Madison County teachers will pull up their sleeves Friday to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
School superintendent Michael Williams said Tuesday that the school system is partnering with county health department to begin administering vaccines to 370 school employees who have signed up for the vaccination.
“We will administer the second dose of the vaccine at the appropriate time in April,” said Williams. “We’re still working with the health department on scheduling that.”
The superintendent thanked county nurse manager Elizabeth Allen, EMS director Bobby Smith and assistant school superintendent Mandy Wommack for coordinating the effort.
Wommack noted that teachers who haven’t signed up but have decided that they want to get vaccinated will be able to do so.
In another COVID-related matter, Williams noted Tuesday that there are 49 days of school left and that the end of Thursday marks the end of the third nine weeks.
“I’m extremely proud of our district, our students, our parents, our community, our board of education for having our students in in-person instruction this year,” he said. “That’s a tremendous accomplishment.”
Madison County COVID cases continue to drop. The latest school system coronavirus numbers from March 3 showed four students and one employee positive for the virus, with 100 students and eight staff members quarantined.
In another matter, Williams said Madison County High School was recently named an Advanced Placement (AP) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) school, as well as an “AP STEM Achievement School.” An “AP STEM” school has a minimum of five students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses. An “AP STEM Achievement School” has students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses with at least 50 percent of AP STEM exams with a score of at least three.
“I want to commend our students for taking that rigor and our staff for preparing our students,” he said. “That’s a tremendous honor for our high school.”
The superintendent said the $1,000 bonuses from the state government for school system employees will be distributed as soon as the money is received from the state.
Williams noted Madison County star basketball player Kayla McPherson’s inclusion on the McDonald’s All American team for being one of the nation’s top high school girls’ basketball players. “That’s a tremendous honor,” he said.
Williams said the school system is advertising for a JROTC instructor position.
Wommack noted that sales tax collections for February were $231,719, down slightly from January. She said heating and air units for gyms at Ila and Colbert have been installed and units at Danielsville and Hull-Sanford will be installed by the end of the month.
Assistant superintendent Dr. Jody Goodroe said the Biden Administration has mandated standardized tests this year. So the Georgia Milestones will be given to students.
“They said we would be testing; they also said they’re throw out the participation rate,” he said. “The state school superintendent came out and said not to bring in virtual learners for the sake of testing. If they want to come in and test, they could, but don’t force them to come in and take the tests.”
Goodroe said administrators are aiming to cut down on the anxieties surrounding testing.
“We’ve been working with our staff, specifically about testing, and trying to reduce the pressure of testing, especially this year and the circumstances we’ve been under,” he said.
The board heard a presentation from local realtors Kim Shupe and Charlie Upchurch about the local housing market. (See next week’s issue for more on that.)