BLOUNTVILLE — Mask mandates are not any extra in Sullivan County Schools and can doubtless quickly be gone statewide.
In anticipation of laws the General Assembly permitted at a latest particular session, Sullivan County’s school board has amended its “Additional Operational Procedures as it pertains to the Health and Wellness of Staff and Students 2021-2022.”
Put one other means: the school system’s mask mandate with an opt-out clause is gone. Kingsport City Schools ended its mandate when town school board declined to resume it on Oct. 19.
The Sullivan County Board of Education on Thursday voted 6-0 with one seat vacant due to a resignation to suggest adjustments proposed by Director of Schools Evelyn Rafalowski.
“I’m very happy that we lifted the mask mandate,” board member Mark Ireson mentioned.
Rafalowski mentioned masks will stay optionally available and colleges will proceed to maintain masks and hand sanitizer obtainable. Water fountains will stay shut off however water bottle filling stations will stay operational.
Athletic occasions will stay open with no mask necessities, and studies on COVID-19 circumstances will stay on the school system web site.
However, college students now not must face in the identical path in school rooms, nor will foot site visitors should be in the identical path when attainable.
Board member Matthew Spivey mentioned he was dissatisfied with lots of the payments the General Assembly permitted within the particular session, which centered on COVID-19.
One would enable, on the discretion of officers of native Republican or Democratic events, school board races to be carried out in a partisan method.
Partisan school board races are prohibited by present Tennessee regulation, though the Sullivan County Commission is partisan.
“Partisanship doesn’t have any role in public service” on the subject of training, Spivey mentioned.
Meanwhile, Chairman Randall Jones expressed concern about coming adjustments within the state’s Basic Education Program (BEP) funding method, which has modified little since being carried out within the Eighties.
Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn has been going throughout the state searching for enter on the matter.
One such journey included a Wednesday assembly in Greeneville that was sparsely attended, based on Jones.
“Read carefully and listen to the facts,” Jones mentioned.