R-III schools receive needed aid funding

Derrick Forsythe

Relief from outside sources will provide much-needed services for both the Warren County R-III School District and its students’ families. News of two forms of financial assistance was discussed during the R-III school board’s monthly meeting on Feb. 11.

Among the conversation topics was how to allocate a $2.1 million federal stimulus package that R-III expects to receive.

“We have not gotten those funds yet, but we did go ahead as a board and discuss how to spend some of the money,” said Superintendent Dr. Gregg Klinginsmith.

The board elected to allocate $1.3 million toward upgrading the HVAC system at Daniel Boone Elementary. 

“We’ve really been patching that together to make it work and meet our needs, but it needs to be fixed and done correctly,” Klinginsmith said.

Additionally, R-III will install new filtration units in the classrooms to help reduce the spread of COVID and other airborne illnesses.

“We will be using an apparatus that removes the virus out of the air in the classrooms,” said Klinginsmith. “Any sort of flu or COVID virus would attach itself to that and render it neutral.”

After the allocated funds, around $800,000 of the relief money has not yet been designated.

In addition to the stimulus package relief, R-III was also the recipient of a Missouri grant that will benefit the Care Day program, a service provided for students on Mondays when classes are not in session. 

“This grant will make Care Day free for all families in the district through 2023,” explained Klinginsmith. “We’re really thrilled, because that will be able to provide a good opportunity for families on Mondays when we’re off.”

On Care Days, students gather at the same campus location for structured periods of hands-on learning opportunities with meals provided. Prior to this year, the service had been free, but the impact of COVID prompted a $20 fee per student during the 2020 fall semester. 

“Our numbers have gone down this year, and that could be contributed to a number of factors,” said Klinginsmith. “Certainly part of that may be now having to pay during COVID.”

Care Day Coordinator Dr. Janelle Stanek was able to acquire the grant with the intention of opening this service back up to more students for the next two school years.

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