The Williamson County School Board held a special called meeting Thursday, Aug 26 to discuss COVID-19 response strategies.
Thursday night’s meeting discussed masking for middle and high schools and two resolutions: COVID sick leave for teachers and full-time employees and a resolution asking Gov. Lee to allow school districts to transition to remote learning when necessary.
The entire meeting can be viewed on WC-TV’s YouTube channel.
Masks for K-12
Jennifer Aprea (District 5) introduced a motion to extend the current temporary mask mandate to middle and high schools through Sept 21 at 11:59pm. This is an extension of the temporary mask mandate already in place for elementary schools.
The motion passed with 8 yes votes and 4 no votes.
This approval mandates students, staff and visitors at the middle and high school grade levels wear face masks while inside all buildings and on buses. The requirement will begin on Tuesday, August 31 and will end on Tuesday, September 21 at 11:59 p.m.
Teachers/staff who are distanced six feet or more may remove their masks while indoors. Teachers/staff may also remove their masks during outside activities. Any essential volunteer working directly with a student is expected to wear a mask.
Gov. Lee’s executive order giving parents the ability to opt out of a school mask mandate is still in effect. Learn more about how to opt out here. While there is an opt-out, WCS continues to strongly recommend, encourage and advise masking for all students, staff and visitors while inside a WCS school, WCS facility and the Central Office.
Remote Learning Resolution
Williamson County School Board voted on a resolution urging Gov. Bill Lee to include school operations in the Tennessee State of Emergency to allow school districts to shift to remote instruction if necessary to address the impact of COVID-19 on schools.
WCS Superintendent Jason Golden said he feels WCS’ success last year was largely due to its ability to move to remote learning when it was needed, such as when there is a high number of teachers and staff out, due to illness or quarantine measures.
Currently, WCS has 10 inclement weather days (i.e. stockpile days), which are used if a school must close due to illness. If all those days are used, a school would need to add days to its school calendar.
The motion passed with 9 yes and 3 no votes,
COVID Sick Leave Resolution
The school board voted on a resolution for the 2021-2022 school year that all teachers and full time employees will be granted up to 10 days of paid leave to be utilized if they are required to remain out of work due to confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 with a positive PCR test result or a healthcare provider note with diagnosis. These conditions are the only conditions that qualify for COVID sick leave. This would be effective Aug 2, 2021 – May 31, 2022.
The motion passed unanimously.