The Mabel-Canton School Board met in regular session on March 16, with all members present (Business Manager Aimee Lake participated via phone). Also in attendance were Principal Michelle Wiedemann, Superintendent Gary Kuphal, Lisa Halverson, and student representatives Colton Heintz-Kuderer and Matthew McClimon.
Principal Wiedemann informed the board that prom plans are rolling forward, literally. She stated, “Prom is set to go… May 1… We’re going to try a motorized Grand March this year down on the Steam Engine grounds, so that’ll be exciting to see… They’re going to use golf carts, ATVs, cars… and then Post-Prom is also set That’s all happening May 1.”
Regarding Mabel-Canton’s traditional “Track & Field Day,” Principal Wiedemann said that because Fridays are currently just “half-days,” the event was moved to Thursday, May 27. She added, “K through 3 will be in the morning, and then four through six will be in the afternoon. We will not be serving guests.” But she explained families will have the option of taking their child(ren) out for lunch. She also added that there will be a limit of two guests per family at Track & Field Day.
Regarding the graduation ceremony, Wiedemann said options are still being investigated, and the school plans to finalize plans for an indoor ceremony (in the gym) or an outdoor ceremony (contingent on weather). The board discussed the upcoming changes planned for the gym, and discussed how these may impact the graduation day plans. It’s possible that the old bleachers may be removed before graduation, and perhaps the gym would even be repainted by then. If so, and if the ceremony takes place in the gym, chairs will be set up so all attendees are socially distanced. Principal Wiedemann said the number of people able to attend would be essentially the same whether people are seated in the bleachers or on chairs on the gym floor. Superintendent Kuphal shared with the board, “Good news. Softball playoffs were moved from June 4 to June 5, so we won’t have a conflict with the graduation ceremony.”
Principal Wiedemann also informed the board that Fillmore County Public Health may be able to offer COVID-19 vaccinations in the school, to students 12 years or older (but she said that is not certain yet). But she added that students 16+ will definitely have an opportunity to sign up for COVID-19 vaccination at the school in the near future. Superintendent Kuphal pointed out that students 18 or older can sign for themselves, but anyone under 18 must have the signature of a parent or guardian.
The board heard from student representatives Colton Heintz-Kuderer and Matthew McClimon. Heintz-Kuderer shared that the senior trip, which had been changed from Washington D.C. to Florida, went very well. He said it was very educational, and a lot of fun. McClimon shared that Mabel-Canton’s Knowledge Bowl team went to State, placing 16th out of 25 teams. It was pointed out that this was the first time Mabel-Canton’s Knowledge Bowl team has ever gone to State.
The board also discussed the topic of the 2021/2022 school year calendar. Kuphal’s memo to the board stated, “With schools, including us, having four- to four-and-a-half-day student schedules this year, many area schools are considering keeping a similar schedule next year. One thing COVID has taught us is that we don’t have to do things the way they have always been done.” Principal Wiedemann shared that the proposed 2021/2022 school year calendar shows classes starting September 7 for students in grades 7-12, and on September 8 for students in Pre-K through 6th. She said the traditional breaks (Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Spring Break) would look very similar to previous years, and the final day of school would be set for June 2. The board approved the schedule as presented, but also agreed that it may be subject to change if the board deems it wise to alter the usual weekly schedule.
The board’s next regular meeting will be May 18 at 6 p.m. The public is welcome at these meetings, although masks are expected, and social distancing will be observed.