Attendance issues being addressed by Carter County Schools

Published 1:01 am Saturday, October 9, 2021


Parents are misinterpreting policies and causing attendance issues for county schools.

Dr. Tracy McAbee, director of schools, said “Assistant Principals working on truancy have continued to call people in” to discuss attendance issues. At the root of the problem is the quarantine issue, “as kids are not coming to school because they are afraid of the potential of something happening,” McAbee said.
For example, three students who thought they were enrolled in the Carter County Academy – a remote learning classroom operated by Carter County Schools – had not been in school at all, McAbee said.
The proper procedure for parents to follow if they think their children need to be quarantined is to call Beth Bare, the coordinator of Carter County School Health, or the nurse at their child’s school.
“They have a list of questions to ask the parents when they call to determine if (the students) need to be quarantined,” McAbee said.  “For a student to get an excused absence, they will have to get a medical excuse from their physician, Tennessee Department of Health, or the school nurse.”
In other discussions during the county board’s meeting this week:

• McAbee said COVID-10 active cases have dropped dramatically. “Five weeks ago there were 181 active cases in our students and that number is down to 19. We have eight staff members that are active cases as well.”
• Board members, along with Mayor Patty Woodby, will tour the Northeast State facility at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 18 for an update on the CTE project.
• Richard Church, Director of Human Resources and Special Projects updated the BOE on a staffing report in regard to substitutes and bus drivers. “Since we have increased pay, we have added 40 substitutes along with six bus drivers,” Church said. “We have four new drivers; two that were leaving or retiring and decided to stay; and one new prospect.”
•  McAbee told the board that the Health Department is offering free flu shots from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Workforce Development Center for anyone who has an interest in receiving one.