One thing about life in a pandemic, plans can change on short notice. But for now, Candler County Board of Education is planning to open school as scheduled on August 3.

The decision was reaffirmed after two listening sessions were held on June 22 and 23 in which the local community was asked to share their thoughts.

While sharing the results of those sessions with the Board of Education on Thursday, Superintendent Bubba Longgrear said, “Our focus was trying to gauge parents’ concerns and our community’s concerns and what we can do as a school system to address those needs.”

Around 70-75 people attended the meetings and gave good feedback. “The general sentiment of the group was a desire to begin school as planned with caution in an attempt to keep safety as a high priority,” he said.

Masks and gloves

optional

“Our focus is going to be in cleanliness, hygiene and encouraging students to wash their hands,” Longgrear said. “Social distancing is going to be a challenge, depending on the developmental level of the student. Masks and gloves will be optional for the students and teachers. It will not be mandated.”

He continued, “I think the most beautiful part of our plan is that we are going to have a digital learning option for those parents who feel uncomfortable sending their child to school.

“Ultimately, the governor makes the decision on whether we can or cannot come to school face-to-face, but we have to have several plans in place to react. I appreciate the community for coming out providing feedback, and we will continue to seek input from staff and parents as we begin finalizing plans.”

Other business

In other business of Thursday’s BOE meeting, the FY2021 General Budget was approved.

The board approved the tentative budget in May and advertised in it the paper. They also held two public hearings on the matter. The board adopted the budget for FY 2021. 

Also during the meeting:

• Brenda Johnson, part-time custodian, was approved for employment for the current fiscal year.

• The following personnel were considered for employment for FY 2021: Jaimee Stuart, MMS teacher; Rhonda Foman, transportation, bus driver; Debbie Collins, transportation, bus monitor; Stephanie Wiggins, transportation, bus monitor

•Resignations/terminations/retirements were accepted from Abbie Johnson, MES teacher and Sumer Holloway, MHS teacher.

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