By Ralph Echtinaw
Although St. Louis students have the option of attending classes virtually during our recovery from the China virus, 78 percent of them choose to attend school in person.
Superintendent Jennifer McKittrick told the school board Monday, Jan. 18, that 544 out of 764 students are attending classes in person. Another 220 students are attending class via their home computers.
The in-person/virtual split per school building is…
Carrie Knause: 167/41
Middle school: 193/42
High school: 253/79
Attendance rates for the week of Jan. 4-8 were as follows:
Carrie Knause: 95.1 percent in person, 98 percent virtual.
Nikkari: 92.95 percent in person, 87.93 percent virtual.
Middle school: 92 percent in person, 80 percent virtual.
High school: 89 percent in person, 80 percent virtual.
Board members approved the purchase of a new bus for $93,000.
All together, the school district owns 12 buses. “Typically, our rotation is to purchase/lease a new bus every year in order to keep our fleet healthy and get old buses off the road,” McKittrick said via email.
The new bus has storage space under the seats that “will be very helpful for all athletic teams that have heavy equipment such as track, football, baseball, softball, etc.,” McKittrick said. “Now that we have received board approval we will place a purchase order on the bus. Once we place the purchase order we will find out the delivery date.”
McKittrick plans to seek board approval next month for the purchase a 2021 Ford F-350 truck, including a plow, crossover box and undercoating to prevent rust while plowing. The cost for truck and accessories is $47,000. The truck to be replaced is a 1997 Ford F-250.
Teachers and staff in three mid-Michigan counties, including Gratiot, are eligible to receive China virus vaccinations at Alma Middle School on Jan. 23. However, there are only 240 doses available. Sign up is first come first served. There will be at least one more such clinic, but McKittrick doesn’t know where or when.
Monday’s board meeting on Zoom had to be re-initialized after a hacker interrupted the proceedings.
At first the hack took the form of a boy who supposedly accidentally stumbled on the meeting in search of his Zoom class. It got more offensive from there, including photos of young men kissing each other. Superintendent Jennifer McKittrick ended the session, and the meeting continued on another Zoom connection that was emailed to everyone who attended the hacked meeting.
“We have never been hacked before,” McKittrick said via email. “I have not reported it to the police as there is not much they can do about it. The voices had accents that were clearly from other countries. I have gone back into Zoom to ensure this does not happen again. I do think it was for a prank and it has happened all over the world, unfortunately.”