The Maple School Board discussed facility use by non-school groups and revisions to the Northwestern Elementary School COVID-19 plan at its Monday, Oct. 12 meeting.

The board approved a motion allowing only school groups to use district facilities in November. They expect to revisit the issue at the Nov. 9 board meeting to make a decision on December facility use.

District Administrator Sara Croney said they’re trying not to move too fast, too soon.

In September, the district did not allow any groups, school or non-school, to use district facilities, which gave custodial staff time to set up a cleaning routine. In October, school groups such as girls basketball and open gyms were allowed.

A school group is led by school coaches, Croney said, which provides accountability. Non-school groups could include people from the district, but also people from outside the district. Groups that have used district facilities in past years, generally starting in November, include robotics, dance studios and youth basketball leagues.

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“There are a lot of groups who would like to use the gym when it’s available,” said board member Mike Granlund.

Board member Adam Landwehr said he was concerned about the children who will not be able to participate in activities.

“What we’re saying is those opportunities for those kids will be put on hold,” he said.

The board also tweaked the COVID-19 plan for Northwestern Elementary School to account for cooler weather. Physical education classes will return to the gymnasium, but students will wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.

Encore classes at the elementary school art, music and counseling will return to their home settings for instruction. Since school started this fall, the teachers have been traveling through the building offering mobile classes in homerooms. The teachers will keep seating charts for each class, will monitor and rotate any items used by students in order to limit contact, and clean between each group.

Croney said both changes were approved by the Douglas County Health Department.