EREA holds first meeting of the year

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The Emanuel Retired Educators Association (EREA) recently held its regularly scheduled meeting at 12 p.m., noon, on Wednesday, September 16. Originally, the meeting was to have been held at Swainsboro High School, but due to continuing concerns regarding the pandemic, EREA held its first time-ever Zoom meeting. President Elease Turner called the meeting to order and welcomed members.

President Turner then introduced Dr. Denise Warnock, SHS principal, who welcomed the group. Dr. Warnock provided an overview of the many renovations completed this past summer at the school. She also stated that despite the current circumstances with COVID-19, things were going very smoothly this school year.

The speaker was Dr. Kevin A. Judy, Emanuel County Schools superintendent, who provided an update on the 2020-21 school year. Dr. Judy shared the following information:

The current student enrollment for the school system is at 4132. That number includes virtual and in-person students. According to the report provided, 24.7 percent (1,020 students) are virtual students, while 75.3 percent (3,112 students) make up traditional, in-person students.

The current mileage rate is 13.9970. Out of 180 Georgia school districts, Emanuel County has the 18th lowest rate in the state.

This year, students have a choice between virtual learning (ECS Virtual Academy) and traditional learning. The virtual learning relies on Edgenuity, a leading provider of K-12 online curriculum which requires students to spend at least one hour daily on each content area. The school district provided Chromebooks and MiFi’s to all families needing them. The challenge has been that cell services in the community are not good for some locations. The district is continuously working to help those in need.

In 2015, there were 32 state assessments in place; in 2020, there are 19. While Georgia received a waiver last year regarding state testing, the USDOE does not plan to grant a federal testing waiver for the 2020-2021 school year.

About COVID-19 numbers in the school district, there were 34 students and 19 staff members who had tested positive as of August 21. By September 11, there were 7 positive student cases and 6 positive staff cases.

School attendance for the first six-week period was reported to be at 93.48 percent.

Also, during the first six weeks of the school year, discipline referrals decreased by 56 percent.

After other reports were presented to the group, the meeting was adjourned.

The Emanuel Retired Educators Association will host its next meeting at 12 p.m. Wednesday, October 21. The meeting will be via Zoom or in-person at Twin City Elementary School. Roz McKenzie, The Sunshine House, will be the guest speaker.

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