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story.lead_photo.caption Members of the North Callaway Board of Education turn to listen to a speaker during Thursday night's meeting. Board member Greg Huddleston was absent. Photo by Helen Wilbers / Fulton Sun.

KINGDOM CITY — During Thursday's North Callaway Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Nicky Kemp gave an update on ongoing upgrades at the buildings.

In November, the board approved a $97,849 contract with Sound Solutions Digital Surveillance Group to replace some security cameras and add others throughout the district's four schools, the T-Bird Learning Center and Central Office.

Aside from an annual monitoring fee, the project's costs should be covered by state and county CARES Act funds, North Callaway business manager Kellie Chapin said. That's because the district will use the cameras to add in contact tracing efforts.

Wire installation and exterior drilling has been completed at the high school, North Callaway Middle School and Hatton-McCredie Elementary. Drilling will occur at other buildings on Mondays when students aren't in school.

"The installation can happen while school is in session," Kemp said. "They can be done by Feb. 15."

During the holiday break, computer networking company QNS completed internet-related improvements partially funded through the federal discount program E-Rate.

The Wi-Fi systems in the high school, Hatton and NCMS were upgraded with new access points, and older network switches were replaced at Hatton, NCMS, and Williamsburg Elementary School.

At the high school, 43 Wi-Fi access points were upgraded at the cost of $19,435.93. Hatton got 25 new access points and three new network switches for $20,653.28. NCMS received 24 access points and four network switches for $20,707.44. At Williamsburg, four older network switches were upgraded for $7,331.59.

The district is also working to install LED bulbs at the high school, central office, TLC and Auxvasse Elementary School. Neal's Electric has completed upgrades at the high school and is finalizing details at the other locations; a company representative will present a formal report at the February board meeting.

Of the used bulbs that aren't burned out, 10 cases will be kept in storage and approximately 800 bulbs will be listed as surplus.

Other business

School board members voted to approve the district's proposed 2021-22 academic calendar.

During the summer of 2021, July 3-11 and Aug. 1-8 are blocked out as "dead weeks" with no sports or other student activities.

School starts Aug. 24, with the last day of school falling on May 27, 2022.

First semester will end Jan. 13 — after winter break.

"This semester was the first time we tried ending in January, and the teachers are in favor of doing it again," Kemp said.

Board member Tim Safranski asked about potentially starting Thanksgiving break on Nov. 25, the day of Thanksgiving, rather than Nov. 24. The idea was quickly shot down.

"My parents live three hours away," board member Amy Reinhard said. "If I had to travel Thursday, I probably wouldn't go."

Each district in Missouri is required to plan 1,044 instructional hours and 60 hours of inclement weather makeup days, for a total of 1,104 hours. North Callaway's approved plan has a total of 1,105.05 hours.

To view the full 2021-22 calendar, visit bit.ly/2LZmVNT.

Board members also voted to set a special meeting for 6 p.m. next Thursday at North Callaway High School. During that meeting, they'll hear and vote on whether to accept the results of the district's 2019-20 audit.

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