Conestoga School Board discusses Budget, Taxes, and COVID-19

Murray, NEB- Conestoga’s Board of Education met in the High School Media Center on the night of Tuesday, Sept. 16th. The board discussed the 2021-2022 school budget, property taxes, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board’s pandemic planning team, which meets regularly, has closely monitored the COVID-19 pandemic as Conestoga students attend school in-person this year. Their decisions for the school district are based on the advice of the Sarpy/Cass Health Director, who Superintendent Dr. Beth Johnsen meets with often. Despite 3 positive COVID-19 cases in the elementary school and 9 positive cases in the high school, the course of action has remained the same. Masks will continue to be optional for the students and staff. However, students who were directly exposed to COVID-19 can either wear a mask or quarantine at home for 14 days. Cases at Conestoga are down this week with 1 positive case at the elementary school, 1 positive case at the high school, and 1 positive staff member.

The Budget and Finance Committee also gave their report and the full board voted on the 2021-2022 school budget. The proposed property tax levy will remain at $1.08. President Allison Welch stated the tax rate is at a 20-year-low.

Placing another school bond on the ballot was also discussed by the Building Project Committee to fund building projects within the district. It was suggested to break down the ballot by high school and elementary school to give voters an option on which projects to prioritize. No action was specifically taken on this topic.

Board members Allison Welch, David Duzik, Jason Nolting, Dean Nickles, Tracey Priefert, and Candace Kelley were in attendance. Superintendent Dr. Johnsen, Elementary Principal Eric Dennis, and High School Principal Robert Geise were also present. The board will convene again on the second Tuesday in October.