NEWPORT—The Newport City Board of Education met Monday evening where they made the decision to switch to virtual learning for the final two days of the fall semester.
At the beginning of the meeting, Chairwoman Jan Brooks commended Newport Grammar School’s administration, staff and custodians on the excellent job they have done since August.
Following the compliment, Brooks then suggested that all students switch to virtual learning on Thursday and Friday of this week.
“I cannot voice my words on how pleased and proud I am of this school and that goes from the smallest child to the administration.” Brooks stated. “With that, I’d like to say with the increase in COVID numbers that we are seeing within the community, I think it it’s best, and the Newport Grammar School Task Force Committee is in agreement, that we need to go remote effective Thursday and Friday.”
Brooks said Chromebooks will be issued to each student and as of now, students will return to school on January 4.
Sandy Burchette, Director of Schools, advised the board the Chromebooks are being sent home as a precaution in the event there is a delay in beginning school in January due to the pandemic.
All board members agreed with the plan.
The board will have a special called meeting before January 4 where they will review COVID-19 numbers within the community and make a final decision on what day school will begin.
Under Principal and Assistant Principal Reports, Michael Short advised the board that all athletic events for the week have been canceled.
Dustin Morrow also spoke and stated he will be attending a meeting on Thursday with the Emergency Management Agency where he will learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine that is planned to be shipped to the Cocke County Health Department.
In other news, Brooks recognized board members Linda Powell and Mike Overholt for their work and dedication to the Newport City Board of Education. Powell and Overholt did not seek reelection, and Monday’s meeting was their last as board members. Powell served the board for eight years while Overholt served 10 years.
Brooks advised on January 12 that newly elected board members Seth Butler and Nathan Vernon along with David Perryman, who was reelected, will be sworn in during the City of Newport’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.
The next Newport City Board of Education meeting will be held on Monday, January 25.