Staying Hybrid…for now School board agrees to continue in hybrid mode through September 4
BY IVAN SANDERS
The Elizabethton Board of Education met in regular session on Monday evening in the Mack Pierce board meeting room with a short list of business to address.
Of most interests to parents and educators was whether the school system would remain on the current hybrid plan with that being addressed by Director of Schools Richard Van Huss.
“Elizabethton City Schools will remain on the hybrid schedule through next week, September 4, 2020,” Van Huss stated. “This will give us a chance to complete the staff and parent surveys and compile the information.
“This data, along with information provided to us by the health department, will guide us as we make informed decisions that balance the need for in-person instruction and our ability to achieve appropriate social distancing recommendations. I assure you that the safety of our staff and students continues to be our number one concern.”
Parents and staff are requested to complete the survey by 3 p.m. on Thursday, August 27, 2020.
Also of interest was an additional dashboard to the school website that will provide information to parents and the community about positive cases at each of the city schools.
The new dashboard is online and showed that on August 22 a case was identified positive at Elizabethton High School and as recent as Tuesday there was another positive case reported at East Side Elementary School as confirmed by the Carter County Health Department.
According to the dashboard, each case will remain active for 10 days.
The addition of the dashboard was to help the school system remain transparent with the community.
“Elizabethton City School System will be adding another layer of information by reporting positive COVID-19 cases in each school on the ECS COVID Dashboard,” Van Huss stated. “The dashboard will be updated daily by noon to keep parents, staff, and the community updated about positive cases within the school system.
“To access all Re-Entry Information and the ECS COVID Dashboard, please visit www.ecschools.net and ECS social media pages.”
The board also recognized T.A. Dugger Jr. High School 8th grade student Caiden Treadway. Treadway volunteered his time to pressure wash all the sidewalks at Harold McCormick Elementary School.
Treadway was presented with a certificate by Penny Nave.
Some items that were approved as part of the regular agenda included the approval and creation of a Kindergarten Teacher for East Side Elementary to meet class size requirements.
Also, the board approved the creation of five Instructional Assistant Positions for the 2020-2021 school year to assist with potential COVID-19 absences. There will be one instructor at each school and those can be shared if the need arises. The one-year positions would be paid using General Purpose Funds.
The board agreed to a customer contract with Verizon Wireless for internet connectivity via Hot Spots for student households without internet connectivity,
There will be an open position for a 10-month part-time office assistant position for the Central Office. The person hired would work five days a week and assist in a variety of ways. This position was approved by the board.
Finally, the board approved on first reading New Board Policy 6.3041 (Title IX & Sexual Harassment), New Board Policy 6.305 (Student Concerns), and New Board Policy 6.304 (Student Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying, Cyber-bullying, and Intimidation).
The next board meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the Mack Pierce Board of Education Room located at the Central Office.
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