four guests to every home basketball games. Visiting students will be allowed two guests.

Tickets are not being distributed at this time, Keilholz said, with the district keeping an eye on the process.

In addition, while this is the protocol adopted for basketball games, other school activities are being considered on a case by case basis, Keilholz said.

“For example, our Christmas concert is well over a month away,” he said. “So no decision has been made on it as a lot can change between now and then.”

The board also learned the USDA Free Meal Program, which had been slated to end in December has now been extended to June.

All students 18 and under will continue to receive free breakfast and lunch under that program.

The board also heard an update on the recently completed audit but are waiting on the official report.

In addition, the board:

• set the graduation date for Friday, May 28;

• reviewed quarterly financial reports;

• voted to close the “Activity Account” and merge it into the general account: and

• amended the budget to reflect updated assessed valuation and tax.