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The Hiawatha School Board heard updates on protocol for fans at upcoming high school basketball games.

HHS Athletic Director Kim Lillie told the board at Monday night’s regular meeting that Hiawatha will adopt a “ticket” protocol and establish limits for fans at high school basketball games to keep at 50 percent capacity or less. For Hiawatha, this would be about 900 people.

She said this was in line with guidelines released by the Kansas State High School Activities Association. She said all schools in the Big Seven were adopting these guidelines and some were looking at keeping capacity closer to 25 percent, based on the side of their gyms and seating available.

She said each basketball player, band, cheer and coach would be allowed four tickets, which would be approximately 600 people if everyone came. She said they would allow the visiting team 2 tickets for each player and coach and that would approximately be 140. They want to allow some extra tickets for students and additional fans and still keep within 900 people.

Lillie also said they had to reevaluate how the band will be situated to play during games, as guidelines call for each student to be 6 feet apart and trombone players need to be 9 feet away from each other and other band students. Overall, the band needs to be 10 feet away from all other fans.

She also said they will be limiting fans moving from JV games at the middle school to varsity games at the high school. Masks will be required and temperatures will be checked, she said.

HMS Principal Kyley Gatz also discussed issues with high numbers out for boys basketball as 42 players had registered to play. She said the Armory is out for any games this year so all games will be played at the middle school.

Due to the increase in numbers, HMS coaches will alternate practice schedules and games for the JV boys. She said some of the JV players will potentially not see much game time, but this would be a learning experience for them.

“For example, we will have a cohort group practice on one night and the other cohort group practice the next and so forth,” she said. “This will be our practice for games too.”

Athletes playing during the designated night, will have tickets to give their family.

In other business:

The board recognized retirees from last spring that included Brenda Schuetz, Michelle Vitt and Karl Kliewer. Also recognized was Dixie Pethoud, who was supposed to retire at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, but had passed away before the end of the year.

Also recognized were teachers Heidi Diller (HES music) and Karie Covert (HMS art) who received nominations for Recognition Awards — Diller for excelling at remote learning and going above and beyond and Covert for reaching out to a family on remote learning and leaving art supplies on their porch.

As part of the Consent Agenda, the board accepted the resignations of Kristy Schweitzer as HES para and Kylah Bateman as co-director of plays and musicals. In addition, the board approved to hire Harley Calhoon as HMS para, Andy Runer as HMS Scholar’s Bowl assistant coach and Kelsey Hubin as HHS girls basketball assistant coach.

The board heard from and gave their blessing to HHS senior Raven Stroud for a proposed Eagle Scout project to create a mosaic Red Hawk tile in the raised flower bed at the elementary school.

District Maintenance Director Chris Morey reported on a couple projects, including replacing the heat pump at the HMS art room. He said P1 was doing the work for $10,090, including labor.

He also said that light poles had been installed at the elementary parking lot and he estimated the electrician would be on-site this next week to complete wiring for the lights.

The board moved forward on purchasing a tractor, accepting a bid of $36,500 from Skyview Equipment that included a $7,000 credit for a trade-in of the district’s current tractor. The vote was 6-1 with Board President Tom Simmer voting no. The new tractor would be a 75 HP — an increase from the old tractor’s 25 HP. There was some discussion about snow removal and utilizing the tractor for that specifically, which some board members were still concerned that district maintenance staff would be able to take care of it all. Superintendent Lonnie Moser said a lot depends on timing — if snow starts at 5 a.m. and school is still in session, then the district would need to call Aller LLC to take care of the parking lots. However if there wasn’t any school, the maintenance crews would have longer. It also depended on how many inches.

It was the general consensus of the board to continue to have Aller LLC on contract to call if the need arises. The contract charge for Aller LLC was $100 per hour per machine used.

The board voted to make Jan. 15 a non-student teacher work day for the end of the first semester. Moser said this typically happens earlier and was scheduled on the original calendar, but since the district delayed the first day of school until Sept. 2 that pushed the end of the first semester into January. He said this abides by the Master Contract with the teachers.

Moser commended the board members for their dedication to the district and for making hard decisions that would at times be questioned by family and friends. He said some decisions were hard to make, but they all had the best interests of the district at heart.

Moser commented about the planned Youth Basketball League, which starts in January. He said the district had reserved the middle and high schools for the league this year, but had talked with organizers that they would be strict on attendance and cleaning procedures — just as they do for district events. He said it was his understanding that there would be fewer teams competing.

The board will meet at 8 a.m. Friday morning for a special meeting with a main topic to have discussions with a representative from Beynon track company concerning issues with the track surface and warranty. There could be other items of discussion as well. The agenda will be available on the district’s board docs and the meeting will be aired on 415 BOE Youttube.

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