BOE approves class of 2026, Pioneer Pathways principals, moves forward with plan for library monitorship

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The+KSD+Board+of+Education+moved+their+bi-weekly+meeting+to+an+online+setting+in+wake+of+a+phone+call+that+the+Kirkwood+Police+Department+received%2C+insinuating+the+occurrence+of+illegal+activity+during+the+BOE+meeting%2C+Monday%2C+Jan.+24.

The KSD Board of Education moved their bi-weekly meeting to an online setting in wake of a phone call that the Kirkwood Police Department received, insinuating the occurrence of illegal activity during the BOE meeting, Monday, Jan. 24.

The KSD Board of Education moved their bi-weekly meeting to an online setting in wake of a phone call that the Kirkwood Police Department received, insinuating the occurrence of illegal activity during the BOE meeting, Monday, Jan. 24. On Zoom, the BOE addressed the current mask policy, substitute shortages, Prop R design plans, the hiring of new educators, and a system for monitoring books checked out by KSD students.

The meeting was opened by Laura Heidenreich, executive assistant to the superintendent, who read aloud letters from citizens concerning KSD’s mask policy. Some letters advocated for masks to be a choice made by students and parents. Others expressed support for the district’s current mask policy. On Dec. 13, the board approved a motion for KHS, Nipher and NKMS to return to the second semester “mask-recommended,” with a plan for elementary schools to transition to this policy within the quarter. That decision was withdrawn due to Superintendent Dr. David Ulrich’s concern over rising hospitalizations, especially within the student body. The BOE has not yet introduced any plans to change the mask policy in the foreseeable future, including plans to make KN95 masks required. KSD has, however, decided to supply all staff with KN95 masks, in hopes of reducing transmission without changing policy for students.

Ulrich also discussed the nationwide substitute shortage and KSD’s attempts to handle the situation amidst rising cases. He said KSD is prioritizing sick teachers staying home, and said the district will move students into other classrooms in order to make sure they stay in classrooms with physical teachers.

The BOE also discussed the current state of Prop R building renovation plans. Currently in the design stage, the district will be hearing bids from multiple architectural firms. Board Secretary Nikole Shurn asked the board whether the plans would involve the work of minority women. Ulrich and district Chief Financial Officer Mike Romay assured Shurn that KSD will have minority women working on the projects. 

Additionally, the BOE approved the hiring of Dr. Shiree Yeggins, who will succeed Mrs. Romona Miller as the Assistant Principal of Pioneer Pathways and Dr. Courtney Ford as the Assistant Principal for the Class of 2026, who will succeed Mr. Jeff Townsend.

Finally, the BOE discussed a system to be implemented in KSD libraries which would notify parents if their children checked out a book deemed inappropriate for their age based on the book’s content. The BOE will host a work session regarding the library monitoring system Feb. 7.