Mask signs on Red Wing High School doors

Signs on Red Wing High School exterior doors remind students to don their masks during March 2020. Aerie photo

The Red Wing School Board met Monday night to discuss face covering requirements, additional busing and more.

Here is what you need to know.

Face coverings

The board confirmed that mask wearing may be required for the start of school this fall due to the COVID-19 Delta variant, although no official decision has been made.

Board member Arlen Diercks said, “We are aware of the masking issues, more than likely we will be needing to wear masks.”

During the discussion, a motion was made by Board Vice Chair Jim Bryant to not require masks in September, which failed 3-2 with Holly Tauer and Nicky Buck absent from the meeting.

Board members Anna Ostendorf, Jennifer Tift and Diercks agreed that more information from the district’s COVID-19 Response Team is needed to make the final decision.

It was voted 3-2 to table this conversation, along with a draft of the learning plan for 2021-2022 for the Aug.16 regular board meeting.

Additional busing

While discussing school start times for the upcoming year during the special meeting July 26, Superintendent Karsten Anderson agreed to contact First Student to determine if adding two more buses would make a difference in timing.

After contacting them, Anderson explained that it would not reduce any gaps in bus timing by more than five minutes because not all routes would be shortened enough.

The district decided not to add any more buses.

School safety coordinator

A school safety coordinator will be hired to primarily serve Red Wing High School for a $60,000 salary. 

George Nemanich, high school principal, said, “We just need somebody who can help us, not just supervise hallways . . . which is what our student monitor was doing. We want somebody who's trained in the ability to . . . work with students, have training in de-escalation. . . and just really enhance the overall safety of our building.”

To cover the additional cost, the internal teacher substitute positions will be reduced by $24,000, a student monitor position will be eliminated and 10% of the cost will be coded as long-term facilities maintenance.

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