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August 13th, 2020

usd 480 carterDr. Todd Carter talks to the USD 480 school board Monday evening about the district’s reopening plan. The plan is currently in a very rough draft and can be viewed at L&T photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


The USD 480 school board had a relatively light evening of work during its most recent meeting Monday evening. 

Up first for the board was the administrator reports, including board discussion of a rough draft of the USD 480 Restart Plan (which can be viewed in its entirety at and an update from USD 480 Director of Technology Rusty Tuman about a handful of tasks going on with the technology side of the district. 

“We’ve been working on our access point audit as we get personnel back working full time,” Tuman began. “At Seymour Rogers Middle School, as we were finishing some things, we found two access points that were down, and we were able to replace them and get people able to work from those again – one of them was out due to a power outage and the other one was because of the multiple days of 40 mph-plus winds. We tested more of the lines including at the high school east campus, we walked through there and found a spot where there was no access point and replaced it. Then in the gym in the east campus we found two access points that were non-functional and we are planning to replace them very soon, they should suffice for that area and what we need there. With the vape detectors, all of those are up and operational at Seymour Rogers Middle School, so those are all ready to go and we’ll be putting in some of those detectors in the high school east campus building. After we put the detectors up in there, that will conclude our work with the vape detectors.”

Tuman also talked about recovering equipment. 

“We’ve been walking the district buildings, we’re looking through cabinets and lockers and those places in order to recover whatever is left in the buildings,” Tuman said. “At Eisenhower Middle School we found 20 bags, four Chromebooks, and seven chargers, and at Seymour Rogers Middle School we didn’t find anything extra, which is great because that means those students were responsible. At the high school east campus, we found one iPad, one Elmo, two bags, five Chromebooks, six chargers, and six N22's, which is what we call old Chromebooks. We haven’t walked through the high school yet, but we’re planning on doing that very soon. In that effort, we’ve also sent several e-mails to students and parents reminding them to bring back their equipment or else face an increased late fee – and those don’t include the students who will be taking Driver’s Ed and/or other summer school courses, those are properly checked out and everything. I think we’re down to about 200 right now in regard to people needing to bring the Chromebooks and other equipment back.”

Girls wrestling also came back before the board, this time to approve the hiring of coaches for the middle school teams. Discussion of girls wrestling has been going on throughout the district for several months. 

“This is something that has come up with the league a few times and basically the desire is there for girls wrestling to be a separate program and have it girls wrestling girls instead of having it co-ed like at some schools,” USD 480 Director of Secondary Education Joel Applegate said at a February 2020 meeting. 

“Currently, the wrestling season we have runs concurrently with basketball, so if there are girls who want to go out for wrestling, they have to choose between the two because it doesn’t work out to do dual sports,” Seymour Rogers Middle School Asst. Principal Dedre Schneider said at that February 2020 meeting. “So what the league is proposing is having boys wrestling and girls basketball go from October to December, and then from January to March, depending on how the season actually goes, having girls wrestling and boys basketball. We currently have one less sport for our girls than what we offer for the guys, so by having girls wrestling as a standalone, those numbers would be equal for boys and girls. We wouldn’t need any new uniforms or anything like that because we’d use the same uniforms as the boys team, and we currently have enough of them. As far as coaches, what we had discussed is we would have one from Seymour Rogers Middle School and one from Eisenhower Middle School.”

Schneider was back at Monday’s meeting to continue discussion of the program. 

“Right now, the girls have to choose either basketball or wrestling, they can’t do both,” Schneider said. “This will allow them to do wrestling in the fall and then go to wrestling in the spring and they can do both if they’re interested. I’m very excited about it and I know in talking to some of our girls, they’re excited about it too. And a lot of them are at the point now where they would prefer not to wrestle with boys, they’re more comfortable wrestling girls, so having this provides that opportunity. We’re also somewhat planning for the two coaches to work together and help foster that competition, which I think is great. I also think it’s great there’s this much interest in doing this.”

“If there are girls who want maybe a higher level of competition they aren’t getting from the girls wrestling side, would there be a chance for them to move up and wrestle with boys if they are okay with that?” board member Nick Hatcher asked. 

“It’s definitely something we could look into, but I could not say 100 percent one way or the other,” Schneider said. “But best case scenario, the most they’d probably be able to do would get into the practices and work on what they need to.”

Ultimately, the board voted 6-0 (with Board President Alan Brown absent) to approve the addition of a girls head wrestling coach for Eisenhower Middle School and Seymour Rogers Middle School.

In other business, the board approved the district’s 2020-2021 Charging Policy, 2020-2021 Wellness Policy, and the Transportation Useful Life Policy. The board also approved some new courses for the 2020-2021 school year, which includes Self-Management (Eisenhower Middle School); and Welding (Seymour Rogers Middle School) and Spanish Culture (Seymour Rogers Middle School). 

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