Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher said school officials are working on plans to administer the COVID-19 vaccination to employees in the wake of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s announcement he is expanding eligibility to include teachers and others who work in schools beginning March 8.
Brooksher told school board members at their Thursday, Feb. 25 meeting in Black Creek that administrators are looking at various ways to provide the shots in conjunction with the Coastal Health District.
It’s unclear, Brooksher said, how many of the school system’s 1,400 employees are interested in getting a vaccine.
Responses to an earlier survey showed about 73 percent wanted the shot, but about 500 employees didn’t respond, he said. The system may conduct another survey.
Also unclear was how the shots would be administered. Brooksher said it’s possible all employees in North Bryan schools could be vaccinated one day, then schools in South Bryan could be done over a two day period.
The vaccine, which apparently will be provided by the Georgia Department of Public Health, can be administered by school nurses.
While the way in which vaccinations are given in schools may be up in the air, Brooksher said the system currently has no plans to end its “mask mandate” on campuses this academic year.
Brooksher told the school board he’d been contacted by parents concerned Bryan County Schools might end the requirement masks be worn in school, a concern apparently driven by social media.
Brooksher said a parent told him there “is a Facebook group or something where it started, something to encourage us to go away from the mask mandate,” he said. “I called that parent today and told her we’re not changing our mandate on masks. She was relieved and thanked us.”
Brooksher said shortly after that phone call he was contacted by another parent on the same topic who also wanted to encourage the district to continue requiring masks, “so you know something’s out there.”
In other business:
The Bryan County School board also approved last week more than $2 million in upgrades – including new ball fields and an enlarged weight room – for Bryan County High School and middle school.
Assistant Superintendent Jason Rogers said the project includes building new baseball and softball fields for BCHS, a combination baseball and softball field for Bryan County Middle School and doubling the size of the weightroom.
Rogers said other improvements include improvements to drainage, new dugouts and backstops, a new central press box, LED lighting, fencing and sidewalks.
School board members also adopted a resolution opposing efforts in the Georgia General Assembly to expand vouchers, which they say will take state funding from public schools and won’t help students who can’t otherwise afford a private education.