WEDOWEE - In a called meeting last Thursday, Randolph County Board of Education was - in football terms - penalized and had to call another play. In other words at their regular meeting and work session the week prior, they dropped the ball.

School Superintendent John Jacobs said, "We made a mistake at our last meeting, and we have got to correct it. I want to say before this meeting starts, there will be no comments from the audience, we have gotten emails, phone calls and a group of parents was here last week to voice their opinions."

Jacobs said at the last meeting he had made a recommendation to open schools back up four days a week. Since parents were making comments and shouting at the board, Board Chairman Billy Lane made a motion for schools to go back to a five-day week starting Oct. 22. The board approved Lane's recommendation.

"What we did was wrong, and we need to correct it today. I am the only one that can make a recommendation to be voted on by the board." Jacobs made the same recommendation he did the week prior, that schools be opened back up four days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday would be a cleanup day to disinfect.

Board member Jimmy McCain made the motion to approve the recommendation with Cindy Strain seconding.

"Now we can discuss it," said Jacobs.

McCain suggested Monday through Thursday with Friday off for cleaning. "Ya'll know I am all for the kids. I think Monday through Thursday would give a continuous stream of learning, and we need to think of the teachers and staff and what they will have to do."

Board member John Hall said he would approve the four days but wants to go back to five days after Christmas if possible.

Board member Tamara Taylor said she favored Monday, Tuesday, half-day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. "This way we could still do mid-week cleaning and not lose very much classroom time."

After a discussion, Jacobs amended his recommendation to return to four days starting Oct. 22, Monday through Thursday and five days after Christmas.

A parent in attendance shouted at Jacobs and the board that they should listen to the parents. Jacobs said they had heard enough. The lady continued to shout and was asked to leave the meeting room.

McCain made the motion to accept the superintendent's new recommendation, and Hall seconded the motion. The board vote was unanimous. Jacobs reminded everyone that virtual students can choose to return to school or continue virtual.

Other business

In other business, the board approved the contract with Marilyn Whitlow to provide services defined by the mental health coordinator job description for the 2020-2021 school year. This matter was tabled at the board's last meeting. Board member Darrel Hardin abstained from the vote.

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