BY LORCAN MCCORMICK
Special to The Enterprise
MARTIN (December 2) – The monthly Weakley County School Board Meeting was held Thursday afternoon at Martin Elementary. The Pledge of the Allegiance was led by the Martin Elementary Beta Club before the proceedings of the School Board took place in the school’s gymnasium. All items were summarily passed unanimously by the board; these include the minutes, the agenda, and consent items. Aside from the agenda items, the board took time to praise the Elementary School’s spelling bee contestants who had performed that day, with one Martin student placing second. Additionally, the Beta Club was highlighted and praised for its beekeeping project.
Angie Rushing, Director of ESSER, gave a brief lecture detailing numerable projects considering the schools. Weakley County Schools was informed this summer that it would receive a federal grant totaling $8.6 million; ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) is a relief program designed to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some items of note that are of interest to the community would include the After School Scholars program; 90 teachers, EAs, and student teachers have been hired for the program dedicated to tutoring students.
A new program incentivizing teachers to become bus drivers is being implemented to combat the driver shortage in the county, in a hope to streamline events, such as school field trips and athletic events. Three social workers have been added in an attempt to welcome more social workers into the school system, as part of the ongoing attempts to help students suffering from additional stressors and trauma from the COVID pandemic.
One hundred air purification systems will be purchased to help stem the spread of illnesses. On the topic of illnesses, the board was happy to announce that COVID-related illnesses had dropped significantly from the summer.
“While we would like to see all of these improvements happen sooner rather than later, we know that current supply chain issues may mean some delays. However, we are confident that just as our teachers and administrators have excelled in the worst days of the pandemic, making our students the priority, they will continue to meet the challenge and then welcome the new resources as they become available,” Weakley County Director of Schools Randy Frazier noted.