Master Caleb Stewart, age 7, was recognized at the Leon County School Board (LCSB) meeting for his creation of a “mobile discovery library.” Caleb said the library “can pop up at a school, or a park, or anywhere and will deliver free books and other learning materials,” to help children access books and encourage reading. He developed his idea from reading an article that explained that thousands of students could not read proficiently. Caleb said the article made him sad and he wanted to help people. Caleb was presented a Medal of Excellence award by Superintendent Rocky Hanna.
Cory Milton with Leon Works spoke about the virtual edition of Leon Works to help students become aware of employment opportunities available in Leon. More than 1,000 middle-school-aged students logged in last week to view 85 speakers present information in areas from construction to art to engineering. Leon Works is a public-private partnership to connect community, employers, academic institutions, and students to prepare for the need of employers seeking workers for skilled jobs.
Lawton Chiles High School Senior Rohan Chadha was awarded a Random Acts, Class Act Award for his organization, Colors for Coats. The project aims to address health disparities through volunteering. In August 2020, Rohan raised $1,000 for the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Emergency COVID Fund by selling his artwork.
Chief John Hunkiar briefly presented to the LCSB on Safety and Security. Hunkiar stated in October he will present a more detailed analysis of the 2021 School Resource Deputy annual report and will bring recommendations.
Hunkiar commented on recent incidents involving students having firearms on school grounds. He said, this school year there has been five cases so far and the Safety and Security team is working diligently to educate faculty and students alike about the necessity of communicating to keep campuses safe.
Assistant Superintendent Alan Cox gave updates to the Board regarding COVID-19 stats, it was suggested approximately 80% of LCS employees are vaccinated.
Cox stated he took a sample of cases from 15 schools from September 6 to September 17 and found that 659 student were under quarantine during that time. Of the 659 students, only 9 of them tested positive. This is about one-tenth of one percent, which according to Dr. Cox it is about the same as last year. He also stated that if the COVID-19 positivity rates are low through October, the mask mandate will change to a mask optional policy.
Cox briefly discussed the new emergency COVID-19 rule recently passed by the Department of Education, stating any student with possible exposure to COVID-19 does not have to quarantine. However, students who test positive cannot return to school unless:
• Ten days have passed.
• They test negative and show no symptoms.
• The student has a note from a medical doctor.
Vice-Chair Darryl Jones remarked that he is concerned with adjusting the mask policy if positive cases remain low through October. He said, it appears to him that the current safety measures in place have aided in keeping the number of positive cases low.
The Board unanimously approved the Master Services Agreement between LCSB and Comcast Enterprise in the amount of $34,500 for sixty months.
An agreement with Leon County and the LCSB was approved for $105,497 for the driver’s education classes in Leon County Schools.
The Board approved the 2021-2022 Dual Enrollment Articulation Agreements between the Leon County School Board and Tallahassee Community College.
The agreements between LCSB, Miracle Hill Nursing and Rehab Center, Eden Springs, LLC, and Tallahassee Memorial Hospital were renewed during the meeting. The renewal of the agreements allows Lively Technical College students to gain clinical experience.
The Board approved the renewal of agreements between multiple districts and LCSB. The renewal allows eligible out-of-county students to attend Exceptional Student Education (ESE) service programs in Leon County.