Serving the High Plains

San Jon votes not to charge admission to sports events

SAN JON — The San Jon Municipal Schools board voted to not charge admission to sports events the district hosts this school year, but it would open its concession stand for games for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began last spring.

Superintendent Janet Gladu said during the board’s Aug. 9 meeting the New Mexico Activities Association was recommending districts use a cashless app to charge admission to games. She said, however, many elderly attendees would be confused or irritated by the app. She suggested a donation box near the gymnasium entrance instead.

Admission prices previously were $4 for adults. Gladu said San Jon didn’t have a budget allocated for athletics this year, though San Jon is offering volleyball and possibly cross country this fall.

Board members seemed disinclined to charge admission and approved a motion to not charge any for the 2021-2022 school year.

“We’re not going to break the budget with sports being free,” board President Frank Gibson said.

The board approved a motion to revive the concession stand at the gymnasium during games. Gladu said teachers wanted it back as a form of school fundraising.

The board also approved a motion to follow New Mexico Public Education Department guidance for spectators and athletes at games. Under the rules, high-school athletes and spectators can be unmasked only if they are vaccinated. The board held the option of adopting more stringent COVID-19 requirements but did not entertain that possibility.

Gladu said she was investigating what platform to use for streaming games over the internet and wouldn’t know what option to recommend until later this month.

She said streamed games were free during the last school year, and she said she was inclined to continue the service this year for free or a small fee because the service proved popular with athletes’ grandparents who don’t live in the area.

Gladu said a few early-season games would be streamed on social media until a platform option is chosen.

In other business:

• The board declined to enroll in the state’s proposed Extended Learning Time Program that would help students regain instructional time lost during the pandemic. The additional eight weeks would have cost $50,000, which Gladu recommended not approving because it was “too big of a hit” on the district’s budget.

• The board with little discussion approved the state’s COVID-19 Response Toolkit issued last month. Masks will be required for elementary children younger than 12 because they aren’t yet eligible for a vaccine. Staff and students older than 12 who are vaccinated will not have to be masked. Social distancing was reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet. Gladu recommended the board approve the guidance, and members approved it unanimously.

• The board approved a low bid of $1.67 a gallon from Tucumcari LP Gas for the district’s propane contract. The other bidder, Pinnacle of Albuquerque, bid $1.96 a gallon.

• The board voted to not renew its BoardBook subscription, which stores meeting packet materials online for $2,500 a year. Several board members said they didn’t use the service or found it difficult to log onto it. Gladu said she keeps all board packets on a hard drive for at least two years.

• Gladu described her plans for a Team Member of the Month award. Teachers will choose the honor by an online vote, and the winner will receive a wreath that will hang on his or her classroom door. In May, board members will choose the Team Member of the Year.

• Board members met for 40 minutes during a closed executive session to discuss a student who was not identified. No action was taken.

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