COVID numbers coming down in Anderson School District One

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During their meeting Tuesday, the Anderson School District One Board of Trustees approved a revised Emergency Plan, heard first reading on two board policies and heard updates on the building program and COVID in the schools.

Finance Director Travis Thomas reported that revenues are coming in as expected and are currently at nine percent of budget at $7,763,000. Expenditures are a bit higher at $8,296,000 or ten percent of the yearly budget. Thomas said revenues are slow but will increase in November and December.
Auditors will be in the District beginning in two weeks for the annual audit process, he said.

In his instruction report, Assistant Superintendent Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson said Powdersville Middle Principal Todd Binnicker will be recognized at the next board meeting for his school being named a Blue Ribbon School.
Dr. Wilson spoke briefly about the COGNIA evaluation process the district is working on. He mentioned two items possible being added to the Mission and Beliefs statement. They are wording in support of America and related to diversity and equity.
Director of Personnel Becky Brady reported the Nutritional Program had meal revenues of $426,978.65 which included $201,000 in USDA reimbursements. The USDA reimbursements offset losses during the pandemic and will be used to purchases tables, water heaters and other items.
Brady said hot meals are up twenty-five percent.
In action items, the Board approved an Emergency Plan for 2021 which included a continuity of operations plan with a checklist and what to do in emergency situations for the District and each school. He said they met with Anderson County Emergency Preparedness and plan to have a full scale event practice for a fire or active shooter situation sometime in the future. One change includes the reunification area, which will be in a contained place, probably a local church, he said.

Superintendent Robbie Binnicker updated the Board on the building program. Binnicker said the Palmetto High Renovation of the old office space into classrooms will be completed in a few weeks and they are still working on punchlist items. Rollup doors in the SRO and Ag building s will be installed soon.
At Wren High, punch list items and a roll up door for the cafeteria will be completed soon.
The new Palmetto Middle has punchlist items remaining, landscaping and finishing some work the new practice field.
Phase 3 construction of the Related Arts wing at Wren Middle will be completed in February or March, he said.

At Palmetto and Wren Elementary, workers are finishing punch list items and the schools are moving to a new fire alarm system.
Spearman, West Pelzer and Palmetto Elementary all three have roof repairs finishing in the next two weeks, he said. Roof replacement at Palmetto High will also be completed in about two weeks.

Architect plans for the new Transportation/IT building at Spearman are complete and they are working on design and engineering plans.
An alternate bus circle/lane is being added at Palmetto Elementary and Concrete Elementary to allow for a second drop-off and pick-up lane for parents.
Binniker said replacement of the Palmetto High track area at the football field will be bid in October and work is expected to begin in November.

The Board approved first reading on rewording of a Social Studies Education (IHAC) policy and approved minor changes to the Grading/Assessment Systems (IKA-r) rules for graduation.
Board member Melissa Hood was selected the head delegate to represent AD1 at the state School Board Delegate meeting on December 4. Pat Cox will be first alternate. Wendy Burgess will be second alternate.

Becky Brady presented information about School District One personnel departures.
According to Brady, had none COVID related, 9 retirees, 2 involuntary, 0 internal, and 32 external related. The external reasons include things like teachers having children or relocations, she said.
Also 0 international and 0 no reason. The district had 5 teachers return after retirement, 5 went to private schools, 3 to college settings, 1 to the Career and Technology Center.
Only 15 went to other school district and only 8 to surrounding districts, Brady said.

Binnicker said AD1 had seen decrease in COVID cases since the start of school when there were almost 1000 students and teachers in quarantine or isolation. Currently there are approximately 245 persons in quarantine or isolation, he said. There are only 10 to 15 new cases being reported each day, for students and staff combined. “Obviously we would like to get back to zero,” Binnicker said.