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Local schools tentatively planning on August 6 opening


Schools in Clinch County are set to re-open for children on August 6 – tentatively.

At Thursday’s regularly monthly meeting of the Clinch County Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Lori James said the system’s current plans are to open in early August, but those plans could change depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

James said the system is surveying parents on their thoughts and opinions on the subject at the school system’s website –

“While we are still over five weeks away from our scheduled start date and circumstances are constantly changing, we have been developing plans to begin school in August with increased safety precautions,” James said. “We are currently seeking input from parents and staff before we finalize these plans. After the survey closes on July 3, we will review the results to determine what additional options and procedures to implement that will best serve the needs of our students. We appreciate everyone’s patience during these unprecedented times and look forward to releasing our return to school plan by mid-July.”

James told board members if COVID cases spread in the community, the school system will have a plan in place for that possibility as well.

In other action from the meeting, held at Patterson Hall, the school board:

• Approved the meeting’s agenda, and minutes from the board’s previous May 28 meeting.

• Heard a report from Homerville Police Department Captain Derrek Manning on the RedSpeed automated speed detection system.

Manning showed board members a video about the system, which detects speeders in school zones, and sends citations automatically. He said the Homerville City Council has already approved having the system in front of Clinch County High School on Highway 441. Board members indicated they supported the system. James said she would speak to the police chief about the system, which will be in place when the school year starts in August.

• Closed the meeting for an executive session on personnel. The board returned to open session about 20 minutes, and approved the minutes of the executive session.

• Approved the financial reports as submitted by Liane Register. 

Register said that the school system was pleasantly surprised that SPLOST revenues haven’t dipped during the pandemic.

• Approved a budget amendment.

• Approved the 2021 fiscal year budget. Register said the budget includes a 14 percent reduction in revenue from the state, as originally advised by the state. The state, though, is now predicting a 10 percent revenue reduction.

• Approved renewal of the Okefenokee RESA contract in the amount of $25,065.

• Approved the hearing impaired services contract.

• Approved the Behavior Analytic Services contract.

• Approved the athletic trainer services agreement.

• Approved the 2020-21 Student Handbooks.

• Approved the 2020-21 Faculty Handbooks.

• Approved advertising for a risk hazard and environmental evaluation for the Clinch County High School site. 

• Approved vacation leave for the superintendent.

• Approved an insurance proposal from Trident Public Risk Solutions. 

The switch in carriers will save the school system an estimated $7,000 a year.

• Heard reports from the superintedent on Friday’s graduation ceremony, school board training, and other items.

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