School Board Member Urges Students to Wear Masks to Keep Quarantine Numbers Down

Daniel Prince

Dr. Fran Adams presents highlights from Foster Park Elementary at meeting

At Monday night’s school board meeting, Mike Massey asked a question about current CDC quarantine requirements. Director of Administration Eric Childers told him the CDC does not require students wearing a mask to quarantine if they are in close contact with someone testing positive. In light of that, Massey made this appeal, with which Superintendent Joey Haney agreed:

(audio below story)

In other news from the school board, BJ McMorris and Eric Childers presented highlights from the Risky Business Seminar, mostly concerning COVID and what is and is not allowed in response to it. Childers also stated the meeting confirmed the work the role the district’s IT Department plays in keeping schools safe from hacker attacks.

The board voted to appoint Manning Jeter as the voting delegate to the Legislative Advocacy Conference, with BJ McMorris as an alternate.

Dr. Fran Adams made a presentation about Foster Park Elementary School, as well. She said the school’s focus is “Excellence and greater learning for every student”. She said she defines excellence not as grades but in coming to school ready to learn and putting forth your best effort. She said she stresses the importance of the word “yet”, so instead of a student saying “I can’t do this,” it becomes, “I can’t do this…yet.” She said the school takes pride in social and emotional learning, in addition to academic instruction.

She said a committee helps to plan events for staff and students to bring them together. She said one Friday, the staff gathered for apple cider and cookies as a way to decompress and celebrate their hard work through the week. She noted a positive office referral program the school has in place, where if a teacher or staff member sees a student doing the right thing, she or the assistant principal, Kathryn Sommer-Gough, can invite the child to the office for special recognition. She said that way, a trip to the principal’s office doesn’t have to always be seen in a negative light. She said School Resource Officer Dell Mitchell has a similar thing he does called a good behavior citation, where the student being cited for doing something right gets to have a picture taken with Mitchell and receives a coupon for a special treat.

Adams said the school is working with parents to strengthen ties with them. She said 23 attended a recent parenting workshop, titled “What Is Present Parenting?” The workshop was headed up by the school’s guidance counselor, and attendance exceeded expectations. She said the next one is planned in December, offering simple reading tips to help students read at home. She said the faculty and staff are planning to give each student a book for Christmas so they can have something to take home and read over break.

She said the school has partnered with the Junior Charity League to purchase a special needs swing and tricycles for special needs students to be able to enjoy on the playground. The school is coming together to help provide Christmas for 10 families, with help from another family who wants to be involved.

She is working with teachers for development and to strengthen their skills so they can clearly focus on what each student needs.

The board members all expressed appreciation to Adams for her heartfelt presentation and on focusing on positive behavior among the students and not just the negative.

Mike Massey
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