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Education Notes: Clippers Try for Fab Lab; Gibraltar Allows Some Fans

Sturgeon Bay High School Tries for Fabrication Lab

Sturgeon Bay High School got the green light from its school board Jan. 5 to apply for a $25,000 Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Fabrication Laboratory Grant. The money would be used to acquire equipment and programming to help students build science, technology, engineering and math skills – building blocks they can use either in postsecondary education or the trades.

Principal Bob Nickel said the board will pledge to use district funds to match the grant money, but the technical-education staff members have also written letters requesting donations from possible private supporters or from employers in the industrial park.

“It’s not a direct career-training program,” Nickel said. “It’s job training in the sense that the skills they would build are for jobs that actually exist right here.”

If the school receives the grant, students could use specialized software and equipment to complete projects from the conceptualization and computer-aided-design phases to the production and construction stages while using laser tables and the school’s CNC machines or wood and metal shop.

The principal and teachers are working with the Cooperative Educational Service Agency on the application.

Gibraltar Allowing Limited Spectators at Basketball Games

The Gibraltar School Board unanimously approved allowing two people “per player household” to attend basketball games. Initially this season, Gibraltar did not allow any spectators at games in Fish Creek, but after a player suffered an injury, Superintendent Tina Van Meer noted that it was important to allow one parent or guardian per player to be present at games.

Board president Stephen Seyfer said the two people could include two pairs of family members for one player who has two households, or just two family members who have two players on the same team.

Principal Gereon Methner recently mapped out a way to observe six feet of social distancing behind and in front of each pair of fans in the bleachers, but the plan could guarantee only a four-and-a-half-foot distance to the left and right of spectator pairs.

Families of junior varsity players may not stay in the gym for a subsequent varsity game unless they have a child on both teams. Methner said the middle school gymnasium cannot accommodate spectators while achieving proper social distancing, so middle school games can move to the high school gym. That will allow for online video streaming and social distancing of approximately 60 spectators.

Gibraltar’s gradual reopening continues in other ways as well. This week, the district reopened to twice-weekly classroom attendance for middle school and high school students. Also, on Monday, the board discussed a way to resume in-person school board meetings with proper social distancing possible for board members and spectators in the auditorium. 

Any Timetable on Vaccinations in the Schools?

Many Door County residents and visitors probably remember lining up at school to get shots for German measles and other diseases. So, when might vaccinations for COVID-19 happen in the schools?

“We do not have a timetable for student and/or employee vaccinations at this point,” said Tina Van Meer, Gibraltar School District superintendent. “The district would be working in collaboration with the Public Health Department, Door County Medical Center, district employees and our parents on any potential vaccination plans.”

Dan Tjernagel, Sturgeon Bay Schools superintendent, also would like to know whether and when district-wide inoculation might occur.

“So far, the staff members who I am aware of who have received the first vaccination are those contracted through DCMC or one or more people who do something for the hospital in addition to for the district,” Tjernagel said. “I have not seen anything solid on vaccination availability for school staff.”

Tjernagel said he had heard that vaccine trials for young people are not as advanced, which could mean autumn before schools are vaccinating. He also noted that, during the past 10 months, directives pertaining to COVID-19 have frequently changed “in a matter of hours.”

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