School board approves new procedure if teachers are quarantined

The DeKalb County Board of Education passed new procedures that outline what will happen if a teacher is needed to be quarantined due to COVID-19.

The DeKalb County Board of Education approved the Employee Quarantine/Remote Work Procedure, a remote learning option during last Thursday's meeting.

During the Aug. 27 board of education work session, DeKalb County Superintendent Jason Barnett was asked if employees would have to use up their personal days if they had to be quarantined more than once. Thursday evening Barnett provided answers.

“As we said during the last meeting, it’s not necessarily the board's intent for the faculty and staff to use their personal days if they are required to quarantine from a confirmed COVID-19 case in the course of their work duties,” Barnett said.

Although the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides eligible employees with a 10-days of paid leave due to illness, Barnett presented the board with an Employee Quarantine/Remote Work Procedure to aid in the event of additional quarantine time needed.

“This remote learning option will be provided to individuals who are exposed [to COVID-19] through the course of their daily assigned duties and were not negligent,” said Barnett.

In terms of contact tracing, Barnett said the guidelines were more strict and read the following points:

• If an individual has a confirmed case, they would need to contact personnel for their FACRA Leave and the 10 days available.

• In the event that quarantine is due to direct exposure outside of work, they would need to file an application with payroll and again use their FACRA Leave as applicable.

• In the event that an individual is quarantined due to the direct exposure within the direct course of their work duties, that individual may use the FACRA Leave if applicable. If they are quarantined due to a direct exposure within the direct course of their work duties and have fully exhausted their FACRA Leave, the individual may apply for a remote working opportunity during their quarantine for a maximum of 10 days for that exposure. During those 10 days, the employee can choose to work remotely to the best of tier abilities to fulfill their normal work obligations.

Barnett provided the following example: If a teacher is quarantined and wants to utilize the Employee Quarantine/Remote Work Procedure so they won't have to use their personal days, they would provide the daily instruction for their classroom remotely either via the digital platform such as Zoom.

The remote teacher would use available tools to provide instruction, and the substitute teacher would support the students and the teacher. However, the teacher would be expected to carry out general instruction remotely to the best of their ability.

Barnett said once their FACRA Leave is exhausted and the employee chooses not to utilize the remote instruction learning, then they would be responsible for days in the form of personal days.

“But if they are willing to work remotely, we are willing to support and help them. It’s like an on the job injury,” he said.

Similar to an employee hurt on the job, Barnett said they would provide the 10 days via the Employee Quarantine/Remote Work Procedure.

“If you get a contact trace while you’re doing your job, we want to support you. We can’t help every single situation,” he said.

Board member Mark Richards asked what would happen if a teacher or employee is quarantined at home and is too sick to do the work.

“If they are sick, then that means they are not quarantined for a contact trace but are a confirmed case. They are a positive case they need to focus on getting well, and they would need to use the FACRA Leave,” Barnett said.

He said the Employee Quarantine/Remote Work Procedure is generally for workers feeling well but are sent home because they have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.

“If someone is sick, they need to focus on generally being well,” said Barnett.

Barnett was asked if he had any plan for workers who could not do their job remotely, such as bus drivers or lunchroom workers.

He said although they have tried to do their best to minimize exposure for those and all other workers, if they are exposed, there is not much they can do remotely, but they are going to work with them.

“If they were exposed to a child on their bus and it meets that criteria, we are going to work with them. The lunchroom is somewhere that people may work in close quarters; sometimes, we are going to have to work on that case by case,” said Barnett.

Last week, DeKalb County Schools finished their fifth week of school. Barnett said, so far, he has been extremely encouraged and pleased with how things have gone.

He said there are still some application processes that would need to be finalized for the Employee Quarantine/Remote Work Procedure, but he wanted to present it to the board for approval.

Barnett also took the opportunity to thank every school system member for their efforts and their work this school year.

