Lawrence County CARES funds being used

Saturday, January 30, 2021
Trinity Lutheran School Principal Amanda Moennig shows off the newly refinished gym floor. With COVID-19 surging throughout the country, many schools are looking for large spaces where students can socially distance during dynamic lessons, and the new gym is providing Freistatt students that opportunity. Mike Gervais/mgnews@monett-times.com

Trinity Lutheran receives $177,000 in COVID relief funds

Trinity Lutheran School in Freistatt is more equipped than ever to continue offering daily classes to their 100 students thanks to a $177,000 grant awarded by Lawrence County through the CARES Act.

With those funds, the school has purchased personal computers for all of the students and teachers, installed smart boards in every classroom, refurbished the gymnasium floor and upgraded its bathrooms.

The school was also able to purchase a new floor cleaner, masks, hand sanitizer and gloves for students and staff.

Trinity Lutheran Principal Amanda Moennig said the three largest purchases made with the CARES money were Chromebooks at $40,000, the smart boards at $50,000 and the gym floor, which used $45,000 from the CARES funds and $25,000 from private donations.

Moennig said the gym upgrade is a necessity during the COVID pandemic because more and more students and teachers are utilizing the space for more than just indoor recesses. She said many teachers are taking students to the gym for lessons that require too much space for students to properly socially distance in a normal classroom.

Until last year’s remodel, the gym floor was the original tile, and badly in need of help.

“The tile was chipping, so when the kids bounced a basketball, it could break,” Moennig said.

The Chromebooks the school ordered, which have yet to arrive due to the high demand created by the pandemic, will allow teachers and students to seamlessly move between quarantine and in-classroom lessons as more and more people are exposed to the virus.

Moennig said the school currently has seven students who have elected to work from home full-time. At one point, as many as 12 students were on virtual learning programs.

“At any given time we have at least one student, or a whole class, out on quarantine,” Moennig said. “The Chromebooks will give them access to lessons and technology they wouldn’t otherwise have.”

The addition of smart boards in the classrooms will also allow students who are learning from home to participate in-class via Zoom.

Moennig said the technologically advanced board will open a new array of educational opportunities that can include more student participation and included a subscription to new curriculum materials.

“Our teachers have been having to teach differently this year,” Moennig said. “This gives them the advantage of having portable, accessible, high-quality lessons.”

Another large purchase was to replace the old bathroom stalls in the school.

Moennig said the school has installed antimicrobial, stainless steel partitions to replace the 40-plus year-old dividers that had been in place.

With all CARES funds exhausted, Moennig said the school is much better situated to deal with the changing educational climate and continue to serve the community in the wake of the pandemic.

“We are really grateful that in these uncertain, unusual times God has continued to provide for our school and our community. This school opened in 1875 and we are grateful that we can continue to be here.”

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: