Superintendent's Message

December 2020 Superintendent's Message

With November drawing to a close and the ongoing issues with COVID-19, the number of events at our school in December will be very limited in comparison to past years and limitations will also be in place with the number of spectators allowed to view events that are scheduled.  Fortunately, our winter home sporting events that take place in the main gym will be viewable on your computer by going to Youtube.com and typing Antwerp Athletics in the Search Bar.  A specially designed camera has been positioned in the main gym to provide this service.  Radio station 102.7 FM will also live-stream and provide broadcasters for all Antwerp home Varsity boys’ and girls’ basketball games.  Visit www.my1027.org to view the games.

Parents, students, and community members are reminded to visit the COVID-19 Data Dashboard located at the top of our school website page.  The Dashboard serves as a means to keep the public informed regarding the number of COVID-19 situations/cases in a school community.  The Dashboard has two main components.  One of the components is a data-image illustrating the number of active confirmed positive cases among students and staff.  This page is updated a least once a week.  The other component is a section with three frequently asked COVID-19 questions/answers including a link to a COVID-19 Related Decision-Making Protocol document.

One of the many initiatives that have been put in place at our school to address the COVID-19 situation is the use of artificial intelligence body temperature sensor devices.  There are currently two devices located in the school for the purpose of checking the body temperatures of individuals upon entry into our school.  The devices are located in the MS/HS office and the A-Wing entrance area.  The temperature sensor device located in the MS/HS office (nicknamed Sheldon), resembles a small computer tablet on a stand.  The device has a built-in camera that uses sensors to read the forehead temperature of the individual who is standing in front of the tablet.  After reading the body temperature, the device displays a numerical temperature reading and gives a green or red colored light display indicating if you passed or failed.   

On behalf of the students, staff, administration, and Board of Education, a thank you to the voters of the district for your support of the Permanent Improvement tax levy renewal.  The continuation of the tax levy will allow the district to advance the effort to provide a high-quality educational facility and equipment for our students.   Examples of the funds current and future use include our effort to increase the safety and security of our students and staff by installing new fencing on the western side of our playground area and a new emergency entry gate placed on the northern corner.  We will also add additional mulch to the playground area.    

Our breakfast and lunch programs have seen a significant increase in the number of meals served during the month of October.  This is due in large part because of the announcement by the USDA that all breakfast and lunch meals served to our students will be free of charge for the remainder of the school year.  Prior to the month of October, our cafeteria provided an average of 309 breakfast and 3,500 lunch meals per month.  During the first month (October) of the free program offering, our cafeteria served 2,565 breakfast and 6,682 lunch meals.

Winter weather and safety of the students is always a concern during the next several months.  Although decisions on whether to delay or cancel school are always made with the safety of students in mind, changes in the weather and road conditions can happen quickly.  Please make sure your contact information in Instant Alert is up to date so you receive notice of delays, cancellations, or early dismissals.

Friday, December 18th will be the final day of classes before the holiday break.  There will be no school December 21st    – January 1st. Classes resume Monday, January 4th.  I hope everyone has an opportunity to spend time with family and friends during this holiday season.

I am very thankful for the support from the community, students, staff, administration, and school board.  I am surrounded by people who have a vested interest in making Antwerp Local Schools a great place for each child to reach his/her potential.  

Yours in education,
Dr. Martin Miller
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