The board also:

• approved the FY 2020-2021 DeKalb County Schools Budget

• approved the school’s financial statements/general fund bank reconciliation and local school fund balance, bill and accounts

• approved the retirements and resignations of Misty Brooks - itinerant special education teacher - Geraldine High School - retirement - 9/1/20, Stanley McClendon- bus driver - Geraldine High School - retirement - 11/1/20, Amy Banks- itinerant special education paraprofessional - Geraldine High School - resignation - 9/30/20 and Lila Brothers - CNP worker - Crossville Middle School - resignation - 10/31/20

• approved the leave of absence of Holly Darnell - elementary teacher - Crossville Elementary School - 10/7/20-12/18/20 and Michelle Collins- CNP worker - Crossville Middle School - 8/19/20-10/31/2

• approved the following transfer of Tiffany Harris - bus driver at Crossville Elementary Schools to bus driver at Crossville Middle/ High School (2020-213)

• approved the certified placements (All placements are made pending a background review meeting suitability criteria and negative, pre-employment drug screen and appropriate certification): Avery Gipson - secondary English language arts teacher (Leave from 9/8/20-12/18/20) - Fyffe High School (2020-204) and Marilyn Brown- high school counselor - Geraldine High School (2020-207)

• approved the support placement of Shawn Hutcherson - CNP Worker - Plainview High School (2020-139), Nancy Eberhart - Bus Driver (Tech Route)

• approved the following volunteer coaches: Alicia Shrader- assistant secretary - Fyffe High School (2020-205), Sara Teal- assistant custodian (9 month/ 7 hour) - Plainview High School (2020-208) (effective 10/1/20), Jason Lindsey - itinerant special education paraprofessional - Plainview High School (2020-209) (effective 11/1/20), Gary Bearden- bus driver tech route - Geraldine High School (2020-210) (effective 11/1/20) and Erin Rowell- bus driver - Geraldine High School (2020-212) (effective 11/1/20)

• approved the following volunteer coaches: Crossville High School-Jeff Martin for basketball, Ider High School- Robert Elliott for softball and Shawn Traylor for basketball and softball.

• approved the following contracts: Danette Townson - homebound - Local, Monty Coker - gifted students bus route - Local, Terry Scott - gifted students bus route - Local, Randall Templeton - gifted student bus route - Local, Marisol Munoz - ESL tutor - Title I, Michael Peppers - 21st Century after school bus driver - Crossville - Title IV, Harold Bouldin - DVA instructor - Local, Harold Bouldin - DVA instructor - Local, Justin Croley - DVA instructor - Local, Amy Dyar - DVA instructor - Local, Kathy Fossett - DVA instructor - Local, Kelley Maddox - DVA instructor - Local, Mark McMahon - DVA instructor - Local, Amber Selwyn-DVA instructor-Local, Tracy Tidmore - DVA instructor - Local, Scott Timmons - DVA instructor - Local, Ann Brownfield - DVA instructor - Local, Luette Benefield - contracted Collinsville band director - Alabama Arts Initiative Grant, Carrie Atchley- DVA course building - Local, Sundown Services- custodial services - IDEAB and Alex Thomas - computer student technician - Local

• approved the following custodial support: Teresa Bowen - custodial support (2-hour) - Collinsville High School (2020-186), Gregorio Sarabia - custodial support (2-hour) - Collinsville High School (2020-186), Tanner Cowart - custodial support (2-hour) - Fyffe High School (2020-190), Judd Stiefel - custodial support (2-hour) - Fyffe High School (2020-190) and Michael Phillips - custodial support (4-hour) - Plainview High School (2020-194)

