COVID numbers forcing city schools back to virtual learning for rest of semester

Superintendent Dr. Lance Evans gives his report to the board via Zoom.
December 10th, 2020     City schools

The increasing number of COVID-19 cases was on the mind of New Albany City School trustees at their meeting Monday.

Superintendent Dr. Lance Evans reported that officials had decided to move the middle school to virtual classes until the Christmas holiday.

“Then we will make a decision based on the numbers in the school district and in the county,” Evans said.

“We’re taking all the precautions. We’re being very vigilant, but Thanksgiving cost us,” he said. “We had a lot of positives coming back.”

The trend apparently did not improve as officials announced Wednesday that all city schools would be switching to virtual classes for the rest of the semester.

In the brief board meeting conducted via Zoom, Director of Accounting Services Suzanne Coffey told trustees that the district expenses and revenues were in line with budgeted amount – something she is able to report essentially at every meeting.

The district is having to purchase a new cooling system for the middle school on an emergency basis at a cost of $76,864. Coffey said part of the cost will come from $40,000 left over from the bond issue that was used for the extensive renovation at all the schools. The remaining cost would come from a three-mill tax levy that was initially used for transportation but has been on the books for years and can be used for other things now.

Trustees approved a change in the grading system that would allow an exemption for the coronavirus but not allow students to misuse the exemption.

In personnel, trustees approved:

  • The resignation of Samantha Shettles, teacher assistant, New Albany Elementary School, effective Dec. 18.
  • The resignation of Ann Ross, cafeteria, New Albany Elementary School, effective Oct. 31.
  • The resignation of Amanda Harrison, teacher assistant, New Albany Elementary School.
  • The resignation of Patsy Foster, cafeteria, New Albany Middle School, effective Dec. 2.
  • The resignation of Trent Hammond, teacher/assistant football coach, NASTUC, New Albany High School, effective Dec. 18 due to retirement.
  • Hiring Amanda Harrison, teacher, New Albany Elementary School, pending approval of MDE certification.
  • Hiring Jake McDonald, teacher, NASTUC, pending approval of MDE certification.
  • Transferring Belinda Chism from receptionist to bookkeeper at New Albany Elementary School.
  • Additions to substitute list.

The trustees also routinely approved paying bills and board minutes.

Before adjourning, trustees voted to move into executive session to discuss a personnel issue, but no action was reported following the meeting.

The next scheduled meeting of the board will be Monday, Jan. 11, at 5:30 p.m., tentatively set for the media center at the high school.

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