When Henryetta students go back to class this year they will be given the option of wearing a mask or not.
That decision was part of the safe return plan adopted by the Henryetta school board Monday.
The plan was explained by Middle School principal Jayme Matlock who has been working on it for several weeks. “We have to write this plan in order to receive funding from the state, she said. “Once this plan is in place, we can revisit it as things come up and changes are made for better or worse.”
She worked on the plan after receiving input from parents, teachers and others within the community.
While the masks are not mandatory, any student or parent who wants their child to wear a mask will be allowed.
During the monthly meeting, school board members hired Donna Walls McFerran as the reading specialist in the elementary school.
Board members adopted a new graduation requirement that will include one fine art credit and one geography credit. That new requirement will affect the seniors graduating next May.
“We have to have 24 units to graduate,” high school principal Kelly Furer said.
A change was made in the math policy for freshmen and sophomores. It split the algebra courses in two, each for a full year.
“Each will be a half a credit but will go for the full year,” Furer said. “A student can take algebra 1A as a freshman then 1B as a sophomore. We are wanting our students to have a deeper understanding of math.”
Students taking virtual high school courses will be required to come to the Henryetta campus to take their tests. “Furer explained this would give teachers an opportunity to determine if the students need more instruction or reassignments. “If a student is not successful online and fail two courses, we are asking that they come back to unperson studies.”
In the event a student is unable to come back to classroom work, the school administration will work with them. “In case of a medical issue, we will look for more services for them<,” Furer told the board.
In personnel action, the board accepted resignations from Ashley Corn and Monica Brown. Both are elementary teachers.
The hourly pay for Tammie Fairres, Harold Fox and Bertha McGowin was boosted as was the salary for new elementary principal Roger Williams.
Superintendent Dwayne Noble told the board work is underway to move the school computer servers and equipment from the former board office to the administration area at the early childhood center. Once everything is moved out from that building it is expected to be demolished.
Under new business, Alan Kerby urged board members to become familiar with the issues addressed by House Bill 1775. That prohibits critical race theory from being taught in the classrooms. “Even through it is prohibited from being taught in schools, things tend to creep in,” he said.
Board members heard a presentation by FFA advisor Brooke Smith about plans to add a skeet team as an extra curricular activity. The full presentation can be read HERE.