WELLSBORO — Attendance is up and spirits are high in the Wellsboro schools.

That was the message from Superintendent Brenda Freeman and the building principals at the Jan. 12 meeting.

Freeman said in-person attendance is up, even students who did not return to school this past fall. More students are returning each day and more are expected following the end of the second marking period on Jan. 25. Middle school attendance is the same or higher than September, she said.

“As I walk the hallways, it’s amazing to see so many happy faces,” Freeman said.

The interaction between faculty and students is positive, even with students in remote learning, she added.

The expected increase after the holiday season is being observed, but it is not as high as predicted. More people are being tested, but fewer are testing positive, resulting in a decrease in positivity rates.

The vaccine is becoming available to school staff. School nurses had the opportunity for vaccination, and other employees can soon decide whether to get it, Freeman said. Once a person commits to getting the vaccine, it’s important to follow through as doses are ordered based on the response.

There is still confusion about quarantine times for people living in the same household if someone tests positive, Freeman said. If other household members do not get tested, their quarantine period does not start until after the tested person’s ends. In most cases, 10 days is recommended, but the person should extend that period to 14 days if they have any symptoms such as runny nose, cough or headache.

In other business, the board voted down a request to extend an employee’s sabbatical beyond one year. Directors Wayne Hackett and Linda West voted in favor of extending the contract.

The board also voted to:

  • Approved a resolution where, instead of a formal vote by the board, authorizes the superintendent to decide when extra-curricular activities can be held. This would operate much like a snow day, and be used when the virus is not responsible for the need for remote learning, such as not having enough staff.
  • Hired Brittany Nelson as a high school special education emotional support teacher effective Jan. 13 and Carolann Ward-Spencer as a high school special education life skills teacher with an effective date to be determined.
  • Extended the time frame to the end of the school year for Todd Outman to continue acting as high school assistant principal.

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