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Board of Education Adopts Plan to Reopen Schools August 3

June 2, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

It’s official!

DeKalb County Schools will reopen on Monday, August 3 barring a surge in COVID-19 which would force a change in plans.

During Tuesday night’s regular monthly meeting, the Board of Education voted to start school in the traditional manner with students attending in person on campus. But the board is also permitting parents who have concerns to opt for remote learning for their children due to COVID-19. Parents are asked to contact their child’s school weekdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. prior to July 22 if they want their child to participate in remote learning.

Protocols have been established and will be observed for those who come to campus to help protect the health and safety of students and school staff including temperature screenings. Masks will be provided for staff and students and while it will be highly recommended that they be worn, it is not a requirement at this time.

Three sets of scenarios and protocols have been established depending upon the severity of the pandemic (Minimum, Moderate, or Substantial) during the year.

DeKalb County Schools will reopen August 3 under the “Moderate Community Spread” framework. (CLICK PDF LINK BELOW TO VIEW THE THREE SETS OF SCENARIOS AND PROTOCOLS)

Return to School Framework (PDF)

“We have got to get back to school. We understand the challenges and concerns people will face sending their kids to school or by remote learning and we don’t have all the answers but hopefully what we are doing tonight is reaching common ground for everyone. Therefore, it is my recommendation that we start school and open the buildings up on August 3 but that we give an opportunity for parents who don’t feel comfortable to do distance learning for their children. Parents need to contact the individual schools where their children attend if this is (distance learning) something they are interested in by July 22 because it will affect the students’ class schedule. We will work with each family to try to meet their needs. We will also work with teachers to provide the resources they need as well so they can best educate our students in DeKalb County,” said Director of Schools Patrick Cripps.

Parents and students should not expect the remote learning platforms to be quite the same as they experienced during the spring. “There will be stricter guidelines and schedules for students to follow so they can stay on task with their cohorts in the classroom,” said Cripps.

Three sets of scenarios and protocols have been established depending upon the severity of the pandemic (Minimum, Moderate, or Substantial) during the year.

DeKalb County Schools will reopen August 3 under the “Moderate Community Spread” framework with the following protocols:

Protocols for Busing and Student Transportation:

*It is highly encouraged that you provide transportation for your child if at all possible. Since buses are confined spaces and social distancing guidelines may be difficult to observe, it is highly recommended that face coverings be worn. Hand sanitizer will be available on each bus.

*Bus windows should be open when possible and the conditions allow

*Unloading of buses at school will be staggered to minimize mixing of students and temperature checks inside of the building.

*Siblings and family members sit together

*Assign seats for students

*Seats and handrails should be wiped down daily

*Bus drivers will instruct riders when it is time to unload

Class Size/Spacing Requirements:

*Arrange all desks facing the same direction toward the front of the room with as much space between them as possible.

*Arrange desks in order to practice as much social distancing as possible

*Classroom windows should be open when possible

*Assemblies and field trips are prohibited.

Movement Operations:

*Flow in hallway can be divided with either side following the same direction

*Efforts should be made to try and keep six feet of distance between persons in the hallways

*Efforts should be made to limit the number of students in the hallway by staggering dismissal

*Prohibit use of lockers and gathering in the hallway

*Teachers should stand out in the hallway with their doors open to support continued movement and traffic flow and limit touching of door hardware.

Protocols for Screening Students:

*Students are allowed to enter the building at only 1-2 sites

*Parents delivery services and or visitors are not allowed in the school building, only the front office

*Schools perform temperature checks on students once per day. Car riders’ temperatures will be taken before exiting the car. Bus riders temperatures will be taken upon exiting the bus

*Parents should check their child’s temperature at home every morning and students with a temperature of 100.4 or above should stay home.

*Parents should ask their children or monitor for any cough, congestion, or shortness of breath every morning.

*Students who fall ill at school should be placed in an area of quarantine with a surgical mask in place until picked up.

