Edinburg schools ready for COVID testing
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EDINBURG — The Edinburg Board of Education met on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. in the district Media Center.
Superintendent Ben Theilen informed the Board that he was certified to begin BinaxNow testing right away. The BinaxNow Program is the nasal swaps that can be used for testing students to stay in the classrooms if needed. The program could also be used for staff. Theilen also said he was working on getting his training for the Shield Illinois testing, though that program was still three to six weeks out for being ready to launch. Shield Illinois is the spit test that can be offered once a week to students and staff as a form of baseline testing to try and keep COVID out of the schools. Both programs would allow the district to monitor and react to COVID cases that may flare up in the schools with the prevalence of the Delta Variant.
Both tests would require a parent to opt in for their students. A signature would have to be on file before a test could be administered to a student. Theilen said that the district would not be forcing parents to get their children testing – they would have to make that decision themselves and opt their child in. The district was just offering the test- ing. The Board approved both programs.
Theilen also told the Board that he had been working with the Building and Grounds Committee to get project ideas for the new 50/50 matching Maintenance Grant the state was offering. Having learned from the application last time, Theilen said he was aiming for a grant of around $120,000 worth of projects in case some were denied like they were last time. He wanted to try and get as much money for projects for the district as he could. Most of the projects he spoke of were floor abatements and other floor- ing related projects that needed done, but he was willing to listen to any suggestions. He just needed Board approval to submit an application to the grant. The Board approved the grant application.
Theilen also took the time to talk to the Board about health insurance. Like many people in Illinois, the district has health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield, who are cur- rently accepted in-network providers by Springfield Clinic. That changes in November, when Blue Cross Blue Shield will become an out of network insurance provider. Most people in the district use Springfield Clinic as their doctors, so the union was understand- ably concerned about this. Theilen stated that he was looking into getting bids for other insurance providers, as the district lawyer had explained he did not see much hope of the issue between Springfield Clinic and Blue Cross Blue Shield being resolved.
Also approved at the meeting:
– Consent agenda
– Board policies
– FY22 district budget
– District signature card resolution
– Personnel report
The nest regular meeting of the Edinburg Board of Education will be held on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. in the district Media Center.