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School Board Brief 9-14-20

About 40 people came to the Bismarck School Board meeting last night to discuss learning during COVID. Of the 16 speakers, some are in support of students not wearing masks at school or making masks optional. Others are worried about student academics and mental health under the Distance and Hybrid models. Some want secondary students to return to 5 days a week learning as soon as possible, since elementary students will return Sept. 29.

Superintendent Jason Hornbacher reviewed the process of how he came to make the conservative decision to open in the Hybrid model, which was supported by Bismarck Burleigh Public Health. Once the BPS Task Force had more county and local school district case data, a decision was made to do face-to-face learning in grades K-5 starting Sept. 29. Dr. Hornbacher noted that BPS is still in Level 3 (yellow) until a decision is made to bring all students back. The public can view the newest weekly BPS COVID case dashboard as of Sept. 13 at https://www.bismarckschools.org/Page/3868.

The Focus on Success at the Board meeting was on BPS having 1 to 1 technology, which means 1 laptop per student. School district technology staff used student interns and other staff to setup, inventory, deliver, sort, and assign over 9,000 computers.

Bismarck Public Schools (BPS) requested proposals from companies capable of providing construction of a 49kw solar array to be located at the Career Academy. BPS received a grant not to exceed $92,000 for this project. The Board awarded the contract to Green Leaf Solar in the amount of $93,100.

And the district’s Personnel Administration operational goal was accepted by the Board as incompliance with few exceptions.