City Schools Survey: Keep the masks on | Local News


VALDOSTA – Nearly two to one, people want to continue using masks in schools in the city of Valdosta, according to the recent school system mask survey.

Survey results indicated that 2,112 teachers, staff, students and parents are not in favor of the board relaxing the mask’s mandate; 1,378 are in favor of relaxing the mask mandate.

The results of the mask investigation were reported earlier this week at the meeting called by the Valdosta Education Council.

The survey asked “Would you be in favor of relaxing the mask’s mandate?” to gauge how comfortable people would feel to relax the mask’s mandate in the near future – due to the decrease in reported virus cases in the school system.

The survey generated 3,489 respondents, including teachers, staff, parents and students.

“We appreciate the downward trend in COVID numbers and our modified quarantine plan is working well right now,” said Dr Todd Cason, director of schools for the city of Valdosta.

The board adopted a modified quarantine plan at the September 14 meeting.

Valdosta Middle School Principal Mike Samaras presented the school’s success plan based on data reports reviewed by school administration, academic coaches and teachers to the board.

Samaras reported on the school’s needs and goals to meet those needs which include more tutoring, progressive learning communities, using tests as a benchmark and monitoring student needs.

The top four needs include improving literacy skills, numeracy skills, improving the academic performance of lower performing subgroups, and narrowing the achievement gap between white, black and disabled students and improving culture and climate.

Teachers and staff at Valdosta Middle School recognized the board for its exceptional leadership during the pandemic.

“The teachers have asked me to express our appreciation to them for the difficult decisions you have all made over the past year and a half,” according to the VMS statement. “Through it all, decisions were made based on the needs of the students and protecting the teachers. We are grateful.”

The board is still in the process of developing its strategic plan and is in the final stages of developing and updating it.

The board of directors approved a resolution to remove three projects from the five-year facilities plan.

JL Lomax and Sallas Mahone elementary schools have heating / ventilation and air conditioning needs and JL Newbern Middle School has roofing problems.

Cason said coronavirus aid, relief and economic security funds will be used to complete the projects.

There was no public participation and the board entered into executive session on Tuesday. The next Valdosta board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on October 12 at the central office, 1204 Williams St.

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