Huntingdon Special School District Brainstorming session held to devise a school plan

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A brainstorming session among teachers, school officials and parents Thursday evening at the middle school
cafetorium brought up questions and suggestions on how schools in the Huntingdon Special School District will
operate at the opening of the 2020-2021 school year.
Huntingdon Special School District director of schools Pat Dillahunty called the meeting to discuss the measures
that will have to be taken in dealing with COVID-19 when school opens Aug. 4.
Approximately 30 persons that were mostly teachers and school officials attended the session with Adam and
Kimberly Crews being the only parents present.
Five school board members that included Vicki Williams, Jerry Morris, Brittany Foster, Lee Carter and Tim
Tucker were present.
“There will be no decisions made tonight, but I need to hear your thoughts,” said Dillahunty.
Taking temperatures, academic concerns, the spreading of COVID-19, social distancing in the hallways and in
sports were some of the concerns expressed.
Dillahunty emphasized that teachers will have to stay at school and won’t be leaving even if students are
dismissed. Students will take classes in person, on line or possibly a combination of both. Lots of issues will have to
be worked out.
“We have to get in place online teaching because we might have to do it,” said Dillahunty.
Already 320 tablets and video equipment have been purchased.
Teacher and football coach Robbie Miller said he felt that temperatures would have to be checked to be on the
safe side before students enter the school building.
Central office supervisor Alan Eubanks said that 460 persons responded to a survey devised by the school district.
He said according to the survey, 98 percent of those responding were against students wearing masks.
“The biggest concern was the spreading of COVID-19 and how we will address students in the hallways and in
sports,” said Eubanks. “Parents will have to decide what they want. Teachers could be given masks and teachers
would have to sanitize their rooms after school is over. Board members will have to decide about masks.”
One primary school teacher said she thought masks for the very young children would be a nightmare in trying to
keep them on.
Carter said the surgeon general said not to wear a mask back in February and that soon changed.
There are a lot of different opinions about the school situation and some parents have said they won’t allow their
children to take a vaccine if offered.
It was also pointed out that in some instances if a child gets up with a fever, aspirin is given and by the time
school starts, there is no fever, but the child is still sick.
Foster pointed out that the parent of every student needs working a phone number.
The need for an isolation room was mentioned.
Dillahunty said parents coming inside the school buildings during the day will have to stop and not as many
people will be allowed inside.
“More food will have to be prepackaged,” she said. “Now, as many sanitizing products are being purchased as
possible.”

Determining how to manage story time at the primary school will have to be determined. Additional teachers will
have to be added in order to spread the kids out.
Also, bathroom times will have to be staggered.
Teacher Clint Ezell said he thinks temperatures can be taken and hand washing is possible, but social distancing is
not possible.
“We’ll have to live with it,” he said.
Dillahunty said there are guidelines to follow if a student tests positive, and if a teacher gets sick there is a
procedure to follow.
Carter, who is chairman of the school board, said it is the policy of the school board to make sure teachers have
the tools to do what you do best.
Dillahunty told teachers to share with each other in order to devise a plan.
“There is a lot of work to do within the next few weeks,” she said. “Thank about it and tell your ideas to the
principals.”

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