The Manhattan-Ogden School Board unanimously approved a slight change to its Pandemic Response Plan, which is updated twice a year to comply with federal coronavirus funding the district receives.
Superintendent Eric Reid says at the beginning of the school year, the district was requiring masks for anyone who self-identified as a close contact of a COVID-positive individual.
“That really hasn’t been readily done where people are doing their own contact tracing. It’s hard to enforce. Basically it’s a drop of all mask requirements even on close contacts, so people will have a choice of whether they want to (mask up) or not,” he said.
The federal funding continues through September, meaning this is likely the last major update the district will make to its pandemic response plan. The mask requirement goes away as of Thursday.
Board members also heard a facility and capital outlay report from Director of Maintenance Matt Davis, who advised that a long standing project to rehabilitate the greenhouse at Manhattan High School was completed this year and the Career and Technical Education Program recently hosted its first class in the renovated space.
“I’ve been working on it with CTE folks since 2017 and when I was talking to Doug Muller and Elissa Mullinix, they’d been working on it since 2004. To see that project get completed is pretty amazing,” he said.
Davis also spoke about the new turf and goalposts installed at Bishop Stadium.
“That was kind of a dicey project trying to get it done before the first game. It worked and it looks great,” he said.
District officials also recognized Manhattan High School math teacher Lena Gruenbacher as the district’s 2024 Master Teacher.
In other business, the board approved the purchase of a new vehicle for the district’s driver education program.
Wednesday was the final meeting for board members Darell Edie and Brandy Santos, who were recognized for their years of service. Edie is wrapping up 12 years on the board. Santos served a four year term.

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