By Charlotte Richter/Staff Writer
Unified School District 207 recognized Garrison leaders and school board members, discussed COVID-19 guidelines and approved Project ARMIES exergame purchases during the monthly school board meeting Jan. 24 at the district office.
The USD 207 School Board recognized Michael Whitecotton, retiring deputy to the Garrison commander, and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Antwone Jones for their support of the school district during their time at Fort Leavenworth.
Whitecotton and Jones were recognized for promoting the value of public education, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic, and their service aligning with the district’s mission, vision and goals.
Jones said the district’s care for the education of military children is comforting to the
Garrison. Whitecotton said he appreciated the Garrison-district partnership.
“I’ve been doing this for 42 years…I have never been associated with a school district that works this closely with the installation,” Whitecotton said. “It is truly remarkable.”
School Board Appreciation Month Superintendent Dr. Keith Mispagel recognized Board President retired Col. Myron Griswold and Board Vice President retired Lt. Col. Chris Evans for their roles in the district as part of School Board Appreciation Month. Mispagel praised the attention to detail that both board members have in their recommendations to improve and maintain the district each year.
“We couldn’t do what we do in our community, with our partners and for our families,
without the dedication of the two of you for everyone,” Mispagel said.
Griswold thanked the community and said he couldn’t be happier to serve the Army and
“This position I’ve been in for a while is a labor of love, and I know it’s a great privilege and distinct honor to be the president of the Board of Education of USD 207 with my colleague (Evans) here,” Griswold said. Evans said he couldn’t be more pleased about
the year’s outcomes and about the help received from those in the district, including help from the parents and the board president for implementing ideas.
“Here it is — it’s just a big symbiotic relationship that we have here, where all of us are here helping one another for the bottom line of helping the kids,” Evans said. “As long as they get a good education, then we’ve done our jobs.”
Mispagel shared updates on guidelines aligned with the Centers for Disease Control, the Combined Arms Center and the installation. He shared data on how schools are tacking
COVID-19 through absences.
“In school to school, because of our masks, social distancing and handwashing, there has not been a transmission from a positive student to another,” Mispagel said. Guidance Mispagel shared included that fully vaccinated people who experience close contact should monitor for symptoms, but do not need to quarantine if they are asymptomatic.
Those people can attend school or work as normal and should undergo recommended rapid antigen testing on the sixth day, before school, through USD 207 with a completed parental consent form, supplies permitting.
Unvaccinated people who experience close contact should quarantine at home for five days and can return to school or work on day six if they remain asymptomatic. Those people should also undergo recommended rapid antigen testing on day six, before school, through USD 207 with a completed parental consent form, supplies permitting.
Symptomatic students, staff or faculty should test and isolate at home. If tests return negative, the person should stay home until he/she is asymptomatic without the use of fever-reducing medication.
If students, staff or faculty test positive, they should isolate or continue to isolate at home for five days. They may return to school or work on day six if they are fever-free and asymptomatic for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
COVID-19 school guidelines and definitions can be found on the Fort Leavenworth USD 207 website under the safety tab on the homepage or by following the link below:
The school board approved the purchase of exergame equipment to advance Project ARMIES: Anchoring Reading and Mathematics in Exercise (Health) Sciences grant initiatives. The Project ARMIES grant funds the equipment, estimated at more than $600,000. Deputy Superintendent Dr. SuAnn Grant said the equipment is anticipated for delivery and installation Aug. 1. Mispagel reiterated that the equipment will be in each USD 207 school and will bring into practice active movement, intervention and enrichment.
Mispagel said the implementation of exergame equipment is an exciting opportunity for both the district and for the company offering the equipment.
“We’re one of (the equipment company’s) largest partners, and the impact on exergaming and what our Project ARMIES will do for students with movement and learning is a commitment from them because not many school districts or schools
have committed to the opportunities for active movement and engagement.”