From The Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — The Trussville City Board of Education on Monday approved a policy change that allows the system to offer virtual learning programs to more students.
“Our current policy allows Trussville City Schools to offer a virtual program in grades nine through 12, so tonight we’ll change the policy for Trussville City Schools to offer a virtual program in grades K through 12,” said Superintendent Dr. Pattie Neill during Monday night’s Zoom meeting.
The board also went on to table two additional policy changes that involve suspending field trips and suspending nonessential visitors to TCS facilities when schools open up for fall semester on Aug. 12. The board will revisit those policies at its August meeting.
“We will let the principals use their discretion on which visitors are essential and which visitors are not,” said Neill.
The policies discussed on Monday come in accordance with the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Association of School Boards as complications surrounding coronavirus continue.
Neill and the school board also discussed a number of safety measures that TCS will be implementing on Aug. 12, including an effort to place three different barriers (face shields, face masks and plexiglass desk shields) between people who are in the classroom setting.
Neill said face masks are being provided by the state department, and should arrive soon. Each Trussville student and teacher will be equipped with three masks apiece. Teachers will also be offered face shields to be worn in the classroom.
According to recommendations from the Alabama Department of Education, students should avoid sitting in clusters and facing one another in the classroom — a policy that can be followed by students who sit in desks.
“The directive was to put all of the desks facing forward,” said Neill. “The implication was every student sits at a desk, and they don’t in Trussville City Schools. They sit in groups of four or six, sometimes, at tables. So with that in mind, we had to order plexiglass shields so the students will have a barrier between them.”
The desk shields came at a cost of $18,600.
Noncontact thermometers have been ordered for TCS nurses, who will be required to wear N95 masks this year.
In other business, the Trussville City Board of Education also:
- heard an update on local progress from Trussville City Councilman Alan Taylor
- heard a budget hearing from Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations Jim Kirkland