School officials to get training for COVID testing program


CLINTON — To satisfy the state mandate that all teachers and staff be vaccinated against Covid-19 or undergo weekly testing, Clinton school administrators will be trained on the Shield coronavirus testing program. 

Superintendent Curt Nettles told the board at the Sept. 21 meeting that Richland Community College has been using this test since last spring.

"I want to make this as convenient as possible," said Nettles, who is working with Richland to bring the testing to their Clinton location, adjacent to school property. Clinton school personnel would run the testing at the local Richland building. 

"The testing would be free," said Nettles. "The main thing is to get some of us trained to do (the testing).

While the Shield testing would be free to the district, the Covid testing for students will not be.

Test to Stay, a rapid Covid test offered by Reditus Laboratories, tests students on days one, three, five and seven following a close contact with an infected Covid patient. Any student with symptoms will go home, said Nettles. Students with negative test results may remain in school. 

Nettles asked the board to buy an inventory of test supplies to keep on hand to test students following exposure so they can stay in school. Test results should be returned within six to eight hours.

"I would like to spend some money to accomplish this," said Nettles. "I can't tell you how much I'm going to spend but we can keep tabs on it and not go over the budgeted amount. My goal is to not have a bunch of kids going home. We're trying to be as least restrictive as we can." 

"I think we will have parents who don't want their kids tested, but we're trying to do whatever we can to keep kids in school."

The board unanimously approved Nettles to spend money for the Test to Stay program, not to exceed the budgeted amount. 

The board also approved a new policy for "Spectator Conduct and Sportsmanship for Athletic and Extracurricular Events."

"When we have parents that come through and feel that they have the right and the privilege to abuse referees or our coaching staff during ballgames, it's unacceptable," said Nettles. "We have a pocket coming through right now and we need something strong for (Athletic Director Matt) Koeppel to work with."

The new policy prohibits "vulgar, obscene, or demeaning expressions directed at participants, officials, coaches, district staff, or other spectators." Such behavior during an athletic or extracurricular activity can result in the spectator being removed for the event and suspended for attending district activities for a set number of events.

"We want people to be setting good examples for our kids," said Nettles.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved the high school band trip to Universal Studios in Florida in June 2022.
  • Approved the FY22 budget.
  • Discussed the process to find a new board member to fill the seat vacated by Rodney Roger's resignation. 
  • Approved the hiring of the following staff: Michelle Mahoney, Lincoln aide; Elizabeth Cunningham, CES math interventionist; Jordan Kraft, assistant football coach; Kristen Butler, CES aide; Allie Sprague, Douglas aide; Alexis Benson, Douglas aide.