Listed below are notes from the May 25th Leon County School Board meeting.
- Dr. Alan Cox, stated the employee vaccination’s are up significantly and range around 60-70%. This increase comes after a campaign by the Board and administrators to encourage faculty to have the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Board member Alva Striplin encouraged the Board to update the protocol for face coverings for adults who have been fully vaccinated. She asserted that with the approaching summer camps and teachers gathering to prepare for them, they need instruction on the safety protocols.
- Rosanne Wood recommended staff and faculty be required to sign a form or provide evidence of their vaccinations in order to go maskless, she made clear that it is very much their right to get vaccinated or to sign the form, however, she strongly feels that without evidence they should not go maskless.
- Superintendent Hanna fervently disagreed with the sentiment by Wood and asserted he is “totally opposed” to a vaccine passport or proof of some kind. Wearing a mask should be made optional and if one feels safer with a mask, then they should wear it. He did restate that there are no changes being made at this time, with 11 days left of school, everyone is still practicing social distancing and wearing face covers, any changes to the current procedure will be made at a later date, after thoughtful consideration.
- Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Kathleen Rodgers, spearheaded the Parent Navigator Program, which provides resources for parents to find mentors and advice for best approaching issues that children face. A group of parents assisted in creating the program, they were trained in many areas such as child advocacy, graduation pathways, and community resources, and finally, they will be fully involved in implementing the program as it begins on June 14th.
- Talethia Edwards, the Community Liaison for the Leon County Department of Health, and Courtney Atkins, the Executive Director at Whole Child Leon, requested that the Board consider supporting their efforts in the Pop-Up Pre-School program this summer. The program is to address the kindergarten readiness of pre-K children, especially in title one areas, such as South City and Vaughn. The program encourages parents and provides resources for them to engage with their children in learning. The Pop-Up Pre-School begins June 14.
- Multiple speakers, including Jonitta Wells, the Chair for the District Advisory Council (DAC), spoke regarding recent changes to the frequency the DAC presents to the Board. The changes occurred at a previous Board meeting, when it was decided the DAC would present quarterly instead of monthly. Cheryl Collier Brown believes the DAC is extremely important to the community and is “disappointed and disgusted” in the Boards decisions. Ms. Brown and the other speakers requested the Board reconsider.
- Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Alan Cox, asserted he and a group of professionals, along with the Department of Health are working together on a plan for the safety protocols addressing COVID-19 for the summer programs. These protocols will be released in the up coming weeks.