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School system continues mask requirement, COVID-19 protocols

School system continues mask requirement, COVID-19 protocols
By Christa Jennings

 

Following action taken at April’s Board of Education meeting, Coosa County schools have continued to require the use of masks or facial shields for the remainder of the school year.

Superintendent of Education David Stover Jr. recommended approval of continuing to require the wearing of masks or shields for the duration of the school year. Additional protocols for COVID-19 prevention have also remained in effect, such as temperature checks, had sanitizing and cleaning procedures.

“Our goal is to continue to provide our students with a safe learning environment, and we want to assure we are able to accomplish school functions like sports programs, awards ceremonies, and graduation ceremonies,” Stover said.

The board proceeded to unanimously approve continuing the mask or shield requirement for the remainder of the school year.

Also related to COVID-19, it was stated during the meeting that with the expiration of the extended Families First Coronavirus Response Act leave on March 31, the board would continue to support its employees in their need of leave time because of COVID-19 qualifying reasons, utilizing paid administrative leave up to 10 days, and expiring September 30.

The board also approved personnel matters and changes during last month’s meeting.

The board unanimously approved acceptance of a letter of intent to retire from Janet Carr, paraprofessional, effective June 1.

Additionally, the board approved four religious holidays for Central High School Coosa County teacher Alicia Thompson for the second semester of the school year.

It was explained that once Thompson has used her five personal days for the year, she would receive unpaid leave for the remainder of the days taken. Board President Tiffany McCain recused herself from voting on the matter.

Board Member Gay Adams was not present for the meeting, and the remaining three members approved the religious holiday request.

Further, regarding personnel matters, the board unanimously approved one non-renewal and one termination of an employee.

The approved non-renewal was for a certified employee, Christy Smith, effective at the end of the current school year.

Additionally, the board approved the employment of Central Elementary School teacher Jordan Rogers being terminated effective immediately, as of the April 22 meeting. Rogers was not present for the meeting and also was reported to not have submitted a written statement to the board for consideration.

In other business, the board unanimously approved entering into a contract with Jarrod Bullard for lawn care services beginning April 1 and ending December 31, as well as approved a field trip to Six Flags in Atlanta, Ga., on May 15 for students to participate in the Education Day program. Science teachers Mr. Mitchell and Mrs. White sponsored the trip, and students paid to attend.

Also during the meeting, the board heard a presentation from State Examiner David Lane with the board’s audit exit report for the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2020.

Lane provided the final report on the audit of the county’s records from October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020. He only noted one finding, that a board shall not pass a budget with expenditures in excess of income.

However, the board passed a deficit budget. The board unanimously approved the audit exit report, and the full report is available online at www.examiners.al.gov.

The board also dismissed into executive session for five agenda items regarding discipline matters. No action was taken on any of those matters.

In other business, Superintendent Stover reported that TCR Child Care was approved for its grant to house pre-kindergarten and Headstart programs in the old high school building. Stover has discussed with Kay Jennings of TCR about the school system utilizing portions of the building and also how the family and consumer sciences students could assist their childcare program.

Stover further stated that he had met with the president of Central Alabama Community College and that he will be coordinating another meeting to include mayors in the county to discuss programs CACC can offer to Coosa County, such as adult education.

Additionally, it was reported that the school system’s summer school and literacy camp will be held two weeks in June and two weeks in July with funding from summer reading allocation and federal funds.

Bus transportation will be provided to and from numerous communities for program participants and athletic participants. Summer school will be five days per week from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and grades four through six will be eligible on the elementary level this year.

In other business, Stover reported that the annual Alabama State Department of Education’s inspection of the school buses was completed in February and that it found no major deficiencies in the system’s fleet.

The board changed its May meeting date because of graduation ceremonies being held on the regular meeting date, so the board held its May meeting yesterday evening. The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Board of Education will be held at 5:30 p.m. June 24.

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