• approved the following coaching supplements: Collinsville High School - Daniel Garrett- varsity football, Shane Stewart- assistant football, Jordan May- assistant football, Jeff Stanley- assistant football, Chris Conde- junior football, Jon Tidmore- head boys basketball, Tracy Hulgan- assistant varsity boys basketball - JV boys basketball - Jr high boys basketball (8th)- JV girls basketball - assistant varsity girls basketball, Jon Tidmore- head girls basketball, Casey Isbell- head volleyball, Tanya Ford- B team volleyball, Shane-Stewart- baseball - JV baseball, Claire Chandler- softball - JV softball, Jeff Stanley- soccer (boys), Luis Segura- soccer (girls), Ryan Stanley- JV boys soccer, Allie Jones- varsity cheerleader and Kayla McAteer- Jr high cheerleader, Crossville High School - Dusty Darnell- varsity football, Chuck Dutton- assistant football, Riley Edwards- assistant football, Jonathan McGill- assistant Football, Ty Cole- assistant football, Ethan Jones- assistant football, Jake Peek- head boys basketball, Sam Tidmore- assistant varsity boys basketball - JV boys basketball, Jesse Martin- Head Girls basketball - JV girls basketball, Molly Martin- assistant varsity girls basketball, Ariel Johnson- head volleyball, Nicole Jensen- B team volleyball, Kent Colvin- Baseball - JV baseball, James York- softball, Georgana Crisson-JV softball, Lana Smith- golf (girls), Sam Tidmore- soccer (boys), Christy White- soccer (girls) and Alexa Williams- varsity cheerleader, Crossville Middle School - Kent Colvin- Junior football - Jr high boys basketball (8th) - Jr high boys basketball (7th), Taylor Clough- Jr high girls basketball, Ethan Jones- Jr high baseball, Ty Cole- Jr high soccer (boys) and Tobey Hicks Williamson- Jr high cheerleader, Fyffe High School - Paul Benefield- varsity football, Steve Edge- assistant football, Brad Thomas- assistant football, Brian Mashburn- assistant football, Paul Benefield- junior football, Chris Szydlowski- assistant varsity boys basketball, Neal Thrash- head boys basketball - JV boys basketball - Jr high boys basketball (9th) - Jr high boys basketball (8th) - Jr high boys basketball (7th), Luke Powell- assistant varsity girls basketball, Heather Powell- head girls basketball - JV Girls Basketball - Jr High girls basketball, Brandi Rowell- head volleyball - B team volleyball, Whitney Stiefel- junior volleyball, Brad Thomas- baseball - JV baseball - Jr high baseball, Marty Myers- softball - JV softball - Jr high softball, Misty Coots- cross country (girls) - cross country (boys), Missy Mitchell-golf (boys) - golf (girls), Tim Cochran - bowling (boys), Connie Cochran- varsity cheerleader and Jr high cheerleader, Geraldine High School - Brad Waldrop- varsity football, Tim Arnold- assistant football, Sidney Gillilan- assistant football, Jamie Gilbert- assistant football, Brad Waldrop- junior football, Jeremy Smith- head boys basketball, Zach King- assistant varsity boys basketball - JV boys basketball, Ryan Burns- Jr high boys basketball (9th) - Jr high boys basketball (8th) - Jr high boys basketball (7th), Jamie Gilbert- head girls basketball, Jadie Chester- assistant varsity girls basketball, Ryan Burns- JV girls basketball, Ami Black- Jr high girls basketball, Renee Bearden- head volleyball, Alicia Cofield- B team volleyball, Jadie Chester- junior volleyball, Jamie Gilbert- baseball, Brad Waldrop- JV baseball, Jamie Gilbert- Jr high baseball, Alicia Satterfield- softball, Jadie Chester- JV softball, Robin Bynum- cross country (girls) - cross country (boys) - indoor track (boys) - indoor track (girls) - outdoor track (boys) - outdoor track (girls), Jeremy Smith- golf (boys) and golf (girls), Lindsey Barrell- varsity cheerleader, Andi Burns- Jr high cheerleader, Henagar Junior High School - Barry Don Mitchell Jr- Jr high boys basketball (8th) - Jr high boys basketball (7th) and Jr High girls basketball, Angela Thomas- Jr high cheerleader, Ider High School - Miles Keith- varsity football, Rob Hannah- assistant football, Drew Rainer- assistant football, Casey Gaddis- junior football, Blaine Smith- head boys basketball, Jamie Pruett- assistant