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The Buena Vista school district’s board of education held its first work session and regular meeting of the year on Jan. 10 in a hybrid format.

The meeting room at 113 North Court St. was full to capacity and about a dozen attended via Zoom.

Most of that crowd exited after the board’s community input and work session on the district’s property sales.

After a brief intermission, the board meeting was called into session and opened with Buena Vista Police Department and town hall representatives presenting the various ways in which the organizations are communicating and coordinating.

Police chief Dean Morgan and officer Megan Mitchell, BVSD’s school resource officer, provided summaries of training and education conducted in partnership between the district and police department.

Phillip Puckett, town administrator, planning director Joseph Teipel and recreation special projects manager Earl Richmond provided the board an update on the latest developments relating to town properties, facilities and initiatives.

Mayor Duff Lacy and several members from the board of trustees were also in attendance to communicate with the school board about the various possible interactions between growth and development of the town and the school district.

Superintendent Lisa Yates recapped the COVID updates she provided in the Monday Minute Zoom meeting for parents.

“Just be prepared for all of us to get Omicron,” she said in the Zoom meeting.

The most recent data reported by the district showed 17 cases in BV schools, with most transmission, said Yates, taking place in households.

Yates said that the district’s protocols have been updated in accordance with information and directives from the CDC and public health officials. Isolation and quarantine time has been reduced to 5 days.

Pausing in-person learning remains a possibility due to the extremely contagious nature of the new variant, she said, but pauses would likely be brief in light of the shorter isolation times.

“When you have the surgeon general and the CDC saying to stay the course with in-person learning, I’m not sure how the district can respond to new data as it comes out,” she said when asked about a new CDC report indicating substantially increased diabetes risk in young children who are infected with COVID.

Inconsistencies in test availability is also impacting how students return to school.

“We are not going to be able to use testing in the same way that we might be able to in the future,” Yates said.

A community member in the Zoom meeting commended Yates and the district in their efforts to keep schooling in person.

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