Huntingburg Optimist Club September meeting

President Thewes opened the September meeting with Susan Elkins leading members reciting the Optimist Creed, Jim Heidorn led members in the Pledge of Allegiance and Gene Thewes offered a prayer.

New Business: The members in attendance approved a donation of $7,500 to the Southwest Dubois County School Corporation to help pay for the purchase of 30 "hot spots." They allow students, who don't have access, to connect to the internet for livestreaming lessons provided through Zoom. They cost $315 each and more may need to be purchased later. This is something that wasn't in the school's budget. Roger Niehaus made a motion to approve the donation request, Jim Heidorn seconded and the motion pasted unanimously. The club has $27K in our checking account and our budget for 2020-21 is $19K. Should we not have a basketball tourney or fair, in the coming year, we still could fulfill our commitments.

Southwest Dubois Superintendent Tim LaGrange was the guest speaker. He explained the need to have "hot spots" and other local schools have been using them without any problems. They allow them to receive curricular content at home and interact live with the teacher. Masks, hand sanitizers, cleaning rooms every day, virtual learning, etc., cost $1,250 per student each semester. Another expense was $18,000 (paid by a donation from the Dubois County Community Foundation) for temperature testing equipment for all the schools. Zoom has provided free use, but may start charging $7,500 for the site starting Oct. 1.

The students have been complying very well with the wearing of masks and other COVID-19 requirements without any issues. It has been one of the really positive results from having to deal with the virus. One of Tim's biggest problems is the constant changing of the rules. It is very difficult to manage when the rules change, sometimes weekly.

Hopefully this will pass soon and things will return to normal.

Our next meeting will be Sept. 17.

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