Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner-Edgerton School District plans to continue following the Johnson County District and Health Department Gating Criteria while in the red zone.
The exception will be for high school sports and activities. The motion passed 5-2 at the Sept. 14 meeting with Tresa Boden and Lana Sutton dissented.
Boden and Sutton said they don’t agree with the county’s gating criteria.
“If we are only testing people who are sick then we will never get out of the red,” Sutton said. “It’s all good for kids doing sports, and it’s so blooming hard.”
Sutton said the district had parents who wanted kids in the classroom. “And we took it away from them,” she said.
Boden said it was nobody’s fault. “I think there’ll be great innovative things that come out of this,” she said. “But things were taken away from them,” she said.
Brandon Parks, member, said sports is completely optional. “Choice was never taken away,” he said. “That is a fallacy.”
Parks said no one was happy about the current situation.
Boden said as a former health director for the district she remembered a different situation during the H1N1 Flu Outbreak. “We were still in school, and it was a kid killer,”
Parks said the choice hadn’t been taken away.
Boden said the county took away the choice. “The county threw us under the bus,” she said.
Sutton and Boden said public education was hurting in the current situation.
Pam Stranahan, superintendent, and Bruce Kracl, director of operations presented the City of Gardner’s plans to build a roundabout at Waverly and Madison Streets in front of Madison Elementary School.
Stranahan said the school district, neighbors and fire department oppose the plan. She shared the letter that was sent to Gardner on September 3 and said safety is one of their biggest concerns.
“The biggest concern is foot traffic,” she said.
Stranahan and Kracl said there are no stop signs, and they worry about the attention span of motorists, the increased walking path distance and busses.
Kracl shared maps of other Johnson County schools that have roundabouts in the vicinity of their buildings. “Other elementary schools don’t have to cross roundabouts,” Kracl said.
Robin Stentz, board member, said she has concerns as a former bus driver.
“As a bus driver, there are kids everywhere,” she said. “I stop, but no one else does.”
Boden said the roundabout plan sounded really dangerous. “People are going to be paying attention to their driving and not the kids,” she said.
Board member Rob Shippy, board member, said he isn’t opposed to roundabouts as a traffic concept and they work well in certain areas. “We have more foot traffic,” he said.
Parks said the purpose of a roundabout is to keep traffic flowing.“We want people to stop around schools,” he said. “We don’t need traffic to keep flowing.”
Stranahan said the roundabout is not a good fit for the safety of students.
The Gardner’s Public Hearing is September 21 at Gardner City Hall.
-Board members also adopted a new contract for math textbooks and a seven year online resource contract with Pierson Envision For approximately $197,000. The last time the textbooks were updated was for the 2004-05 school year.