The Fairmont Area School Board on Tuesday heard a report from Superintendent Joe Brown, who discussed the district’s response to the coronavirus fears. He said“We try to make sure that [our buildings] are very clean, and the buildings and grounds staff, and more importantly the students, do a great job keeping them clean. We don’t see any graffiti in our buildings, and we rarely see gum wrappers on the floors. But we have done some additional things in the last 10 days.”

He said director of buildings and grounds Tyler Garrison has obtained additional disinfecting materials, but noted there was an issue concerning hand sanitizer.

“The hand sanitizers that we used to get for about $150 per carton, the price has gone up to $1,000 per carton,” Brown noted. “Then Tyler called me earlier today and told me that if anybody needs toilet tissue, there are different stores in town where there is none. So people are starting to stockpile.

Supt. Brown added “The custodians, both the day shift and the night shift, are doing extra cleaning. They’re making sure throughout the school day to go around two to three times and disinfect all the handles of doorways, bathroom fixtures, and at nighttime they’re sanitizing anything that students would put their hands on.”

The Fairmont School Board approved the 2020-21 school calendar,accepted the retirement request of Elementary Art teacher Kim Koppen and 3rd Grade teacher Cindy Viesselman at the end of this school year.

Joe Brown presented the board with a topic for consideration. He noted recent interest by some board members to add a student board member, in a non-voting role. Brown said that about 95 other school boards in Minnesota have enacted the same or similar measures, citing a Minnesota School Board Association document on the history of the issue. Board members expressed their support for the idea, and the issue will be addressed again at a later date.