School Board Hears Updates on Schools Reopening

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Superintendent Marlon Davis presented a plaque of appreciation at last week’s School Board meeting to Mr. Barry Hanback for his 26 of service on the board.

   The Wayne County School Board met in regular session on Thursday, August 13th, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. in the Central Office Board Room. Board members present included Chairman Andy Yarbrough, Barry Hanback, Sherman Martin, Charity Horton, Dwight Bumphus, and Greg Eaton. Superintendent Marlon Davis was present at the meeting as well. School Board member Pat Brown was absent.

   Chairman Yarbrough called the meeting to order, and invited those in attendance to participate in a moment of silence and the Pledge of Allegiance.

   The first items on the agenda included adoption of the consent items, minutes of the July meeting, and the July ledger of accounts. Barry Hanback made a motion to approve. The motion was seconded by Dwight Bumphus, and was passed unanimously.

   The first item under new business was Policy Review: Section 5 Personnel – 5.310-5.604. Superintendent Davis had no recommended changes to the policy.

   Next under new business was a COVID-19 update. Superintendent Davis outlined the school reopening plans, including a staggered start. Students have been divided into three groups, and will attend in-person classes every third day. They will participate in distance learning on the days they are not at school. Superintendent Davis went on to say that he had already visited schools this week, and he estimated that 90% of students were wearing masks even though they are not required. He also noted the upbeat atmosphere in the schools.

   Next on the agenda was the School Opening plan. Superintendent Davis asked for formal board approval of the current “ABC” staggered schedule. Sherman Martin made a motion to approve, and Barry Hanback seconded the motion. The plan was unanimously approved.

   Surplus property was next on the agenda. Superintendent Davis presented a list of various computer items to be declared as surplus. Greg Eaton made a motion to declare the list of items as surplus. Barry Hanback seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously.

   Athletics were next under new business. Superintendent Davis stated that TSSAA requires annual board approval to conduct athletic practices during the school day. Sherman Martin made a motion to allow athletic practices during the school day, and Barry Hanback seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

   Next was an SRO update. Superintendent Davis presented the current SRO assignments, and said that one more candidate will be completing SRO training and will be placed at Waynesboro Middle School. The superintendent expressed gratitude to Sheriff Shane Fisher and SRO Supervisor Daylan Gilbert for their work.

   Enrollment was next on the agenda, with Superintendent Davis updating the board on current enrollment numbers. He said that current enrollment is 2,056 students in grades K-12, 239 of whom are currently distance learners (16%). He said that there are 110 Pre-K students, including 11 distance learners.

   Nurses were next on the agenda. Superintendent Davis asked the board for approval to place a nurse at Collinwood High School and one at Wayne County High School for this school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Barry Hanback made a motion to approve the placement of a nurse at each high school, and Charity Horton seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved on roll call vote.

   TEMA/FEMA supplies were next under new business. Superintendent Davis discussed the supplies that were received from TEMA/FEMA, including masks, thermometers, face shields, etc. He said that classroom cleaning supplies for teachers are expected to come in this month as well.

   The last item under new business was a TSSE update. Superintendent Davis gave the board an update on the status of the Tennessee Small Schools for Equity actions.

   Next, Superintendent Davis recognized Mr. Barry Hanback and Mrs. Pat Brown, as this was their last meeting as members of the board. Mr. Davis presented a plaque to Mr. Hanback in appreciation of his 26 years as a member of the School Board. Mr. Hanback expressed his gratitude, and thanked all school system employees. Mrs. Brown was unable to be present at the meeting.

   When Chairman Yarbrough asked if anyone in the audience wished to address the board, a parent expressed his concern about the school reopening plan. Superintendent Davis again discussed the reasons for the current staggered schedule.

   Another parent expressed her concern regarding the waiver that student athletes are required to sign in order to participate in school sports, saying that she disagreed with the language in the waiver. Superintendent Davis stated that the waiver had been reviewed and approved by legal counsel. Chairman Yarbrough elaborated on the language in question.

   With no further business to come before the board, Barry Hanback made a motion to adjourn. Sherman Martin seconded the motion, and the meeting was adjourned.