Superintendent Reports Decline in School COVID Cases

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   The Wayne County School Board met in regular session on Thursday, September 9th, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. in the Central Office Board Room. Board members in attendance in person were Andy Yarbrough, Greg Eaton, Sherman Martin, and Dwight Bumphus. Those in attendance via telephone were Charity Horton and Debbie Brown. Superintendent Marlon Davis was present as well. Board member Camryn Eaton was absent.

   Chairman Andy Yarbrough called the meeting to order, and recognized student representative Luke Sesler from Wayne County High School.

   Chairman Yarbrough then requested a change to the agenda in order to elect chairman and vice-chairman. Greg Eaton made a motion to allow Andy Yarbrough to remain as chairman and Charity Horton to remain as vice-chairperson. Debbie Brown seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.

   Mr. Yarbrough then 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 August meeting, and the August ledger of accounts. Sherman Martin 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 1 – Board Operations – 1.500-1.900. Superintendent Davis had no recommended changes to the policy.

   Next was Policy Review 6.312. Superintendent Davis recommended rescinding the previous policy concerning personal communication devices (cell phones). He recommended allowing principals or their designees more latitude in establishing appropriate times for use and discipline procedures. He also recommended allowing the principal or their designee to release confiscated communication devices to the student or parent. Dwight Bumphus made a motion to approve the first reading of the changes. Charity Horton seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously. The policy changes will require a second reading.

   Surplus items were next on the agenda. Superintendent Davis presented a list of items from WCTC to be declared as surplus. Greg Eaton made a motion to approve, and Sherman Martin seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

   Superintendent Davis next provided a COVID update to the board. He stated that there were currently 37 active student cases and seven active staff cases. He also said that there had been a decline in active cases and absenteeism from the previous week.

   Discussion of faculty COVID pay was next. Superintendent Davis proposed a plan for paying employees for COVID-related absences. Debbie Brown stated that she was against the language concerning the vaccine. Both Brown and Charity Horton stated that they were in favor of granting COVID-19 sick leave in the event an employee had to care for an immediate family member affected by COVID-19. Following a lengthy discussion, Andy Yarbrough suggested removing the vaccine requirement. Greg Eaton then made a motion to approve the plan as presented with the exception of the vaccine requirement, and in addition, to look at data for all employee absences related to COVID-19 at the October meeting. Sherman Martin seconded, and the motion passed on roll call vote with one board member, Charity Horton, voting no.

   The superintendent next gave an update on the CARES Act and various ESSER funds. No action was required by the board.

   Superintendent Davis then presented the budget for ESSER 3.0 to be amended into the budget, which is a requirement for state approval. Charity Horton made a motion to approve, and Debbie Brown seconded. The motion passed unanimously on roll call vote.

   Bids were next on the agenda. Superintendent Davis first presented bids for janitorial supplies, recommending the acceptance of bids from A to Z and North Alabama Chemical due to their proximity and experience in the past. Sherman Martin made a motion to approve the bid recommendation, and Greg Eaton seconded. The motion passed unanimously on roll call vote.

   The bids for pest control were next. Superintendent Davis said that no bids were received, therefore he followed the auditors’ recommendation to solicit quotes. After securing quotes from Cook’s and Blackwelder, he recommended going with Blackwelder. Charity Horton made a motion to approve, and Dwight Bumphus seconded. The motion passed unanimously on roll call vote.

   One bid was received for copy paper, from A to Z in the amount of $33.49 per case. Sherman Martin made a motion to accept the bid, and Greg Eaton seconded. The motion passed unanimously on roll call vote.

   Superintendent Davis next recommended the following bids for roofs: Tri-State Roofing Contractors – FHS Jr. High and WMS gym; Village Roofing Co. – CHS and CMS gym; and Elite Contractors – WCHS Band and WCTC. Sherman Martin made a motion to accept the recommended bids. Debbie Brown seconded, and the motion carried unanimously on roll call vote.

   The final item under new business was the purchase of buses. Superintendent Davis requested permission to purchase two buses from Cumberland via the Bledsoe County bid. Each bus would cost $86,800.00. Dwight Bumphus made a motion to approve the purchase, and the motion was seconded by Sherman Martin. The motion carried unanimously on roll call vote.

   Budget amendments were the final item on the agenda. Superintendent Davis presented $64,500.00 in budget amendments related to the Transition School to Work Grant. Sherman Martin made a motion to approve the amendments as presented, and the motion was seconded by Greg Eaton. The motion carried unanimously on roll call vote.

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