The Floyd County school board approved a one-year extension of the superintendent’s contract Monday and discussed the COVID-19 response plan for the upcoming school year after a caller disrupted the virtual meeting with sounds of air horns and racial epithets.
The caucus before the meeting, originally hosted on a call-in Google Hangout line, was interrupted by the caller near the beginning of the board meeting.
“We’re so sorry to anyone who was on the call during caucus and heard the vulgar sounds and words from callers who chose to be disrespectful and disrupt the meeting,” said FCS spokesperson Lenora McEntire Doss.
“In order to ensure it does not happen again,” Doss said, “FCS will only host public meetings virtually on platforms that will allow the school system to mute all callers while the meeting is going on in order to help eliminate all virtual disruptions.”
Superintendent Jeff Wilson went over several items with the board prior to and after the disruption. One of the first items was a description of the system’s COVID-19 response plan for the upcoming school year.
The discussion touched on whether to enact different response levels — represented by green, yellow, orange and red threat levels — by using Department of Public Health and CDC guidelines.
“We want school to start,” Wilson told the school board, but emphasized that they have to be responsible in how they go forward.
The levels would govern how the system would conduct reopening the schools as well as its transportation and nutrition programs.
For instance, in a moderate-spread scenario — Code Orange — students in each grade level would have face to face learning just one to two days a week. Seating in buses would be deliberately spaced and they would begin to implement alternative food-serving models and increase social distancing.
Bus routes would even be changed in each scenario. As the color code is increased, the school system would decrease the number of students transported. For instance, they may have different grade levels going to school every other day to cut the number of students in a building at one time.
Wilson also told the school board they’re planning to have in-person graduation ceremonies at the Forum River Center near the end of July.
Graduating seniors have already received their diplomas, so the ceremony will be an option for students — and their families — who would like the formal recognition of graduation.
They plan to send out a survey to determine the number of people who wish to attend and determine their course of action based on the number of respondents.
In official business, the board extended Wilson’s contract by another year.