December School Board Meeting

December School Board Meeting Focuses on Health
Posted on 12/04/2020
This is the image for the news article titled December School Board Meeting Focuses on HealthThe last Weakley County Schools Board meeting for 2020 included a presentation on school health, consideration of two board policies, and discussion of upcoming travel.

On Thursday evening, board members gathered at the Board of Education and via online conferencing for their regularly scheduled meeting.

After viewing a brief video recapping the 2020 Weakley County Schools Spelling Bee held early in the day at Westview, Director Randy Frazier commended the winner, Luke Lawrence of Gleason.

Chair Steve Vantrease next called on Bethany Allen, director of Coordinated School Health. She offered updates on the Weakley County School Backpack program, screenings, and COVID-19.

The meal provision program for those students who have been identified as needing supplemental meals for the weekend has been adjusted due to the pandemic. She said it is currently serving 160 students. She expressed appreciation to the Northwest TN Local Food Network and their work to provide sweet potatoes to the backpack recipients prior to Thanksgiving.

Due to COVID, health screenings are not part of the schedule as they have been in the past. However, upon request, screenings are provided.

Allen praised the work of the school nurses who are the frontline for COVID in the schools. She explained that the contact tracing for each reported case or exposure involves going into each area where the affected student was and measuring who was within the six-feet limit.

“I’m very thankful they are in the schools and they are able to handle that [additional responsibility],” noted Allen. She also offered praise to the transportation department for their conscientiousness on buses.

She reported that a total of 189 students and staff were absent on December 3 (the day of the board meeting) due to COVID-19 isolations or quarantines and noted that recent CDC guideline changes will now allow for those in quarantine to return to school sooner. (For more details, click here.)

“We are watching numbers every day and trying to keep everyone as safe as possible,” she concluded.

Vantrease asked if any quarantines had uncovered a student who did test positive after having been placed in quarantine. Allen replied that there had been eight as of the last accounting period.

Both Frazier and Vantrease expressed appreciation to the schools for their continued caution and focus on safety.

First readings of two policy matters were approved. One addressed timing-related changes to the existing policy on naming new facilities. The other was a policy drafted in accordance with new state law regarding students in foster care. The policies will have their second readings in the January meeting.

During Frazier’s report he called board members attention to an email received regarding participation in a previously approved basketball tournament involving travel and overnight stay during the Christmas break. The email offered the stringent guidelines and protocols that have been adopted for the tournament including crowd and team limitations. Frazier said he wanted to keep the board informed of the safety steps in place. After a brief discussion, he was told to continue with prior guidance to allow for the request.

The Zoom link for the public to join the meeting online is provided each month in the calendar entry at weakleyschools.com. The recording of this month's meeting can be found here.