When: Ephrata Area School board meeting, Jan. 11, via Zoom.
What happened: Using recommendations from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Penn Medicine LGH physicians and the district’s physician, district Superintendent Brian Troop discussed with board members a return to play protocol for how a student-athletes will reengage in athletic competition, if they test positive for COVID-19.
Background: Following a positive test, the medical experts concluded that a student-athlete should refrain from sports for a minimum of 14 days and have a physical examination. If the student-athlete has symptoms, the recommendation is an EKG heart test before an athlete can return to sports. If the EKG is normal, the athlete can follow the procedures for returning to competition. If EKG is abnormal or the doctor sees anything to raise concerns, the athlete will follow the doctor’s recommendations.
Quotable: “No student-athlete will return to competition without written approval by their personal physician or the school’s physician,” Troop said. “The doctors are making the final decision on anyone returning to sport, after (a student-athlete) has been COVID-19 positive.”
Technology education: Business manager Kristee Reichard talked about three items the board will vote on at its Jan. 25 meeting. The first was the consideration to approve the proposed 2021-22 Lancaster County Career & Technology Center budget at a 2.29% increase for school districts. Ephrata’s share is a bit lower at 1.9%, or just more than $17,000 increase for the total budget of $22.79 million. The majority of the increase is going toward salaries and helps CTC move to a 1-to-1 student to device ratio. The CTC provides technical educational opportunities to high school and post-secondary individuals.
COVID-19 money: A second federal bill passed in December for COVID-19 relief. Reichard said it is still being determined how much money the district will receive. Reichard said the last figure she heard was about $2.3 million. She is not sure when the district will get the money, but it will be available for the district’s use until September of 2023. The district will have to apply through the state.
Future project: Reichard said bid documents for the Music/Washington/HVAC/District Office project will got out for bid March 9 with bid opening April 13. The estimated $38 million project has a has a time frame to award a contract tentatively set for the April 26 board meeting, Reichard said. Financing will likely come before the board in June, when the district will look to start construction. The project has three main components.
Part one: There would be an addition to Ephrata High School to accommodate expanded music and performing arts spaces. A program called Project Build a Better Future, which teaches students ages 18-21 with special needs how to prepare for life outside the classroom — now housed at the Washington facility — would move to the high school. The headquarters for the student services department, also there, would move to the high school.
n Part two: The district has planned a complete HVAC system replacement at Ephrata High School.
Part three: The district has also planned for a complete HVAC system replacement at Ephrata Middle School.
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