Before the holiday break the East Greenwich School District had a total of 36 students and 14 staff members with confirmed COVID-19 cases. During the East Greenwich School Committee meeting on Tuesday, superintendent Alexis Meyer informed the committee that as of Jan.18, 72 students and 22 staff members have tested positive.
Meyer explained during the meeting that because of the holiday season, this type of surge wasn’t unexpected. Meyer also made note that the data only comes from cases reported by the Rhode Island Department of Health and not by any self reporting.
According to the most recent data the school with the most positive cases is East Greenwich High School with 34 students and six staff members testing positive for COVID-19. The 40 total cases from the high school doubled the building with the second most cases, Archie Cole Middle School who had 14 students and six staff members test positive for a grand total of 20 total positive cases.
In other business, one of the important action items during the meeting was in regards to adding a new position to the district to help with technology. The position which was approved by the committee during the Tuesday meeting will be a system administrator.
The job description provided to the committee states, “the System Administrator is responsible for systems and server software installation, configuration, maintenance, and reliable operation. The position responsibilities include installing and configuring software, software maintenance and upgrades, and application integration. The person in this position troubleshoots and resolves network and device software issues including responding to technical support requests from staff.”
The request for the position came after the district–like most across the state–continues to see an increase in the demand for technology both with the amount of devices used and the amount of usage.
It was explained by Meyer that because they only needed one out of two extra teacher positions at the high school this year they have the funding for the position. She explained that in the original budget that was approved by the committee, East Greenwich High School Principal Kenneth Hopkins Jr. was anticipating a need for two additional teachers for elective courses this year.
After it was determined that those teaching positions weren’t needed it was decided to reappropriate the funding for one of the teaching positions to be used for the technology position.
In other news the school committee approved a contract with Amy Healey to be the next administrative assistant to the superintendent/ clerk for the school committee. Healey is currently the North Kingstown School Department School Committee Clerk.
Healey will be taking over the position for Christine DiMeglio who is anticipating her retirement. It is undetermined when Healey’s start date in East Greenwich will be.
The committee also approved a homeschool request for a fifth grade student, and the members who will be on the strategic plan steering committee. Meyer made note during the meeting that the students who will serve on the committee will be determined soon.
The next school committee is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.