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At last week’s meeting of the Box Elder School District Board of Education, Superintendent Steve Carlsen amended a COVID-19 mandate for the Box Elder School District stating that the social distancing rule has been revoked. Face coverings are still mandatory in all district buildings for all individuals.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Snowville resident and mother Lindsey Wilcock pleaded that the face-covering rule be lifted at Snowville Elementary, as the student population is small and family-oriented. In many situations, she said, students are cousins or close friends and socialize together in other situations, making the mask at school unrealistic.

Although sympathetic, Superintendent Carlsen said he could not change the face covering mandate put in place by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

Thanks to the generosity of Walmart, the school district received a grant of $15,000 in various increments to fund individual projects in classrooms. Walmart representatives Robert Lieske, Dawn Devoe and Klay Hinck recognized individual teachers and their projects.

Lieske praised teachers as those who gave the “spark to children” with education. He said it was a pleasure for Walmart to hand out grant money for educational goals. The board thanked them for their generosity.

Bear River High School student Abbie Fuhriman was recognized for receiving the UIAAA Student Athlete Award — second in the nation. Katy Willis and Lauri Weaver were recognized for making and donating over 1,000 child-sized facemasks in time for the beginning of the school year.

A land developer has offered a parcel of land to the school district near Bear River High School. The board accepted the opportunity to pursue acquisition.

District Facilities Director Corey Thompson stated that the old Corinne Elementary School, now housing the Dale Young Community High School, will be declared surplus property and will be liquidated after the new building is finished.

Despite COVID-caused delays, the new Sunrise High School will be ready for students this year, Thompson said.

Visits to various schools during the first weeks of school resulted in favorable outlooks for the coming days, reported Keri Greener, assistant superintendent of elementary teaching and learning and Gary Allen, assistant superintendent of secondary teaching and learning. There are approximately 550 students online in the elementary grades and 1,005 over all, Greener reported.

Having half-day attendance for the first two weeks of school worked well for both teachers and students while adapting to new environments and rules, they said.

The next school board meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 21 at Fielding Elementary School.

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