Board discusses COVID-19 quarantine protocol in Axtell

On Wednesday, Oct. 13, the Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education (BOE) held a special board meeting at the Sabetha board office to further discuss the Marshall County Health Department protocol presented during the BOE regular board meeting on Monday, Oct. 11.

Starting off the meeting, Leslie Scoby presented information about Marshall County, stating the county commissioners would meet Thursday, Oct. 14, to revisit their COVID guidelines. L. Scoby also shared information regarding the Test-to-Learn, Test-to-Play option, which Hiawatha had opted into. 

According to L. Scoby, she spoke with Hiawatha Schools Superintendent Lonnie Moser. L. Scoby said per her and L. Moser’s conversation, L. Moser said the quarantine situation “seemed to very quickly get out of hand.”

“He [L. Moser] said they had 100 students quarantined, and they had to do something so they opted into test-to-learn. He said the test to stay program was even worse, because they were not only going to do the rapid test, they wanted the Hiawatha nurses to be trained to do PCR tests at school. The nurses were not in favor of that,” L. Scoby said. “He said ‘I knew our parents would never agree to that. I would never want to do PCR tests for students in school.’”

According to L. Scoby, Hiawatha has removed themselves from the program.

Ann Shaughnessy continued to give her support for this quarantine option, saying other Marshall County schools have accepted the protocol and have had no problems.

Kathy Lippert stated the board needs to keep decisions at a local level, and not bring in more government involvement. Jim Scoby agreed with Lippert, saying he’s unwilling to allow another government entity into their decision. Shaughnessy countered that USD 113 is involved with government entities all the time.

Ed Reznicek said he doesn’t see why this decision has become an issue. He believed Axtell should at least try the protocol out first. Kent Saylor agreed, saying they should go with what the Axtell patrons want and allow Axtell to try out this protocol as an experiment for a little while.

The board voted to allow Axtell to try the Test-to-Learn, Test-to-Play quarantine option for Axtell only. The vote failed 3-4 with Shaughnessy, Reznicek and Saylor in favor, and Lippert, L. Scoby, J. Scoby and Stan Keim opposed.

After the vote failed, Shaughnessy said Axtell will adopt the Test-to-Learn, Test-to-Play option without the board’s approval. Lippert said Axtell can’t do that. Shaughnessy stated KDHE said they don’t need the board’s approval to follow that protocol. Evans said Shaughnessy “technically was not wrong, but he didn’t approve of that decision.”

To watch the Oct. 13 special meeting on Youtube, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLAthGPLS48.

Erin Herrmann101 Posts

Erin Herrmann is a reporter at The Sabetha Herald. She specializes in school board reporting, features and advertising design.

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