Superintendent provides COVID-19 update

DeKalb County Superintendent Jason Barnett provided the board with an update on where they stood regarding the upcoming school year and COVID-19 during the DeKalb County Board of Education meeting Tuesday.

Barnett said as of right now, they are planning to proceed with the original school calendar start date of August 7 for the 2020-21 school year.

“As of right now, we anticipate our school year beginning on time,” he said.

Early enrollment applications for DeKalb Virtual Academy were sent out early this year, as an option for parents to consider.

“It is a rigorous program where parents of students who may be concerned or have anxiety about sending their kids back in the fall can certainly apply to and get more additional information,” said Barnett.

He said there would be many who will take advantage of that opportunity; therefore, there may be some adjustments made as the year progresses.

Barnett said he met with a large committee that is a part of smaller sub-committees a couple of weeks ago to consider how they will proceed to reopen school this upcoming school year.

In the upcoming days Barnett will meet with those committees to consider various items including some of the following:

• Nursing protocols

• Students that get sick

• Inventory

• Resources

• Transportation

• General instruction

• Extra curriculum

• Professional development

• General school procedures

• Special education

• Personnel

• Career tech

• Facilities

“We want to have a thoughtful plan developed, and we are working with a lot of people, a lot of voices to make sure we are on the right scales and the right process to get school going back next year,” said Barnett.

He said proper sanitation and cleaning of the facilities is one of those processes. There are a lot of people working to ensure everything is safe.

“I will be meeting with the leaders of those subcommittees in the next couple of days, and we will be working to continue to develop a plan to present to you all and the public on how we are going to handle things next year as we begin school,” Barnett said.

He said they want to do it as safely and efficiently as possible.

“I believe school is something that we need, the kids need, we all need, and it’s very important that we do it in the safest manner as we possibly can,” said Barnett.

DeKalb County Board Member Carol Hiett asked Barnett if he could encourage the school principals to look at the teachers’ school supply lists as back to school preparations continued.

“Since we missed nine-weeks, I believe of school this last year, and a lot of folks have been out of work, [could we] take a look at the teacher supply list,” she said.

Hiett said although most grades have a standard list of particular items per grade, sometimes it doesn’t matter if one teacher needs all of it or not, they all ask for the same thing.

“They should have some leftover supplies this year and not have to ask the parents for so much,” she said. She added that some items could be voided all together.

She encouraged Barnett to ask the school principals to look at those lists and try to minimize those and not “have to ask the parents for so much supplies.”

Barnett said they would certainly be mindful of their resources as they move forward in the upcoming year and with the items asked to be provided by parents.

The regularly scheduled meeting continues to be held via the digital platform Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board also:

• approved the schools financial statements/ general fund bank reconciliation and local school fund balance, bill and accounts and FY 2020 Budget Amendment #2

• approved the following bids: CNP - milk, bread, ice cream and produce, Cleaning services for central office, facilities building and DeKalb Virtual Academy from Hester’s Cleaning Service and More at $1,775.00 per month.

• approved the on the job injuries of Stanley Bullock - custodian - Valley Head High School - 3 days and Adam Haynes - maintenance worker - facilities - four days

• approved the retirements and resignations of Lakala Willingham - secondary mathematics teacher -Plainview High School retirement - 6/1/20, Jon-Alan Pope - math instructional coach - system - resignation - 6/12/20 and Teddy Whitmire - secondary science teacher - Fyffe High School - resignation - 6/15/20

• approved the leave of absence of Ashley Williamson - English language arts teacher - Sylvania High School - 8/3/20-5/27/21

• approved the following transfers (all transfers will have an effective date of 8/1/20 unless otherwise specified): Gregorio Sarabia - 12 month custodian to assistant secretary - Collinsville High School (2020-024), Danica Phillips - elementary teacher at Ider High School to elementary teacher at Fyffe High School (2020-034), Marsha Dobbins - elementary teacher at Valley Head High School to elementary teacher at Fyffe High School (2020-080), Dawn Osborne - assistant special education director to special education director (effective 7/1/2020) (2020-093), Megan Lea - library media specialist/itinerant instructional coach at Ruhama Jr. High School to itinerant library media specialist at Moon Lake Elementary School / Ruhama Jr. High School (2020-103), Daniel Pope - bus mechanic to shop foreman at the bus garage (effective 7/1/20) (2020-109), Kim Osborn - assistant principal (10 months)/teach at Crossville Middle School to assistant principal (10 months) at Collinsville High School (effective 7/1/20) (2020-107), Dr. Anna Hairston - assistant principal (10 months) at Collinsville High School to instructional supervisor (12 months) - central office (2020-106) (Effective 7/1/20) and Misty Gilbert - bus driver at Ider High School to itinerant special education bus aide at Ider Special Services Center (2020-082)

• approved the certified placements (all placements will have an effective date of 8/1/20 unless otherwise specified): Jamie Pruett - secondary mathematics teacher - Ider High School (2020-045), Lisa Thayer - elementary teacher - Collinsville High School (2020-072), Amanda Kasinger Smith - elementary teacher - Collinsville High School (2020-072), Nicole Carroll - business education teacher - Valley Head High School (2020-088), Renae Fraley - elementary teacher - Valley Head High School (2020-089), Molly Veal - elementary teacher - Crossville Middle School (2020-099) and Akela Barkley - itinerant English language arts teacher - Henagar Jr. High School / Ruhama Jr. High School (2020-104)

• approved the support placements of Kristen Haymon - itinerant school nurse - Henagar Jr. High School (2020-044), April Shrader - CNP supervisor - central office (2020-067) (effective 7/20/20), Michael Peppers - bus driver - Crossville Schools (2020-076), Eddie King - bus driver - Sylvania High School (2020-095), Desiree Henderson - pre-K auxiliary - Ruhama Jr. High School (2020-096), Christopher Haston - computer hardware / software technician - district (2020-097) (effective 6/17/20) and Robert (Bobby) Hullett - bus driver - Crossville Schools (2020-098)

• Vice Chairman Robert Elliott voted no to the support placement of Kristen Hayom.

• Chairman Randy Peppers abstained his vote on the support placement of Michael Peppers.

• approved the following summer workers: Grant Atchley - Sylvania High School, Hunter Hill - Sylvania High School, Brody Coots - Fyffe High School, Koby Harris - Fyffe High School, Caleb McSpadden - Geraldine High School, Bret Hulgan - Moon Lake Elementary School, Corey Blair - Plainview High School, Geovanny Chaparro - Plainview High School, Matthew Ogle - Valley Head High School, Seth White - DeKalb County Technology Center and Cally Mays - Facilities

• [Note: Some schools did not want or need a summer worker but were provided with a monetary equivalent of a worker to be used for their campus.]

• approved the following contracts: The Learning Tree - Applied Behavioral Analysis - IDEA B, Berenise Luna - translator for school enrollment - local and Bris Torres - translator for school enrollment - local

• approved the following superintendent’s recommendations, comments and reports:

• approved Jennifer Williams - assistant superintendent supplement

• translator salary schedule correction to differentiate between a translator and transliterator.

• approved the adult CNP meal increase to $3.75 from approximately $3.50.

• approved supplement from the Bear Club to Robi Coker for $20,000

• approved supplement from the Fyffe Athetic Club to Paul Benefield for $15,000

• approved the removal of Internet Opt Out Policy

• approved request to place pending board approval.

The next meeting will be held on July 9, 2020 with a regular meeting at 12 p.m. (The meeting will be conducted through a digital platform).

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