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Decatur School Board to discuss COVID-19 vaccination requirements

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Decatur School Board to discuss COVID-19 vaccination requirements

City Schools of Decatur Administrative Offices. Photo by Dena Mellick

Decatur, GA — The City Schools of Decatur School Board will meet on Tuesday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. for a work session. The meeting will be held in person at the Wilson School Support Center, 125 Electric Ave. in Decatur.

The meeting will also be available virtually through Zoom. To attend the meeting via Zoom, click here.

To view the meeting agenda, click here.

On the agenda for the work session is a vaccination discussion. During the Aug. 10 School Board regular meeting, Superintendent Maggie Fehrman gave an update on COVID-19 in the schools. One question the district has often been asked is if it can require COVID-19 vaccinations for students and staff. Fehrman said the district is looking into it.

“We’re looking at this with our legal counsel to determine if this is something that City Schools of Decatur can do,” Fehrman said at the Aug. 10 meeting. “We do know that vaccinations are the first and best defense against COVID and we definitely want to do what we can as a school district to protect our students.”

“I think we address staff first as we go through that conversation, and then we look at students,” Fehrman added.

School Board member Lewis Jones voiced his support of requiring vaccinations at the Aug. 10 meeting.

“I’m glad we’re looking into it. I feel like we should have some discussion about it,” Jones said. “I thought I’d just put it out there that I think we should lean into it. I’m very much in favor of requiring vaccinations to the extent we can.”

The School Board will also discuss safety and security updates. Those updates include 75 new two-way radios, adding about 25 security cameras, upgrading exterior lighting, updating the emergency response procedures, and installing emergency door locks, among other changes, according to the agenda packet.

The emergency response procedures detail what to do in an emergency, how to respond to an emergency, and the types of emergencies.

The School Board plans to discuss the board training plan. Each October, the school district must submit a board training plan to the Georgia Department of Education. State law and state board rules require school board members to obtain training every year.

City Schools of Decatur’s training plan includes three hours of local district orientation for new board members provided by the superintendent and her staff, nine hours of new board member orientation provided through the Georgia School Boards Association’s workshops in November or February, three hours of whole board governance training and six hours of other training.

Other items up for discussion at the work session include, the policy monitoring calendar and board work plan, a strategic priority planning process overview and a discussion of the 2022-2023 school year calendar.

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