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McKenzie School Board Extends Daily Temperature Checks Through Next Semester

By Brad Sam brad@mckenziebanner.com © 2020 Tri-County Pub., Inc.
Posted 10/13/20

McKENZIE (October 6) — Students at McKenzie schools will have their temperatures checked daily as they enter until the end of the school year following action taken by the district’s …

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McKenzie School Board Extends Daily Temperature Checks Through Next Semester

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McKENZIE (October 6) — Students at McKenzie schools will have their temperatures checked daily as they enter until the end of the school year following action taken by the district’s board during Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting.

Under the management plan adopted by the board prior to the opening of schools, the three schools began with daily temperature checks but could cut back to performing checks once a week by meeting certain parameters. In recent weeks, according to Director of Schools Lynn Watkins, the high school was checking daily, the middle school almost every day and the elementary school less frequently.

On a 5-1 vote, the board approved a motion to amend the management plan by making daily checks a requirement through the end of the 2020-21 school year. George Cassidy voted against the change.

During discussion before the vote, Director Watkins noted that parents had been good about not sending kids to school sick. He said that the temperature checks provided some peace of mind for students, parents and staff. Karen Fowler pointed to the beginning of flu and strep season as a good reason to continue checks. The two principals presents, Kelly Spivey of the high school and Dorethea Royle of the middle school, both echoed the “peace of mind” sentiment.

Also during the meeting, Cassidy was administered the oath of office by Watkins. Cassidy joins the board following a vote a week earlier to appoint him to a vacant seat. The lifelong McKenzie resident has three children in McKenzie schools, sophomore and freshman sons at the high school and a third grade daughter at the elementary.

Board members unanimously approved tenure for two teachers who completed their fifth year in the district and have received summative evaluation scores of four or five (out of five) the past two years. Beth Mathis is a seventh grade math teacher, and Billie Jo Hardwick is the high school art teacher.

Several budget amendments were approved, primarily accounting for the receipt and allocation of grant funds relating to remote-learning capabilities.

The board approve the district’s Disciplinary Hearing Authority, which consists of resource officer Nick Lowe and the three school principals. The authority hears appeals of out-of-school suspensions lasting ten or more days.

Director Watkins gave his monthly report. He announced the employment of Mike Fowler for part-time maintenance. He reminded members that the board doesn’t meet in November and next meets Tuesday, December 1.

Finally, Watkins reported the district’s current enrollment as 1,167, down from 1,200 at the end of the last school year.

The meeting adjourned in just under 30 minutes.

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