For city schools, distance learning — and distance meeting

Pat Donahue/Times-EnterpriseThomasville City Schools finance director Bo Rosser, right, gives an update to school board chairperson Kejar Butler as Superintendent Ben Wiggins, left, and administrative assistant Lisa Duncan occupy seats normally filled by board members. 

THOMASVILLE — Only school board chairperson Kejar Butler was in the room for Tuesday’s Thomasville City Schools Board of Education meeting. The other members were voices on a phone.

In their first meeting under new social distancing guidelines, Thomasville City Schools board members conducted business — with an audience of five spaced several feet apart. Butler was alone at the dais and Superintendent Ben Wiggins and assistant to the superintendent Lisa Duncan sat in chairs normally occupied by board members.

Board members agreed to extend the city schools closure to April 13, which falls after the end of spring break. 

In the meantime, schools have prepared approximately 15,000 breakfasts and lunches for students.

"What I wish you could see up close is the unbelievable work our school nutrition department is doing,” Wiggins said. "Our coaches have volunteered to give up their time during the day to deliver those meals to some of the community stops. It’s really been enjoyable to watch the Thomasville City Schools system come together to figure out a way to feed our students.”

The school system also is handing out Chromebooks for students, with pickup times at the schools from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday. Chromebooks also were distributed Wednesday at lunchtime and in the evening to accommodate parents’ work schedules. 

“We are in the midst of giving out Chromebooks with the uncertainty of how long we may be out of school,” Wiggins said.

The system requires both the student and a parent or guardian be present when picking up the Chromebook.

Editor Pat Donahue can be reached at (229) 226-2400 ext. 1806.

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