Fayetteville City and Lincoln County schools gear up for the new school year
FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (WAFF) - Fayetteville City and Lincoln County students were back in school on Aug. 1. Students are returning at a time where leaders are facing challenges on security, safety and staffing fronts.
Superintendent of Fayetteville City Schools Bill Hopkins Jr. said his administration is making sure their security is ready for the threat of school shootings. Hopkins said they did their annual active shooter training and they brought in experts to help prepare teachers on best practices.
“We started our school year off with a special agent from Homeland Security who came in and actually talked to every one of our employees about what is necessary,” said Hopkins. “He talked about keeping doors locked, keeping doors closed because we know the situation in Texas was just from a door that was left unlocked.”
Hopkins says on top of training, they have full-time student resource officers at every campus.
On the COVID front, Hopkins says they are staying away from virtual learning and mandatory masking for the 2022-23 school year. He says they will be following the Tennessee Board of Education’s health guidelines and focus on sanitizing classrooms and social distancing.
If there is an outbreak at a city school, Hopkins says teachers will no longer get COVID pay, they will have to use traditional sick days.
Both districts are still hiring teachers, tutors and custodians.
Hopkins says faculty and staff recruitment has been their biggest challenge this year.
“I have never seen a year where it is this difficult to staff employees,” Hopkins said. “I’m not talking about just chemistry, physics teachers, which have already been quite difficult, we’re talking about education assistants those types of things.”
He says he hopes to bring in my staffing as the continue through the school year.
Tuesday will be students’ first full day, but the school system will only be bringing in two grades at a time in each of their school buildings. All students will be in the building by Aug. 5.
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