Dade Superintendent Gives Update on the Start of School; 78% of Students Attending In Person


Superintendent Dr. Jan Harris shared some of the numbers and information on how Dade County is fairing with the start of school during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Harris started the August Board of Education meeting with the Superintendent’s report. Included was the announcement of Teachers and Administrator of the Year, the receiving of a $5,000 Georgia Foundation for Public Education grant, Character Strong 2020, and the positive results of the sick leave incentive program which began in 2016. The report also included information on the start of school for the 2020-2021 school year.

Harris said everyone has asked about enrollment and currently, the school system has 443 students enrolled in virtual school (22%) and 1,571 enrolled in traditional school (78%). Harris and Online Learning Principal Patti Johnson expect the number of students enrolled online to continue to go up until the Wednesday, August 19, 5 p.m. deadline for students to change from traditional to virtual. On Friday, the number of students riding the bus was 451, down from the usual number of 750 riders, but that was not unexpected based on the surveys taken by the school system.

Harris also reported that Dade County Schools has 14 positive tests for COVID-19 which have led to 71 people in quarantine. Nine of the positive tests are employees, five are students and three athletic teams are in quarantine. Harris said if anyone had questions about COVID-19 or the guidelines their point of contact will be the principal who will work with the school nurse. If necessary, Dr. Harris will be notified and she will check with Dr. Voccio, the Director of the Northwest Georgia Region of the Department of Public Health.

An announcement to everyone that the free/reduced school lunch forms can be filled out online with a link on the Message from the Superintendent newsletter sent to parents digitally, through the parent portal, or by downloading the Infinite Campus app where you can fill out the forms and pay for meals.  Free and Reduced lunch forms are not just about free meals, the information and numbers on them help in other areas of funding for the school system.

Restoration of the softball fields and baseball fields and structures continues as damage from the tornado earlier in the year has been repaired. One dugout is still being worked on and Athletic Director Brent Cooper has been working to get all the structures matching the color scheme and roofing of the rest of the structures at the high school. The final project to complete the restoration was sent out for bid. The two lowest bids came from Mims Improvement for $22,414, a little higher than the company currently working on the dugout. Mims Improvement was approved so they could begin work as soon as they are able. There was some concern over the current company being able to get to the project and completing it on time as they are already working on the dugout.

Board members also approved the purchase of 190 laptop computers for certified personnel at the school system through YMS technology for $127,110.

A video of the August Board of Education meeting can be viewed below.