Even though virtual learning is already underway, Williamsburg Independent School officials are still in the process of trying to determine which students have a reliable Internet signal at home.
This was part of the message that school administrators delivered to the Williamsburg Independent Board of Education during its monthly meeting Tuesday.
Superintendent Tim Melton noted that there are private funding grants available to help provide Internet access for students.
Some students without Internet live in areas where there is cell phone service, so hot spots can be used to provide Internet service to them. In other areas, school officials are examining the possibly of providing satellite Internet for students so they can attend school virtually.
“We know we are going to have intermittent closures,” Melton noted about the virus and the need for all students to be able to learn virtually throughout the school year.
Melton did deliver a bit of bad news to the board Tuesday, which is that the new Chromebooks the district has purchased in order to help students with in-person and remote-learning have not come in yet.
In other business Tuesday, the board:
- Approved the working budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which included the hiring of two new teachers and a 3 percent projected contingency fund, said Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Hall. The state requires the minimum of a 2 percent contingency fund.
- Set the 2021 real estate tax rate at 48 cents per $100 of assessed value and personal property tax rate at 49.80 cents per $100 of assessed value. Hall noted that this is the state recommended compensating rate.
- Approved the Elgin Agreement for the 2020-2021 school year. The agreement pays for universal screening assessment tool, which is designed to check a student’s academic progress at various points throughout the school year.
- Approved creation of a new social worker position for the 2020-2021 school year. The new position is being funded this school year entirely out of state safety monies.
- Discussed a COVID-19 waiver for student athletes, which the board approved usage of previously pending approval by board attorney Paul Croley. While he isn’t sure that the waiver would hold up in court if the district got sued, Croley noted having the waiver signed is better than nothing.
- Approved an agreement with Champion Physical Therapy Kentucky for physical therapy services. Champion replaces the district’s former physical therapy provider, which was unable to work with the district this year.
- Discussed assembly of the local planning committee in order to make a district facilities plan, which is due in Frankfort on June 30, 2021. District facility plans, which must be made every four years, are essentially a facility wish list for school districts, which identify the district’s most pressing facility needs.