*Students who have a temperature of 100.4 or above must produce negative COVID-19 results or self-quarantine for 14 days

Protocols for Staff Arrival:

*All staff should be screened with a no touch thermometer and ask COVID-19 screening questions. Those with elevated temperatures or who fail the screening questions are asked to return home.

*Employees should wash or sanitize hands upon entering the building.

Protocols for Dining, Gathering, and Extracurricular Activities:

*Students, teachers, and cafeteria staff wash hands before and after every meal.

*If possible, classrooms should be used for eating in place

*Students may bring in food from home.

*School supplied/packaged meals may be used

*Meal times can be staggered to create seating assignments

*Disposable utensils should be used and placed on the tray by an adult

*Serving and cafeteria staff should use barrier protection, including gloves, face shields, and masks when possible

*Grab and Go meals are highly recommended for breakfast

*Alternate eating meals in the classroom and in the cafeteria for lunch

*Open selection of food such as salad bars, self-service stations should be closed or manned by an adult to avoid multiple surface touches.

Gatherings and Extracurricular Activities:

*Off site field trips are not permitted

*After school programs may continue

Protocols for Athletic Activities:

*Weight room and physical conditioning activities should only be used with proper social distancing

*Schools will consult with health officials and school sports governing bodies for current public health guidance on sports with close contact.

Cleaning Protocols:

*Routine cleaning with standard cleaning supplies

*Frequently touched surfaces, including lights, doors, benches, bathrooms, etc. should undergo cleaning more frequently.

*Libraries, computer labs, arts and other hands on classrooms should undergo standard cleaning procedures per normal operating status.

*Student desks should be wiped down at the beginning of each day

*Playground and athletic equipment can be cleaned twice daily

Plan of Action:

*When an individual in the school is showing signs or symptoms or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 the following are important elements of the plan:

*Immediately place a cloth face covering or surgical mask on the ill individual and move them to the place your school has identified as a safe place to isolate.

*Anyone assisting the individual should put on a cloth face covering. Limit the number of people who are in direct contact with the ill.

*Ensure the individual is safe and does not need emergent medical attention

*Notify the sick individual’s parent or guardian so they can be picked up from school

*Clean and disinfect areas where the ill individual has been while in the building

Return to School Framework (PDF)




Glasby Caught Trying to Flee from Deputy in Stolen Truck

July 7, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

After trying to flee from a deputy in a stolen truck and then on foot, 37 year old Warren Brandon Glasby of Poss Road, Smithville was taken into custody on Sunday July 5th.

Glasby is charged with theft of property, evading arrest, and vandalism. He was also cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond totals $17,500 and he will be in court July 23.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Sunday, July 5 a deputy spotted Glasby in a truck on Allen Ferry Road which had been reported stolen on June 28. But as the deputy approached, Glasby jumped from the truck and tried to run away on foot along Allen Ferry Road and then down Cordell Love Road before being apprehended on Stonegate Drive. Inside the truck, the deputy found a glass pipe containing drug residue. The truck had also been damaged.

A Woodbury man has been arrested for breaking into a garage and stealing a motorcycle on Tubb Street in Liberty last fall. 27 year old Dustin Lewayne Nichols of Woodbury is charged with burglary, theft of property, and vandalism. His bond is $11,000 and he will be in court July 23. Sheriff Ray said that on November 27 Nichols broke into a garage through a window and altered an ignition switch to a 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan before stealing the motorcycle. The bike was valued at $2,500 and damage to the ignition was over $1,000. A detective investigated the case.

29 year old Jeremiah Daniel Martin of Kendra Drive, Smithville was arrested on Saturday, July 4th after being named in a Grand Jury sealed indictment last month for two counts of methamphetamine possession (under half a gram) with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver. He will be arraigned in criminal court July 14.

