The Lynchburg-Clay Local School District does not currently have a COVID-19-related contingency plan, superintendent Brett Justice revealed at the district’s Thursday board of education meeting.
Board member Kristen Greenawalt requested that Justice create a “disaster plan” for how the district will respond to increased Covid cases and quarantines involving students and staff members.
“Do we have a bottom-line, a safety net, a goal that if we have X amount of people out, this is what we’re going to do?” Greenawalt asked Justice. “Do we have a closure plan?”
“When you start looking at closure plans, you have to look at how many are quarantined, how many have been tested … I look at it as ‘How many students are coming to school?’” Justice said. “If you have a percentage of students coming to school — despite the quarantine, take it out of the equation — 80 percent or 90 percent of the kids are still coming, our doors should stay open.”
“OK, but what’s our ‘danger zone’? What percentage of students?” Greenawalt asked.
“I would think the ‘danger zone’ would be 50 percent of the students,” Justice said.
Board member Gary West added, “I don’t know if you can put a number on it, though. … You have to take all the things into factor.”
Justice reported that the district maintained an attendance rate of 80 percent among its traditional, in-person students, though the district filed truancy charges against some of its virtual students due to lack of participation.
Board members and Justice agreed staffing issues could pose a problem in the future as more staff members are quarantined or test positive for COVID-19.
Justice reported that a large number of staff members are out due to Covid, though he did not provide specific figures.
Justice recently volunteered to serve high school students in the cafeteria due to a decrease in available staff and a countywide lack of substitutes.
In other news from the Lynchburg-Clay Board of Education’s Thursday meeting:
* Justice presented his short- and long-term goals for the district to the board.
Some of Justice’s short-term goals include updating the technology and software available to students, providing more training on programs such as Google Classroom for teachers, upgrading the high school’s kitchen equipment, replacing carpeting in the high school, and installing additional cameras.
Some of Justice’s long-term goals include replacing the roofs on each school building, installing locker rooms in the athletic complex near the track and soccer field, upgrading and increasing lighting near the soccer field, sealing all parking lots, and replacing scoreboards.
* Treasurer Richard Hawk reported that the district has “fully recovered” from the expenses associated with its new athletic facility.
* During his presentation of the district’s five-year financial forecast, Hawk said the district does not expect a significant change in revenue over the next five years.
* Justice reported that a safety net for the new athletic facility should arrive in the next few weeks; the new weight room equipment for the facility should arrive during the first week of December. These are the “finishing touches” on the district’s new athletic facility.
The next Lynchburg-Clay board meeting will be held at the Lynchburg-Clay Board of Education building, located at 301 Pearl St. in Lynchburg, on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 6 p.m.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.