COVID numbers lower, but skewed due to winter weather
At Monday night’s meeting of the Union County Board of School Trustees, the district provided food for the board members prior to the meeting as part of School Board Appreciation Month. Superintendent Joey Haney stated that the schools have been honoring the school board members throughout the month with social media posts, special events at the schools to which the board members were invited, signs around the county, and even on the digital billboard near Walmart.
Haney gave the COVID figures for last week, which included 115 students testing positive and 47 staff members. 612 students were quarantined. The numbers were some lower, but Haney cautioned that with the winter weather last week, it was a shortened week. The effects on quarantine numbers due to the mask mandate should begin to be seen over the next couple of weeks.
Haney reminded everyone that the 2nd annual District Job Fair will be held this Saturday from 9-noon at Jonesville Elementary-Middle School. Each school will be represented by administration and some teachers, and the various district departments will also be represented. The board unanimously voted to extend the superintendent the authority to sign immediate and open contracts if needed. An open contract would allow the new hire to be placed at a school later. Haney noted that at last year’s event, roughly half were signed to open contracts, while the other half the district knew where to place the applicant right then. Haney also reminded everyone about the 4-year-old kindergarten screening and 5-year-old kindergarten registration coming up next month at the various elementary schools.
Finally, the board honored Ross Arthur, a sophomore at Union County High School. Arthur was honored for being accepted into the SC Governor’s School for Agriculture at John de la Howe in McCormick County. The board also honored Caroline Barron, a senior at Union County High School, for receiving the SC State Fair FFA Scholarship at this year’s state fair in Columbia.
Doc Lipsey then read the South Carolina School Board Member Ethical Principles, a list of 14 ethical principles that the SC School Board Association puts together for school boards to read and sign each year. After signing, the poster is framed and posted in the meeting room for the next year.
As former Finance Director Bryan Gresham is no longer with the school district, Superintendent Joey Haney presented the financial report on behalf of the Finance Department. He stated that as of December 2021, the district has a net positive balance for the year so far of $1,202,939. He noted the audit process has started, and the finance department is working closely with the auditing firm to get them everything they need. Haney said he should have a better idea later this week of when the audit should be complete.
The board heard several lengthy presentations, which we will bring to you in future newscasts this week. Monarch Elementary School Principal Mickey Connolly shared about his school. Maintenance Director Mark Haney shared the Capital Needs Projects list for the year, and Scott Sherbert updated the board on winter and spring sports, which prompted a lengthy discussion.
The board then went into executive session for a little over an hour. Coming back into open session, the board voted unanimously to extend Superintendent Joey Haney’s contract by one year and raise his pay by $5000. His contract now runs through the 2024-2025 school year. The board unanimously approved the personnel report. They also voted 8-1 to allow the band to go on an overnight field trip to participate in the University of South Carolina Band Clinic next month. It is scheduled for February 10-13 on campus at the University of South Carolina.