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Escambia BOE extends mask mandate for students

The Escambia County Board of Education extended the mandate that masks be worn on school campuses across the county.

Board President Cindy Jackson said the mandate would be extended through October 29 and be reassessed at that time.

“This mandate is for all students, staff and visitors to our schools,” Jackson said. “We hope that by extending this one more month, our numbers (of COVID cases) will go down.”

The mandate was put into place in August in an attempt to help stop the spread of the virus among students and staff.

Jackson said the board would reassess the status of the virus within the system and the community after October 29.

“The Escambia County School System will require that masks be worn while inside school facilities during the school day,” Jackson read from the mandate files. “Masks will not be required for outside activities such as PE and athletics. All students, regardless of age or vaccination status, who utilize Escambia County School buses for transportation, are required to war masks. This is a mandate issued by the Federal Department of Transportaiton. The mask requirement will remain in effect through Oct. 29, 2201. District leaders will then reassess the current health trend as it relates to COVID-19.”

Superintendent Michele McClung told the board during Monday’s meeting that the number of cases among students and staff in the county is showing a decline.

“We have seen a 50 percent decreases in cases over the past two weeks,” McClung told the board. “We are continuing the downward trend. We have had 21 new student cases and two new staff cases, which is a 50 percent decrease in the cases in the county. That moves us down in the state dashboard two weeks in a row.”

Senator Greg Albritton was also on hand for the meeting and delivered gifts with his visit.

“I have checks with me today,” Albritton said. “This is a return of taxes for schools in our state and the total is $20,000. I have $5,000 for the Board and $5,000 for each of the three high schools in the county.”

On hand to receive the funds were W.S. Neal Principal Todd Williamson, Flomaton Principal Scott Hammond and ECHS Principal Amy Cabiness. McClung accepted the funds on behalf of the BOE.

Sherry Digman officially took the seat representing District 6 at the BOE table following a swearing in ceremony. Judge Jeff White administered the oath of office for Digmon as Albritton held the Bible during the ceremony.

Digmon was appointed to the position following the death of David Nolin who held the District 6 seat for several years after winning the position in a race against Digmon.

In other business the board:

• approved the budget for FY2022;

• approved the EL plan for GY2022;

• approved the LEA Consolidated Plan for FY2022;

• approved the Stability for Foster Students LEA Plan for FY2022;

• approved the Capital Plan for FY2022-FY2026;

• approved the extension of the transportation fuel bid with Southern Energy Company for one year. This is the third extension of the bid with five years allowed for extension;

• approved the state mandated 2 percent raise for superintendents, effective Sept. 1;

•approved the amended 2021-2022 salary schedule

• approved the purchase of property at 829 Andrew Jackson Street adjacent to W.S. Neal High School property in the amount of $25,000.

• approved the following personnel changes:

Leave of Absence:

Sabrina Dailey, 6-hour lunchroom worker at Rachel Patterson Elementary School, effective Aug. 4 through Sept. 13

Resignations:

Joann Delilla, LPN/Special Ed Instruction Aide at Escambia County High School, effective Sept. 10;

Johnathan Kent, social studies teacher at Escambia County High School, effective Sept. 15;

Angela Rowe, special education teacher at Escambia County Middle School, effective Aug. 31;

Alyssa Williams, 7-hour lunchroom worker at Pollard McCall Junior High School, effective Sept. 16;

April Parker, instruction aide at W.S. Neal Middle School, effective Sept. 15.

Transfer:

Ronda Hoffman, science teacher at Escambia County Middle School to science teacher at Escambia County Alternative School, effective Oct. 11;

Melanie Rowland, teacher aid at Flomaton Elementary School to teacher aide at Flomaton High School, effective Oct. 1;

Employment:

Jacob Butler, director of career and technical education, Escambia County BOE, effective Sept. 21, replacing Todd Williamson;

Nicole Spottswood, elementary curriculum and instruction supervisor, Escambia BOE, effective Oct. 1 replacing Courtney McBride;

Clarence Brooks, health teacher at ECHS, effective Sept. 8;

Wendy Staffard, part-time speech/language pathologist, ECMS, effective Sept. 21;

Melissa Ingram, special education aide at ECMS, effective Sept. 21;

Rebecca O’Neil, part-time academic interventionist, Flomaton Elementary effective Sept. 21;

Toni Jones, special education teacher at Huxford Elementary effective Oct. 4;

Dawn Malone, part time academic interventionist at Huxford Elementary effective Sept. 21;

Peggy Nelson, office aide at W.S. Neal Elementary, to work up to an additional two off contract days;

Cimmaron Wilson, office aide at W.S. Neal Elementary to work up to an additional two off contract days;

Suzanne Brown, special education aide at W.S. Neal High School, effective Sept. 21;

Nickolas Lambeth, bus driver, Atmore Bus Shop, effective Sept. 3;

Jack Floyd, technology technician ECS Technology Department, effective Oct. 1;

Amie Kramer, secretary/receptionist at Atmore Central Office, effective Sept. 27; Carolyn Settle, office aid, Escambia Career Readiness Center, effective Sept. 27;

Employment Change:

Tara Ross, science teacher at Escambia County Alternative School to Elementary teacher at Flomaton Elementary School, effective Oct. 1;

Maegan Salter, elementary teacher at Flomaton Elementary School to ARI Reading Specialist at Flomaton Elementary School, effective Sept. 21;

Rehire: Quaunhntel Hill, custodian at Rachel Patterson Elementary School, effective Sept. 21.