After more than 6½ hours of discussion through a special-called work session, the Williamson County Board of Education voted 11-1 early Tuesday morning to endorse the reopening framework for the 2020-21 school year scheduled to start Friday, Aug. 7.
The vote essentially allows the school district to move forward with a plan for reopening that is based on various scenarios of COVID-19 transmission in the community.
The lone vote against the plan came from District 6 representative Jay Galbreath, who had proposed an amendment to the plan that failed by a vote of 7-5.
Williamson County Schools Superintendent Jason Golden and the district worked throughout the summer to finalize a plan that was released last Thursday on the district’s website. It spells out a list of scenarios based on input from various health, education and business entities. The plan also details the three different learning plans: traditional/on-campus, remote learning and WCS Online programming.
Monday’s meeting, which began at 6 p.m. and last beyond 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, was complete with an extensive overview of the plan from Golden and many details from various cabinet members and WCS staff.
Board members presented comments and questions on several aspects of the plan, including the wearing of masks, bus transportation, mental health, quarantine conditions, the WCS Online program, remote learning and the metrics used to determine whether schools could open safely.
The Zoom meeting had as many as 3,500 viewers at one point, and nearly 300 comments through the district’s Facebook page.
To help explain parts of the plan, WCS will host four Facebook Live programs Tuesday: Golden on the overall plan at 11 a.m., Juli Oyer and Leigh Webb on elementary and secondary school specifics at noon, Maria Griego, Oyer and Webb on special education at 2 p.m. and WCS Online with Allison Fisher, Oyer and Webb at 3 p.m.