Agenda Plus
School Board of Clay County
Teacher Training Inservice Center, 2233 Village Square Parkway, Fleming Island
July 14, 2020 - School Board Workshop
Date: Jul 14 2020 (3:30 p.m.)
Invocation  (Ashley Gilhousen, Board Member)
Call to Order  (Present: Janice Kerekes, District 1; Carol Studdard, District 2; Tina Bullock, District 3; Mary Bolla, District 4; Ashley Gilhousen, District 5; and Superintendent David Broskie)
Workshop Items
1. Discuss Reopening of Schools Plan(s)
DRAFT 2020-2021 CCDS School Reopening Plan.pdf
Reopening of Schools - Board Workshop 7_14_2020 (2).pdf

Superintendent Broskie introduced John Ward, Director of Emergency Management, in attendance via teleconferencing, who provided an overview of current new ways of living in response to the existing health crisis.  Mr. Ward shared information related to facial coverings (strongly encouraged vs mandated), personal responsibility, and the method and prevention of virus spread. 

Heather Huffman, Director of the Clay County Health Department, present via teleconferencing, provided updated data re coronavirus case numbers and the recent uptick resulting from increased testing and community spread.  Information was shared relating to the median age range during the months the virus has progressed.  Community-based testing in Green Cove Springs information was provided.  The benefits of social distancing and various barriers were discussed as well as the value, feasibility, and CDC guidance on temperature checks.  Facial coverings are strongly encouraged where social distancing cannot occur and when encountering indoor spaces where distance cannot be achieved.  Contact tracing is made more efficient when utilizing assigned seating on buses and in classrooms, and contract tracing will be performed by the Department of Health. Guidance on the application of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was shared. 

Superintendent Broskie discussed the draft CCDS Smart Restart School Reopening Plan, outlining the four options available to students and enhanced cleaning procedures.  Topics for discussion included the following -

  • Face coverings -  Areas where social distancing may not occur for consideration of the use of face coverings are bus/transportation, arrival/dismissal, hallways, common bathrooms, locker rooms, and classrooms.  Safe social distance is defined as 6 feet.  In-depth discussion followed which included classroom setup, students and teachers with disabilities and/or health-related conditions, additional buses and drivers, staggered bus routes, additional custodians, limiting number of students in classrooms, and eating lunch in the classroom under the supervision of monitors. Mrs. Kerekes questioned the authority of the teacher to enforce students wearing facial coverings when social distancing cannot be achieved.  Superintendent Broskie responded that, without the enforcement piece, there is not a policy and questioned whether there was desire on the part of the board to make this a policy.  Mrs. Gilhousen believes this issue relates to personal responsibility and professional judgment and was not in favor of a mandated mask policy.  Mrs. Studdard supported an enforceable policy mandating masks when social distancing is not possible.  School Board attorney Bruce Bickner was asked about the procedural steps to create such a policy and responded that the proposed policy can be made part of the reopening plan so that, when the plan is adopted (emergency adoption), such policy would be in effect for 90 days and further evaluation to implement the administrative procedures to make it permanent policy may be considered.  Mr. Bickner advised of the responsibility for doing what can be done and meeting the standard of care set forth in CDC and DOH guidelines, exercising reasonable care.  After additional discussion, Mrs. Studdard, Mrs. Bolla, Mrs. Bullock, and Mrs. Kerekes supported a policy to enforce the use of facial coverings when social distancing cannot be achieved and allowing for exceptions on an individual basis.  Mr. Bickner will craft language for the board's review.
  • School Calendar - Mrs. Kerekes expressed desire to postpone the start of school as long as possible.  Superintendent Broskie discussed the districts that have already decided on a later start for a variety of reasons that include additional training for teachers, movement of staff, etc. Mrs. Bullock inquired as to the need to start in August.  Mr. Bickner advised that the Executive Order issued by Commissioner Corcoran does not expressly state that schools must start in August but that the attorney for the Florida Association of District School Superintendents has recommended that no one proceed later than August 24th.  The board did not object to the postponement of school to August 24th.  The calendar committee will convene to work on a proposal.  Extended pre-planning for teachers and employees' paydates will be among things considered when crafting the revised calendar.
  • Temperature Checks - Following a 15-minute recess from 6:23 to 6:38, board discussion resumed on the topic of temperature checks.  Mrs. Gilhousen, based on DOH guidance, indicated that temperature checks would seem to be not very effective and require extensive training and paperwork.  Mrs. Kerekes expressed the desire to do all we can to keep students and personnel safe in the prevention of spread and suggested hiring aides to possibly perform temperature checks and monitor classes during lunch.  Mrs. Bullock would like to have temperature checks available for checking as warranted/necessary.  Mrs. Bolla advised that the presence of a fever means the contagion has already been present and does not see temperature checks as useful or feasible.  Mrs. Studdard did not support temperature checks other than when warranted.

Victoria Kidwell, Clay County Education Association President, addressed the board to encourage planning for students to be in and remain in school, the use of CDC protocols, and a positive mindset.  She indicated limiting class sizes would improve social distancing and requested enhanced cleaning throughout the day, adequate supplies, HVAC filters, improved air circulation, increased time outdoors, and the use of a face-covering policy that would require masks when social distancing is not possible, with accommodations when needed.


Questions from the Audience
2. Questions from the Audience

Public attendees submitted questions related to reopening -

  • Bob Wilson - masks
  • Betsy Reagor - date of reopening
  • Evan Gould - expert advice being used
  • Jamie Beck - substitute teachers
  • Amy Fehrs - COVID leave
  • Ted Budzinski - teaching assignments, safe distancing
  • Stephanie Boccieri - COVID procedures
  • Katherine Morrison - classroom doors
  • Nicole Honour - screening protocols, open nurse position
  • Robin Repper - employment options available to teachers, safety protocols
  • P. Shaffer - social distancing
  • Michelle DeRousse - COVID procedures for positive cases


Superintendent Comments
3. Superintendent's Comments

The superintendent expressed his appreciation of the questions and concerns of the public as well as the contributions and professionalism of the board.

School Board Comments
4. School Board Member Comments

Mrs. Kerekes requested signs re facial coverings be displayed at the district offices and asked Human Resources to research whether the 80 hours of COVID leave is a per occurrence or total amount.  She desires class size be addressed and that numbers are examined, with shifting/movement and all available means utilized to create maximum social distancing.  Concern was expressed re the utilization of services provided by Take Stock in Children being affected by the public's limited access to schools.  Board members agreed that the required services rendered by Take Stock would be an exception to the policy and the suggestion was made for establishing a designated meeting spot for working with those students.  Dr. Legutko, Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs, was asked to develop information re the effect of the suggested calendar change on employees' health insurance benefits.  Graduation was also mentioned, noting that each school has developed a plan for the safe distribution of diplomas.  

Mrs. Gilhousen expressed appreciation for the professional discussion re facial coverings, the diverse opinions on this topic, and looks forward to working on this policy.

Mrs. Bullock appreciated the development of the reopening plan.

Mrs. Bolla expressed gratitude for all in attendance, for the work done by the superintendent and subcommittees, and that we are united in supporting one another in this situation.

Mrs. Studdard extended appreciation to the board for the good, open discussion and gratitude for the numerous emails she has received.

Adjournment  (7:33 p.m.)
Superintendent of Schools School Board Chair