The Mitchell Board of Education will hold its next regular meeting in a virtual format to stay in step with social distancing guidelines in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting, set for 5 p.m. Monday was originally scheduled to take place at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy but instead will take place with members of the board and public accessing the meeting and discussion via telephone and video conferencing.

Members of the board will conference via an audio/video system similar to Zoom, while the public will be able to access the audio of the meeting through their telephones. Joe Graves, superintendent of the Mitchell School District, a technical coordinator and possibly business manager Steve Culhane are the only ones expected to actually be onsite at MCTEA for the meeting. Members of the board will access the meeting remotely and the public will not have access to the meeting room.

Graves said the meeting will be employing technology from the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunication based on a recommendation from the Associated School Boards of South Dakota.

“We went through the Associated School Boards of South Dakota and checked in with them on how to do this, and we found out that this is how a lot of the school districts are doing it,” Graves said.

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The public will be able to listen and comment at appropriate times, such as the portion of the meeting specifically reserved for public commentary, Graves said. He also said he expects future board meetings will be held in this fashion until it is determined safe to return to live meetings.

Meeting in this fashion will be a new experience for everyone involved, Graves said, but keeping the public safe while still allowing them access to their elected public officials and their actions is important.

“We still want to make sure people have access to the board meetings,” Graves said.

Those wishing to take part in the meeting are invited to call 605-224-1125 shortly prior to the meeting and then inputting the PIN number 034 7110#. They can also call 605-773-3011 if they are having trouble connecting and a representative of the Bureau of Information and Telecommunication will assist. All board materials can be accessed at www.themitchellkernels.com under the “School Board” tab.

The board is expected to consider the following actions at the meeting:

  • Accept the audit report for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

  • Hear an update on how the district is handling changes due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Review or revise K-12 board policies 400-600 on first reading.

  • Mark the 2020 official election ballot for the Associated School Boards of South Dakota director in the 1,400-9,999 enrollment category.

  • Consider approval of the Mitchell Middle School handbook for the 2020-21 school year.

  • Re-authorize membership in the South Dakota High School Activities Association.

  • Hear reports from members of the board.