Charlotte Richter | Staff Writer
During the monthly school board meeting, the Unified School District 207 Board of Education heard a presentation regarding the USD 207 mask exemption policy and
continued updates on Impact Aid and the new Patton Junior High School project Oct. 26 at the district office.
Kirsten Workman, a member of the Fort Leavenworth community, registered nurse and mother of a student in the district, reasoned against parts of the current USD 207
mask exemption policy as part of a 15-minute presentation to the board.
Workman called for changes on the USD 207 mask exemption forms, stating that the timeline of implementation for the USD 207 mask exception policy was time-consuming and fast-changing, and said she felt that the forms are in overreach in medical privacy despite the ambiguity in the request for information.
Workman said the current medical exemption forms required by the school board do not resemble current state and federal requirements for such documents, especially because the documents require medical providers to include private and/or unnecessary information to adequately endorse requests. She said that while providers can offer an endorsement, noting the specific reasoning as required on the current document is difficult for a provider to do quickly without including sensitive details such
as those covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Workman asked the district to better adapt to existing Centers for Disease Control guidelines and adjust the required information on the USD 207 mask exemption
form with regard for parental decision-making and student needs without further documentation.
The board said they would quickly take Workman’s presentation under full advisement.
Impact Aid update
Following up from meetings in Washington, D.C., Superintendent Keith Mispagel reminded the Board of Education about the debate to include the enrollment rate
from the 2019-2020 school year in Impact Aid eligibility requirements. While using the 2019-2020 enrollment rate would benefit USD 207, other districts have returned
to pre-Covid enrollment rates and would prefer not to demonstrate sustained low enrollment.
Mispagel said a Senate bill was recently introduced to support the continued supplemental Impact Aid flexibility.
“More to follow, it has not been finalized or approved yet, but this is optimistic that it was introduced again,” Mispagel said. Rich Holden, USD 207 School Board chief financial officer, said Impact Aid applications are due by the end of January, so further updates are anticipated soon.
New Patton update
Holden said construction on the New Patton Junior High School is making progress. He said the contractors have agreed to more administrative building standards.
Holden also said the new building’s ethernet system is in place, the south parking lot and drive have been poured, and the operation of heating and cooling systems is upcoming.
“Basically the exterior of the building is coming to a rapid conclusion in the next two to three weeks,” Holden said.
The next USD 207 Board of Education meeting is at4:30 p.m Nov. 22 at the district office. The meeting is open to the public.