Audio: Trenton R-9 Superintendent Mike Stegman discusses the pandemic, funding and new Performing Arts Center

Trenton R-9 School System with Mike Stegman

Trenton R-9 Superintendent Mike Stegman says COVID-19 has made the 2020-2021 school year unique. It came after the district closed its school buildings in March 2020 due to the pandemic.



Stegman explains the administration tried to protect students and staff from something it did not know a lot about. Many decisions were made based on the information available at the time, and the information kept changing.

One of the first things the administration did was issue a mask mandate in Trenton R-9 buildings.



Stegman says staff members had to learn new presentation methods, and teachers had to deal with quarantined students.



Stegman comments that students sent home last March had to deal with an unexpected change in their life.



Parents were also affected when the school buildings closed last year. Stegman says parents who had jobs had to find someplace for their children to go, and daycare centers were also limited on what they could do. Parents also had to deal with children being quarantined.

Trenton R-9 rescinded its mask mandate in April.



Due to a federal executive order, students are still required to wear masks on school buses.  Stegman hopes the district can get more back to normal as the next school year begins. That includes live in-person learning.



The Trenton R-9 School District received federal funds in the last year to help with the pandemic.

Superintendent Mike Stegman reports Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds were used to purchase cleaning supplies, masks, and other items for daily operation.



Stegman is thankful the district was able to purchase hardware with federal funds. He notes the district is still looking into using federal funds still available for programming to help students in the future.

A federal food program also allowed students to eat for free. Stegman describes it as being like the free and reduced lunch program.



Precautions were taken at each school when it came to dining.



The Trenton R-9 School District opened the performing arts center at the high school in April. Superintendent Mike Stegman says the center took 20 months to build and about two years to plan. He is happy with the outcome.



Stegman is excited about events that could be held in the performing arts center. He notes it has been busy since it opened.



Ron Dougan with the Dream Factory asked Stegman on a recent Open Line on KTTN if there were plans to open the performing arts center to the community next school year. Stegman says there are, and the center will be handled the same way other district facilities are now.



Stegman adds that the community supported the construction of the performing arts center, and the community has a right to use it.