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FISHER — The Fisher school board approved its fiscal 2021 budget following a public hearing which no one attended.

The budget shows a $509,000 deficit in its main funds, education, operations and maintenance, working cash and transportation. Superintendent Barb Thompson said the greatest deficit is in the education fund per usual. But the district has $5.3 million in reserves.

Also the board scheduled a public hearing on implementing a tuition waiver for employees’ children for Oct. 19, during the regular monthly board meeting. Thompson said the district has already lost four students to such a tuition waiver in other districts where their parents work. When introducing the waiver program this summer, Thompson said it could be a teacher recruiting and retention program.

Thompson discussed the first month of school, a hybrid system where students attend in person four days a week and online on Wednesdays.  

“We’re on an adventure, a learning curve here,” Thompson said.

She said staff, students and families have been cooperative and supportive.

In the district’s first year of serving breakfast, about 55 students a day participate. On Wednesdays, 113 combo breakfast/lunch meals are provided where requested.

Thompson said due to special pandemic USDA regulations, no students are paying for meals and won’t do so until after December.

Junior/senior high Principal Jon Kelly said like open house, parent/teacher conferences will be online next month.

He said the 2 p.m. dismissal time allows teachers to work with students who have elected to work online or students who have been quarantined.

The SAT test is set for seniors and the PSAT for juniors Oct. 14, a Wednesday, a non-attendance day. He said the CEO program continues, with two Fisher students and eight from two other area high schools.

Kelly said discussions will begin on when and how to do homecoming, but he thinks it will be some time in the spring since fall sports are postponed until then. He will be enlisting student input to see what they want.

Also, Kelly said seniors will be painting their parking places soon.

Grade school Principal Jake Palmer reported virtually from home as he has been quarantined since his wife, an emergency room nurse, tested positive for the coronavirus.

He said his teachers have been doing in-service remotely on the school’s new math curriculum and planning curriculum should the governor order all schools to return to fully remote teaching something this year.

Palmer said teachers in the older grades make use of Google Classroom on Wednesdays while those in the younger grades use something called Seesaw.

Also the board approved designating U.S. 136 as a hazardous crossing, something it does each year, and approved the disposal of excess property, including high jump pits.

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