School board approves three amendments to its school opening plans

The Pulaski County School Board voted 4-1 Thursday afternoon during a special called meeting to approve three amendments to its Instructional Plan for the Reopening of Schools.
Only Bill Benson of the Cloyd District voted against the amendments.

Amendments approved are:

Amendment 1- PCPS will establish and can modify the percentage of students attending in-person classes each week based on internal data with guidance from the New River Health District.

Rationale– The previously approved guidelines established concrete goals to move forward as a
division but didn’t allow the flexibility to make school specific decisions or to consider special
circumstances. This amendment would allow us to have some schools be at 100% attendance
while others, who might be experiencing more positive cases, to operate on a different
attendance schedule. It also puts more emphasis on consultation and guidance from the
appropriate health officials instead of on meeting calendar based objectives.

Amendment 2- PCPS will make use of available cafeteria and common spaces in order to
provide adequate physical distancing for students while eating meals.

Rationale- The previously approved plan prohibited the use of common areas for meals and
required that they be eaten in the classroom. Recent guidance allows for the use of these
spaces as a preferred alternative to not having 6 feet of physical distancing while unmasked for
meals. Students will need to wash/sanitize their hands before and after using common spaces
and the areas will need to be sanitized after each meal.

Amendment 3- PCPS will allow up to 3 students per every 2 adjacent seats during bus
transportation provided that masks are utilized. The 3rd student should only be seated this way
after all seats have been filled and the seating positions will need to be staggered.

Rationale- The current plan for transportation of having one student per seat would still be our
goal each day. Incorporating the revised guidance on transportation will allow us to make
exceptions and transport additional students when the need arises. Some examples of when this
might be necessary are when a bus breaks down, when car riders cannot be picked up or
dropped off, or when students may need to be transported to an alternate location than their