School Board Votes to Continue Current Student Schedule Through Feb. 12

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   The Wayne County School Board met in regular session on Thursday, January 14th, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. in the Central Office Board Room. Board members present in-person were Chairman Andy Yarbrough, Charity Horton, Greg Eaton, Debbie Brown, and Sherman Martin. Board member Camryn Eaton attended via telephone, and Superintendent Marlon Davis was in attendance as well. Board member Dwight Bumphus was absent.

   Chairman Yarbrough called the meeting to order. He first recognized Mason Smith, student representative from Collinwood High School. The chairman then invited all 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 November meeting, and the December ledger of accounts. Sherman Martin made a motion to approve. The motion was seconded by Greg Eaton, and was passed unanimously.

   The first item under new business was Policy Review: Section 6 – Student – 6.301-6.311. Superintendent Davis presented the board with policies that required updating due to Tennessee Code Annotated changes. The policies were 3.400-Student Transportation, 6.309-Zero Tolerance Offenses, 6.3041-Title IX and Sexual Harassment, and 6.305-Student Concerns. He outlined the revisions and noted that any changes would require a second reading. Charity Horton made a motion to approve the first reading of the recommended revisions, and Debbie Brown seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

   Next under new business was a home school report. Superintendent Davis informed the board that the number of home school students had decreased from 93 in the 2019-2020 school year to 72 this school year. The superintendent also provided information to the board on students enrolled in virtual schooling.

   Superintendent Davis then gave the board an update on upcoming education-related activity in the State Legislature, and provided an update on COVID-19 cases within the school system.

   Next on the agenda was the student attendance schedule. Superintendent Davis outlined the current schedule, which is called an “AABB” schedule, with students divided into two groups that each attend school in-person two days per week. Wednesdays are currently designated for distance learning students. The superintendent proposed a schedule developed by supervisors and principals that would continue the current AABB schedule for grades 5-12 through February 12th. Students in grades PreK-4 would attend four days per week with Wednesdays still designated for distance learning students. Following a lengthy discussion, Sherman Martin made a motion to continue the AABB schedule for grades 5-12. Charity Horton seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.

   Sherman Martin then made a motion to pivot students in grades PreK through 4 to a four-day schedule with Wednesdays designated for distance learners, and Camryn Eaton seconded the motion. The motion failed on roll call vote with board members Yarbrough, Martin, and C. Eaton voting yes, and board members Horton, Brown, and G. Eaton voting no.

   Charity Horton made a motion to continue the current AABB schedule for grades PreK-4 through February 12th, and Debbie Brown seconded. The motion passed on roll call vote with board members Horton, Brown, C. Eaton, and G. Eaton voting yes, and board members Yarbrough and Martin voting no.

   Next, Superintendent Davis informed the board that the COVID Relief Act which paid employees for up to ten days if they were sick or quarantined had expired on December 31st, 2020. He asked for the board’s approval to continue paying employees even after the expiration date of the Relief Act. Following a lengthy discussion, Camryn Eaton made a motion to continue to pay employees after the ten days are exceeded, and to retroactively pay any employee that exceeded the ten days through March 31st, 2021. Debbie Brown seconded the motion. Following further discussion of the details, Camryn Eaton withdrew his motion. Charity Horton then made a motion to continue to pay employees affected by COVID for up to ten days through March 31st, 2021, and requested that more data be presented at the February meeting. Camryn Eaton seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.

   Surplus items were next on the agenda, and Superintendent Davis presented a list of items from Collinwood Elementary School to be declared as surplus. Charity Horton made a motion to approve the list. Greg Eaton seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.

   Superintendent Davis next outlined the guidelines set forth by TSSAA concerning attendance at athletic events. No action was required by the board.

   Non-faculty coaches were next on the agenda. One non-faculty coach, Jason Culp, was presented for approval at Frank Hughes School. Sherman Martin made a motion to approve, and Debbie Brown seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

   Budget amendments were next. Superintendent Davis presented $2,116.00 in line-item budget amendments, moving funds from one line to another in the categories of General Purpose and Coordinated School Health. Sherman Martin made a motion to approve the amendments, and Greg Eaton seconded the motion. The budget amendments were unanimously approved on roll call vote.

   Next, Superintendent Davis informed the board that the Wayne County School System will receive $2,138,612.18 in the next round of COVID Relief. He requested that a 2021-2022 Budget Committee be appointed to develop a budget for the upcoming funds, and Andy Yarbrough, Camryn Eaton, and Debbie Brown were nominated for the committee. Sherman Martin made a motion to approve the nominations, and Greg Eaton seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. 

   Chairman Yarbrough expressed his gratitude to board members and school system employees for their hard work during this difficult time.

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