A familiar face will be filling the seat formerly held by Cecil Chadwick for the next couple months. Former Marshall School Board member Bonnie Clayton was selected to complete the remainder of the term after earning three votes at the Feb. 17 meeting.

A total of five people applied to fill the position; Clayton, spring election candidates Allison Fuelling and Justin Rodriguez, and Salomon Acosta and Becky Armstrong.

Each of the individuals underwent brief interviews at the meeting where they were each asked for their qualifications and experience, what they hoped to accomplish during the brief stint, and a closing statement.

Clayton served on the board for nine years and had been employed by the school district for 35 years. She offered to complete Chadwick’s term because of her knowledge of the board operations; Clayton knew that it takes some time to learn the ropes when a person is first put on the board.

“That’s the reason I offered to do this,” she said. “I never thought I would come back here, but I never thought Cecil would be gone either, and that’s my biggest justification – to help finish Cecil’s term.”

Clayton vowed to uphold the law, not say or do anything that could be harmful to the district, and make decisions to benefit the district’s students.

She noted the school board was very important to Chadwick and “cared so much about how the institution was running the benefit to the kids. I guess I would try to continue her voice and do that as close to Cecil-like as I could.”

The topic of filling a vacant board seat continued to be a point of discussion as the body had a first reading of a revised policy and procedure for filling board vacancies. Using the McFarland School District policy as a guideline, Grady said the Marshall policy was slightly revised. A second reading and potential action on the revisions to the policy and procedure will be brought before the board at a later date.

District COVID-19 dashboard updates

Superintendent Dan Grady reported the dashboard is now showing more instances in segments for close contacts and symptomatic students is because there are more students on campus. As of the meeting date, children were in the building at the Early Learning Center, elementary school and middle school.

The superintendent emphasized that just because a student has COVID-19 symptoms does not mean they have the virus; the district is just being cautious as a way to prevent the spread of what could be COVID-19. Grady said the district had been very aggressive when posting the number of symptomatic students, adding symptoms of COVID-19 can also be symptoms of other illnesses.

“We’re getting four or five kids a day that have the symptoms,” said executive assistant to the superintendent and communications and marketing specialist Kristi Nowak.

According to the dashboard, last updated Feb. 17, there have been six and 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases among students and staff, respectively. A total of 41 students and 22 staff had symptoms of the virus and 40 students and 62 staff had been identified as having close contact. If anyone was part of these groups, they were told to not report to the school building for a pre-determined length of time.

Other board news:

• Grady emphasized the district would continue offering its hybrid-learning model, where students could opt to attend school in-person or remotely, would continue through the end of the year.• The board approved the high school and middle school course description handbooks. There were very minor changes to each such as renaming the choir courses at the high school, the addition to a world mythology class at the high school, and the inclusion of the three-day rotation schedule at the middle school, which was set to be implemented this academic year but had to be held off due to COVID-19.

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