School Board discusses COVID-19

 The Meade County Board of Education met for its regularly scheduled meeting this past Tuesday.

 Superintendent Dr. Mark Martin began the meeting by commending the district staff and the district as a whole for how they were handling the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to the school system. He said that, relative to many other districts in the region, we are doing very well. At the time of the meeting, he said that Meade County Schools and Oldham County Schools were the only two districts attending in-person instruction five days a week at the elementary level.

 “We are going at a more regular clip than anyone around us,” said Martin. “that’s a testament to our community and our school district.”

 Associate Superintendent of Personnel Bill Adams gave an update on the districts two large construction projects. He said that both Payneville and the track are winding to a close. The final inspection of Payneville is slated for the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving break.

 “We should expect to take full occupancy when we come back from Thanksgiving,” said Adams.

 He said that there were just a few odds and ends to finish up on the track project. Much of the remainder of the project will be at the mercy of the weather as winter approaches.

 Chad Pickering and Karen Cottrell gave a presentation on the planning that went into developing the district’s COVID procedures, how plans were implemented, and the data they had collected so far.

 Cottrell said that all the players have really stepped up, especially the students.

 “Our students are wearing their masks and they’re socially distancing,” said Cottrell. “We thought that might have been an issue, but it really hasn’t.”

 Cottrell said that the first thing they do when they find out there’s a positive case in the building is start collecting data. They fill out a positive case form that includes a variety of information, and they provide that data to the Lincoln Trail District Health Department. The health department determines who is quarantined.

 Chad Pickering provided data that showed how well the district is handling the pandemic. Since Sept. 28, which was the first day of in-person instruction, the school district has had 36 positive cases of COVID-19, 26 students and 10 staff members. Of those positive cases, 33 students and 9 staff members have been quarantined. He said that those quarantines are only as a result of school-related activities.

 “We do have more students that are quarantined, but it’s due to outside influences such as family members testing positive.”

 Martin also discussed the tentative 2021-2022 school calendar. The district is responsible for providing students with 170 days of instruction and 1,062 instructional hours. A survey was sent out to staff and community members, and the drafted calendar was created based on that input.

 Potentially, the district would begin school on Wednesday, Aug. 11. A professional learning day would be scheduled for Friday, Oct. 1. This is the day before fall break, which falls in the same week it has in the last two years. A professional learning day would be scheduled for Monday, Nov. 1. The district would return to school on Tuesday, Jan. 4. Martin said that taking the first Friday off in April would give students and staff an extra day prior to the week of spring break. Martin said that they received positive feedback about this change, and he felt it would be a benefit to students and staff. School would be slated to end in May. The calendar will be on the agenda for next month for approval.

The Board will meet again on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

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