By Taylor Boyd
The Martinsville School Board approved the back-to-school plan for the 2021-2022 school year at the August 2 meeting.
The school year is set to begin Monday, August 9, with pre-k through 12 grade students returning to in-person education Monday-Friday for five full days of instruction.
Schools Superintendent Dr. Zebedee Talley Jr. said the plan can be modified at any time based on the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommendations.
“The safety of our students is always a priority, and this plan is designed to provide a safe and to healthy learning environment,” he said.
Talley said administrators will continue to monitor the COVID-19 case numbers and data to make informed decisions.
“Martinsville is one of the few areas where 58 percent of people have been vaccinated in the West Piedmont District (WPHD), however there is a significant lack in the areas around us,” he said.
To help keep students safe, there will be three-foot distancing between students in the classrooms and on the buses, and six-feet distancing between adults and adults and children.
“Because of this, we’re going to modify the classrooms and we’re going to have to modify the schedules,” he said.
Masks also will be required for all staff and students while on school property, including school buses.
In communal spaces like the lunchroom, students will continue to observe the three-foot distance rule while eating, and glass barriers will be used to help prevent the spread of disease.
Talley said masks should be worn once students are finished eating.
Buses and the dining area will be cleaned after each use, and classrooms will be sprayed clean at the end of each day.
“Visitors will be screened through the health monitor, and we’ve limited the amount of visitors to each building,” he added.
Talley said school counselors will be available to address the social and emotional needs of students, and an ongoing evaluation of academic, social, emotional, and mental health occurring throughout the year is planned.
The plan can be viewed on the school website at https://www.martisnville.k12.va.us/, and is available in English and Spanish. Other languages are available upon request.
In other matters, the board:
*Reappointed Donna Dillard as the chairman.
*Reappointed Yvonne Givens as the vice-chairman.
*Reappointed Janie Fulcher as the Clerk of the Board.
*Set the regular meeting schedule for the 2021-2022 school year as the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m.
*Presented a plaque to former board member Dominique Hylton for his service.
*Heard instruction plans from school principals.
*Approved the action agenda.
*Approved the consent agenda.
*Appointed Yvonne Givens as the board representative on the Governor’s School Board.
*Appointed Emily Parker as the delegate to the assembly for the Virginia School Board Association (VSBA).
*Approved the personnel report.
Anthony Jones attended the meeting via phone call.