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Long County BOE meeting starts with silence for late bus driver

The Long County Board of Education held a regular meeting on Oct. 18. Following is a summary of items discussed and/or voted upon: The meeting began with a 25 second moment of silence in honor of Beth Durst, who drove Bus 25. Durst passed away Oct.17.

• The Board of Education members entered executive session to discuss personnel matters. Back in public forum, Superintendent David Edwards presented a plaque to LeeAnn Poole in honor of her retirement after serving 30 years as a teacher in the Long County School System.

•Assistant Superintendent Lisa McCallister presented a COVID-19 Update. On Oct. 18, the district had 49 students quarantined due to COVID-19 exposures; 1 staff member quarantined due to COVID-19 exposures; 7 isolated students due to positive COVID-19 tests; and no isolated staff members due to a positive COVID-19 test. Data from the Coastal Health District was presented including the Oct. 18, recent community transmission index of 412.

• Superintendent Edwards reported that several schools have started rotations for students to eat lunch in the cafeterias, rather than their classrooms.

He also reported that feedback from teachers indicated that implementing A/B attendance days during the weekly school schedule should not be added to the Long County School System COVID-19 Operating Procedures for 2021-2022 due to the burdens this schedule would place on parents, students, and teachers.

Mr. Edwards explained that their goal is for schools to remain open for face-to-face learning for the remainder of the year, but they will be prepared for temporary closures and virtual learning, if necessary.

The feasibility of returning to normal operations were discussed.

• Superintendent Edwards offered congratulations to the Long County High School football and flag football teams for winning recent games. The BOE voted to implement volleyball as a competition sport for Long County High School for the 2022-2023 school year.

• Superintendent Edwards reviewed the plans for expansion of Long County High School facilities. He reported that the current architectural plans are over-budget so revisions will need to be made.

The expansion plans currently include the addition of science classrooms and labs, regular classrooms, a broadcast/ video lab, JROTC classrooms and range, computer labs, an art room, and possibly a construction lab.

• The current BOE-adopted employee dress code was discussed. No revisions were made to the dress code. Principals will continue to enforce the BOE-approved dress code as previously adopted.

• The Board voted to adopt a resolution providing for the amendment of the FY 23 Capital Outlay Application to remove the Smiley Elementary School HVAC project. The HVAC project will be completed using CARES Act funding, rather than state capital outlay funds.

• Superintendent Edwards and the BOE members recognized Sherry Lester, Beverly Hill, Wregina Carryl, and Dr. Patricia Krumnow in honor of National Principals Appreciation Month. Edwards stated that their principals work an enormous amount of hours to manage very large schools effectively and efficiently.

• Through approval of the consent agenda the following items were approved: Financial reports, hiring recommendations, employee transfers, extended year staff, competition field trip requests, resignations and retirements.

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