WAPELLO — On a 4-1 vote during its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, the Wapello School Board agreed to revise the district’s athletic and other extracurricular uniform color policy.
Under the new policy, all uniforms will incorporate the school’s colors of royal blue and gold, using specific PMS (Pantone Matching System) numbers to ensure the colors are standard for all uniforms.
The policy will require uniforms to comply with any mandated colors, such as the white home basketball uniforms required by National Sports Federation rules, but neutral colors will be allowed for the background color of non-mandated uniforms.
However, if a neutral color is used, all lettering and numbers must be in the school colors.
All uniform purchases will continue to require approval from both the athletic director and the superintendent.
The uniform issue developed last month after the board was told new girls and boys basketball uniforms that incorporated a dark base color had been purchased by the teams following a fundraising drive.
Those uniforms apparently violated the school’s original policy, which had stipulated uniforms were to be royal blue and gold.
Athletic director Michelle Wade had accepted the blame for that mix-up, explaining she had misunderstood the policy color rules and had missed seeing the requirement for the superintendent’s approval of any purchase.
The board agreed at the Dec. 9 meeting to allow the basketball teams to continue using the new uniforms pending a decision on a revised policy. Board member Duane Boysen had opposed that decision and he continued to cast the lone dissent at Wednesday’s meeting.
In other action, in a hopeful sign of a return to normalcy after a year of COVID-19 cancellations and related issues, the board approved new contracts for the 2021 Wapello Pro Rodeo.
Last year’s event was canceled because of the pandemic. However, Wapello FFA advisor Cassi Montandon told the board many of the contracted activities from last year had rolled over 2020 deposits and were ready to provide services at this year’s event, set for July 16 & 17.
The board approved all the contracts except a proposed new one with Sideline Productions, Brookings, SD., after board members questioned if the company would roll over the $4,250 deposit if COVID-19 forced a cancellation again this year.
Montandon said she would check with the company, which would provide a large video board and camera equipment, and report back to the board.
A $54,798 request for Modified Allowable Growth for excess At-Risk Programming costs was also approved. If the state’s School Budget Review Committee approves the request, the school will recover additional spending authority.
The board also agreed to continue the district’s current mask policy and review it again next month. Both elementary principal Brett Nagle and secondary principal Steve Bohlen said the policy was working in their buildings, which currently had only a few students and/or staff quarantining.
Boysen continued to oppose the policy, but was defeated in a 4-1 vote.
In final action, the board:
• Approved board policies relating to board meeting management and operation;
• Accepted a $20 per unit purchase price for up to 100 obsolete Chromebooks;
• Received an update from Bohlen on a planned education planning module that will assist high school students with identifying future career goals.