varsity boys basketball - JV boys basketball, Blaine Smith- Jr high boys basketball (9th), Dustin Bryant- head girls basketball - JV girls basketball - Jr high girls basketball, Sharlyn Huber- head volleyball - B team volleyball, Dena Hairston- junior volleyball, Casey Gaddis- baseball - Jr high baseball, Drew Rainer- JV baseball, David Hughes- softball - JV softball - Jr high softball, Dustin Bryant- cross country (girls) - cross country (boys), Chris Boggs- golf (boys) - golf (girls), Kelly Shirley- varsity cheerleader - Jr high cheerleader, Plainview High School - Nick Ledbetter- varsity football, Josh Clements- assistant football, Brad Bruce- assistant football, Chase Parker- assistant football, Nathan Ledbetter- junior football, Robi Coker- head boys basketball, Stanley Williams- assistant varsity boys basketball, Stanley Williams- JV boys basketball, Brett Benefield- Jr high boys basketball (9th), Cameron Whitt- Jr high boys basketball (8th), Stanley Williams- Jr high boys basketball (7th), Luke Griggs- head girls basketball, Shay Bruce- assistant varsity girls basketball, Luke Griggs- JV girls basketball, Laney Gaddis- Jr high girls basketball, Kaci Kirk- head volleyball, Tia Trotter- B team volleyball, Laney Gaddis- junior volleyball, Phil Johnnson- baseball, Brett Benefield- JV baseball, Zach Mitchell- Jr high baseball, Jeff Brooks- softball - golf (boys) - golf (girls), Jeff Brooks- JV softball, Tia Trotter- Jr high softball, Brandi Selvage- varsity cheerleader, Christy Cooper- Jr high cheerleader, Ruhama Junior High School - Aaron Ashley- Jr high boys basketball (7th and 8th), Anna Adams- Jr high girls basketball (7th) - Jr high volleyball, Aaron Ashley- Jr high cross country, Melissa Warren- Jr high cheerleader, Sylvania High School - Matt Putnam- varsity football, Ian Richards- assistant football, Ryan Clark- assistant football, Dillyn Mitchell- assistant football, Ryan Clark- junior football, Tyler Brooks- head boys basketball, Dustin Dalton- assistant varsity boys basketball - JV boys basketball, Dustin Dalton- Jr high boys basketball (9th) - Jr high boys basketball (8th), Kyle Finch- head girls basketball, Rachel Whisenant- assistant varsity girls basketball, Kyle Finch- JV girls basketball, Rachel Whisenant- Jr high girls basketball, Monique Kittle- head volleyball, Dustin Dalton- B team volleyball, Ryan Clark- baseball, Ian Richards- JV baseball, Matt Putnam- Jr high baseball, Hollie Currie Murdock- softball - JV softball, Karyn Pickett- golf (boys) - Karyn Pickett- golf (girls), Dustin Dalton- tennis (boys) - Dustin Dalton- tennis (girls), Dillyn Mitchell- soccer (boys) - soccer(girls), Kim Corbin- varsity cheerleader, Hannah Bell- Jr high cheerleader, Valley Head High School - Heath Vincent- varsity football, Chuck Williams- assistant football, Matt Ogle- assistant football- junior football - assistant Varsity Boys Basketball - Jr high boys basketball (8th)- baseball - JV baseball -Jr high girls basketball, Chuck Williams- head boys basketball - JV boys basketball - Jr high boys basketball (9th) - golf (boys) - golf (girls), Jamie Vest- head girls basketball - JV girls basketball, Cindy Harrison- head volleyball - junior volleyball, Sandra Hulgan- softball, Judith Crider- varsity cheerleader, Christi Black- Jr high cheerleader

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

• approved request to place pending board approval.

• approved 2020-2021 Federal Advisory Council

• Barnett spoke to the board about Project Search through Northeast Alabama Community College, an initiative to provide work and experience to recent county graduates.

– Editor’s note: An in-depth story is being developed by staff writer Cinthia Rico and will appear in an upcoming edition of the Times-Journal.

• Barnett also took the opportunity to speak fondly of Ider High School Principal Cyrus Frost who unexpectedly passed away on Sept. 1.

The next meeting will be held on October 22, 2020 with a regular meeting at 5 p.m. budget hearing and work session at 4:30 p.m. in the meeting room at the Facilities Building.

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