Anderson School District One reports minimal COVID in schools

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During their meeting last Tuesday (Nov. 17), the Anderson School District One Board heard an audit report and update on COVID 19. They also approved several policy changes regarding sex/gender discrimination and harassment.
Before beginning the meeting, newly re-elected board members David “Moochie” Merritt, Mike Wilson and Brenda Ellison were sworn in. Nancy Upton was re-elected to serve as board chair. Brenda Ellison will serve as vice-chair and David Merritt will serve as board secretary.
Mike Wilson will continue to serve on the alternative school board. Wendy Burgess and Nancy Upton will serve on the Career and Technology Center Board.
Superintendent Robbie Binnicker reported there has been a slight rise in COVID 19 cases in schools, but the district is not seeing the virus spread throughout a school or the district.
Binnicker said there has been instances of a persons having to be quarantined after being near somebody with COVID at school, but not being symptomatic and not testing positive.
“The protocols in the schools are really working,” he said. “With students (and teachers) in hallways, gathered at lunch and before and after school contact, cases are going up in direct relation to the number of cases in the county.” Binnicker said most of the cases appear to be from the home or public and not from school contact.
“We have to be careful,” he said. “With Thanksgiving and do it responsibly, with masks and social distancing.”
District One and Anderson County schools were some of the first in the state to resume face to face learning. Binnicker said District One has had a lot of calls from around state as more schools come onboard with face to face learning.
All five Anderson School Districts have face to face learning, five days a week.
Greenville County is working toward that, he said.
District One Finance Director Travis Thomas, reporting by phone, reported that Anderson County received $2.5 million in Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) funds for the month of July.
AD1 received $795,000. Of that $636,000 went toward capital improvements and $159, 000 went to property tax relief. The LOST fund balance is currently $6,056,000.
Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Jane Harrison recognized teachers with a video presentation and a photo of board members holding signs “thanking teachers” for what they do.
She reported District One has a 91.6 percent graduation rate which places AD1 seventh in the state. Harrison said the state has a goal for all schools of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2035.
District One has met that goal every year since 2015. She said a number of programs and initiatives in District One have helped with achieving that goal.
According to Harrison, the district has programs starting with Pre K though grade 12 including early childhood, strong literacy and math programs, and an intervention program which allow transfers that are behind to catch up.
There is also a Fast Track program. The District had 60 students that did not graduate last year, she said.
Superintendent Binnicker reported the student food service nutrition progam has a year to date profit of $128,000 and is serving approximately 8,100 meals per day.
The district recently began a student worker program with the nutrition program, which Binnicker said “is a really good career goal.”

The Board approved six board policy amendments related to sex/gender discrimination and harassment.
The changes update the policies to meet current requirements.
The Board also approved first reading changes to the ADF-District Wellness policy.

Ken Meadow of Greene Finney accounting firm reported that the annual audit “went very well” and that the district received an “Unmodified Opinion” which is the best you can get.”

Personnel recommendation approved included:
Leave – Brittany Brown, Second Grade West Pelzer Elementary; Melanie Lambrecht, Special Education , Wren Elementary; Lauren Lambright, Second Grade, Concrete Primary; Shannon McCombs, Sixth Grade, Powdersville Middle and Bethany Olmstead, Kindergarten, Spearman Elementary.
Recommendation – Channing McConnell, Special Education.
Retirement – Joyce Leftwich, LAUNCH, Powdersville Elem.
Resignation – Jordan Nutt, Instructional Technologist, AD1; Kristan Keown, Art, Wren Middle.
Transfer – Bayley King, Special Ed, Wren Middle to Special Ed Wren Elementary.

 

The board will not meet in December.