COVID-19 was a topic of conversation at the Frankfort Independent Schools board meeting Monday night.
FIS Superintendent Houston Barber said the district has launched an ad hoc committee to come up with potential mitigation strategies, if necessary, for the district.
The committee is also doing research based on the district’s data, local context data and what’s affecting the region.
“We did look at local data, we talked about last year and one of the conclusions we made is that the data from last year is a lot different than this year,” Barber said. “The reason is the variant is much different and portrays itself in a different manner than previous.
“It’s pretty evident of all the quarantines we did last year, there really wasn’t any direct tie to students who became COVID positive. This year, that’s not the case. We’ve had three at least that we know about. We’re not saying there couldn’t be more, but those are the ones that have a definite connection.”
The committee is made up of seven members including Barber, board member Amelia Berry, staff members and parents.
Barber said current mitigation strategies have been discussed. They include wearing masks, hand washing, social distancing, respiratory etiquette and contract tracing.
While the Kentucky General Assembly rescinded the mask mandate last week, Barber said the district will keep its mask mandate in place.
The district will continue to push COVID vaccinations, Barber said, and testing is now available Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Franklin County Health Department’s Public Health Center, 851 East-West Connector, through a partnership with FIS, FCHD, Franklin County Schools and Gravity Diagnostics.
The free drive-thru testing, which is open to anyone in the community, will take place from 7-9 a.m., and no pre-registration is required.
This week is homecoming week for Frankfort High. The homecoming dance is scheduled to take place outside, and the homecoming parade will be Friday afternoon.
Barber said social distancing would be promoted at the parade, and masks will be encouraged.
The board also approved two leave resolutions related to COVID.
One was for paid emergency leave, where any employee who has been vaccinated and becomes COVID positive will have the opportunity to use three days of leave.
“This is something really big for our employees,” Barber said. “I am recommending it because I feel like we’re trying to support our employees and also encourage vaccination opportunities.” This leave is retroactive to July 1, 2021.
The other was for quarantine leave.
“If you are quarantined by a health provider or a school district, before you are COVID positive and you are quarantined, you are eligible for up to 10 days to utilize for leave by the district,” Barber said. “This is a very rare situation. I don’t want people to think this happens all the time.”
In other business:
• The board approves the following positions — two lunch room and bus monitor positions, technology position, special education instructional assistant, early childhood position, custodian and part-time Medicaid billing position.
• The board recognized football coach Craig Foley for recently becoming the school’s all-time leader in football victories. Foley, in his 19th year as FHS coach, has 140 career victories, surpassing Raymond Webb with 139.