65 year old Robert Joseph Salyers of Austin Bottom Road, Baxter is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $15,000 and he will make a court appearance July 23. Sheriff Ray said that on June 24 Salyers’ wife reported that he struck her several times on the head, back, and buttocks with a belt and that he kicked her in the head and groin, punched her in the face, and he she was dragged by her hair up and down the stairs in the home. The woman said she could not physically move from the residence until June 30 when she managed to run away and was picked up by a passerby and taken to the emergency room of the hospital. She suffered multiple injuries because of the assault. A detective investigated the case.

46 year old Gary McGee, Jr. of Chesnut Mound is charged with violation of the sex offender registration law. He was arrested July 1 and is under a $5,000 bond. McGee will be in court on July 18. Sheriff Ray said that on June 16 McGee was found to be in violation of the sex offender registry. Under the law McGee is to register annually but failed to do so this year in the designated time frame. McGee has also changed his address but failed to report that as required under terms of the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry law. A detective investigated the case.

78 year old Sarah Opal Atnip of Shady Drive, Smithville is charged with two counts of vandalism. Her bond is $3,000 and she will be in court July 16. Sheriff Ray said that on June 7 Atnip went to a residence on Allen Street, Smithville and scratched up a 2003 Nissan Altima on all sides causing $4,500 damage to the paint on the vehicle. Atnip returned to the home on July 2 and broke out the front windows to the home causing $250 in damage. A detective investigated the case.

39 year old Mark Denver Young of Barnes Mill Road, Smithville is charged with violation of bond conditions. Sheriff Ray said that on July 3 a deputy pulled over a red pickup truck driven by Young. A woman was in the truck with him. The officer was informed by central dispatch that Young was under active bond conditions to keep away from this woman.

24 year old Tavarius Dandre League of McMinnville is charged with aggravated assault. He is under a $3,500 bond and will be in court July 23. Sheriff Ray said that on July 5 a deputy responded to a physical domestic complaint on Jefferson Road and upon arrival found a woman with blood on her shirt and legs and bruises on her throat. According to witnesses the woman and League had been arguing all during the night resulting in the assault. League was determined to have been the primary aggressor.

50 year old Michael Steven Conners of Old Snow Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $3,500 and he will be in court July 23. Sheriff Ray said that on July 5 a deputy was called to Jacobs Pillar Road in the area of Miller Lane where a woman was found laying in a ditch. Upon arrival the officer spoke with the woman who reported that Conners had pulled her from a vehicle and tossed her bags out on top of her by the side of the road. The woman had red marks and scratches on the right side of her face and road rash on her right elbow.




22nd Annual Fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run Goes Virtual (View Photos Here)

July 7, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

For the safety of racers and volunteers, the 22nd Annual Fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run went Virtual July 1 – 4.  The event was sponsored by Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County and all proceeds from the race will be used in building another Habitat for Humanity home in DeKalb County.

The Fiddler 5K is also a qualifying race for the Run the Cumberland Medal Series of Races.

(Click the link below to view photos provided by Bill Luton’s Web ~ Photography ~ Design)
(These images shown here are from 7am-8am Saturday, July 4 for the 2020 Fiddler 5K. Roughly, 9 separate groups of runners, 32 participants all together. The image with the golf course in the background is from Graniteville, SC. This woman and her daughter participated as well in the Virtual Fiddler 5k)

https://www.wjle.com/5k-2020-photos/

Instead of having to get up early on Saturday morning, July 4 to run this race participants were permitted to register for either the 5K or the One Mile Fun Run online and race anytime they wanted from July 1-4. Many runners and competitors recorded their time and distance by downloading and making use of the ItsYourRace.com app or by timing it manually with a stop watch.

Several runners chose to run the old fashion way for their Virtual Run following a course marked with basic instructions during the Virtual Run Time.

All registered participants will receive a commemorative cotton/poly t-shirt which have been ordered. Participants will get either a Unisex T-shirt or a Ladies Racerback Tank. For local folks, you will have the option to pickup shirts in Smithville sometime the week of July 13th (details forthcoming), or you may choose to have your shirt mailed that week (for an additional cost).

No awards were given this year. Only bragging rights and a chance for runners to support a great cause.




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