The logistics of a school closure are tough enough. Coffee County Schools Superintendent Kevin Killingsworth talked about the people part of the equation at the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday.
Killingsworth talked about feeding children through the Child Nutrition Program with grab and go sack lunches at pickup sites starting Thursday and Friday and continuing through next week.
“Mr. (Gray) Harrison, our CNP director, has met with all CNP managers. We have plans of feeding those children — any of them — throughout this week and all of next week,” Killingsworth said. “The week of spring break we weren’t going to do that anyway. April 6, when we come back to school — again, that could change today, that could change next week, I don’t know — but we’re going to do our very level best with the resources we have to feed folks.
“We want to continue to try to feed if it goes beyond. We will do our level best to continue to feed those students at remote locations as well as the schools. We developed a plan. I want to thank the CNP staff.”
Harrison said the lunches would be available from 11 a.m. until noon at the following sites — New Brockton Elementary School, Kinston High School, Ino Baptist Church, Zion Chapel High School and the Kountry Korner store in Jack on Alabama 167.
“We’ve got remote sites already set up and at schools,” the superintendent said. “They’ll come by the window and hand them out. Nobody will come in the building. They’ll drive by, we’ll hand them a lunch. I feel like that’s the right thing to do for our students and our folks.”
Killingsworth also noted the number of contract employees that won’t be paid if they don’t work.
“This is their livelihood, a lot of them. Some of them are retired, but some of them, this is what they do for a living,” the superintendent said. “I talked to them yesterday; all of them do not wish to work during this time because they may already have a retirement check, but a lot do wish to work.
“We need help with the distribution of these lunches that the CNP staff is making, disinfecting our schools because, even today, we won’t be finished, and the upkeep and maintenance of our campuses during this time. It won’t be their full hours they were getting, but we’re going to try to get them some hours so they can get a paycheck.
“That’s what I want to do. As far as I know, every person that’s on our board payroll is going to get their check March 27. But those folks working under contract, they won’t get a check if they don’t work. I talked to Kelly Services this morning myself. She told me thank you, because most systems are not doing that.
“If they’ve been working 30 or 40 hours, they won’t get 30 or 40 hours, but if they get 20 or 25, I feel like we’ve done our best to say, ‘Hey, we’re committed to you.’ This is unprecedented, what we’re doing. That’s what I want to do to try to support them.”
Killingsworth said great work from the teachers and his Central Office staff helped send students home with packets to work from during the shutdown.
“We made packets to go home with our students last Friday because I thought the shutdown of schools was coming — and it has,” he said. “We worked feverishly on Friday, everybody in the Central Office. We probably made over 10,000 copies through that day with the schools to hand out and had some help from National Security on making those copies and I appreciate that.
“We had our copiers going and we handed out paper to get all that done to get those packets to go home with the children — test prep material and remediation. A large percentage of our students have internet at home, but a lot of them do not. I want to make sure during this time we’re out they had something academic to do. As far as counting for a grade, we probably won’t do that. But we want them to be able to practice test prep materials.”
The Board did have other business on Wednesday. It approved Killingsworth’s recommendation to make Zion Chapel principal Matt Barton a contract principal instead of a probationary principal.
The Board, in a 4-3 vote, accepted the resignation of Dr. Jason Hadden, principal at New Brockton Elementary School, effective June 30.
In other personnel actions:
Nonrenewals at end of 2019-20 school year
Jacob Nawlin, teacher, Zion Chapel
Jonathan Deveridge, teacher, Zion Chapel
Resignations at end of school year
Amanda Zorn, special education teacher, New Brockton Elementary
Nina Williams, teacher, New Brockton Elementary
Lida Claunch, teacher, New Brockton High School
Jon Chynoweth, band director, Zion Chapel
Madison Carpenter, elementary teacher, Zion Chapel
Brandy Adams, lunchroom worker, New Brockton Elementary
Josh Moguel, instructional aide, New Brockton Elementary
Luca Blackburn, Pre-K instructional aide, New Brockton Elementary
Employment for 2020-21 school year
Ashley O’Neal, elementary teacher, Kinston
Kristen Clay, teacher and head volleyball coach, New Brockton High
William Kyle Ozier, teacher, New Brockton High
Margery Arnold-Zimmerman, teacher, New Brockton High
Katie Kelley, teacher, New Brockton Elementary
Allison Snell, teacher, New Brockton Elementary
Evan Harvin, teacher, New Brockton Elementary
Nicole Senn, teacher, New Brockton Elementary
Amy Goude, teacher, Zion Chapel.
“Long term, I don’t know what the answers are. I’ve never been here before,” Killingsworth said. “We’re going to keep a skeleton staff on our campuses with administrators and 12-month employees and the CNP workers with these Kelly Services employees to help with the CNP distribute those lunches.
“Teachers will be on standby. The week of spring break we’re not going to call them in, but if something comes down from the state that we have to do something as far as academics, I want them to be ready to come in if need be.
“That’s where I’m at today. It’s been very taxing on everybody. We’ve been tested and put through it. I appreciate my Central Office staff. They’ve worked hard. I appreciate those administrators on campus, the CNP staff, Nurse Sharon Stinson, I can’t thank her enough. She really did a great job during a very difficult time and I want to tell her and all the nurses thank you.”