COVID-19

As of October 14, 2020 at 12:00 Noon
(according to Alabama Political Reporter)
Alabama had 167,977 confirmed cases of coronavirus, (6,357 more than last week) with 2,706 deaths
(105 more than last week)
Greene County had 329 confirmed cases, (18 more cases than last week),
with 16 deaths
Sumter Co. had 459 cases with 21 deaths
Hale Co. had 714 cases with 29 deaths

COVID-19

As of September 30, 2020 at 10:40 AM
(according to Alabama Political Reporter)
Alabama had 154,701 confirmed cases of coronavirus, (7,548 more than last week) with 2,540 deaths (52 more
than last week)
Greene County had 306 confirmed cases, (19 more cases than last week),
with 16 deaths
Sumter Co. had 434 cases with 19 deaths
Hale Co. had 653 cases with 28 deaths

School Board approves three-phase plan to re-open schools, beginning with remote learning

Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones presented his long anticipated plan for reopening the county’s schools at the Greene County Board of Education’s monthly meeting held Monday, July 20, 2020, in a virtual setting, again observing safety measures due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The board approved the plan.
The three-phase plan proposes a Remote Learning Option in Phase 1, scheduled for August 20, to Oct. 16, 2020, covering the first nine weeks of school, where students will participate in courses remotely. Dr. Jones explained that the curriculum has been adjusted to accommodate this new approach, with teachers stationed in classrooms in respective schools guiding students through lessons remotely.
Jones noted that all students will be provided the devices necessary to access their courses remotely. The devices will be issued prior to August 20.
The board is also striving to provide access to the internet for all students, which includes providing hot spots, as well as connecting to appropriate towers in the rural communities. School buses can also be equipped with internet services and placed as needed in various communities. “Using our buses is also an option, but not necessarily the best option,” Jones said.
During Phase 1, meals will be delivered daily via scheduled bus routes. Each school will conduct virtual parent-guardian and student orientation during the week of August 10.
Phase 11 of the plan provides a Hybrid Instruction approach. Students will attend school in split sessions – part time at the facilities; part time remotely. Dr. Jones and his team have devised the specific arrangements for implementing this plan. Students will still have the option to enroll in the District’s Virtual School Program. Phase 11 is scheduled for the second nine weeks period, October 19 to Dec. 18, 2020.
Phase 111 is a return to Traditional Learning, with campuses reopening for all students for traditional instruction. Phase 111 is scheduled to begin January 5, 2021.
Superintendent Jones emphasized that the Coronavirus will dictate which phase is implemented and for how long. He noted that if the virus continues to spread throughout the county during Phase 1, the remote instructional timeline will be extended. “ The status of the virus will also determine if we need to return to Phase 1 at any given time. Our focus is safety for students, school personnel and community,” he said.
According to Jones, during Phases 1 and 11, Fridays will be reserved for student intervention and acceleration.
In other business the board approved the following personnel items recommended by Superintendent Jones.
Resignations: Linda Little, History Teacher, Greene County High School, effective June 30, 2020; Rachel Nickson, Administrative Assistant/Secretary EPS, effective July 31, 2020.
Voluntary Transfers: Makane Morrow, from Technology Coordinator, to Accounts Payable, effective July 8, 2020; Sharon Washington, from Accounts Payable to Interim Maintenance Supervisor, effective July 8, 2020; Rebeca Coleman, from Computer Science Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School, to Interim Technology Coordinator Central Office, effective July 8, 2020; Charlease Smith, from EPS 2nd grade teacher to 3rd grade teacher; Domonique McDaniel, from EPS 3rd grade teacher to 2nd grade teacher.
Employment: Latasha Tinker-Mitchell, 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School for 2020-2021 school year; Allison Newton, 6th Grade Science Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School for 2020-2021 school year; Clifford Reynolds, History Teacher, Greene County High School, for 2020-2021 school year; LaMonica Little, Career Prep Teacher, Greene County Career Center for 2020-2021sSchool year; Russell Rivers, Career Coach, Greene County Career Center for 2020-2021 school year; Brianna Bryant, Pre-K lead teacher Eutaw Primary School for 2020-2021 school year; Hillary Bruner, 2nd grade teacher Eutaw Primary School for 2020-2021 school yea; Youlonda Coleman, Cafeteria Manager, Eutaw Primary School for 2020-2021 school year.
The board approved the following administrative services.
Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
*Approval of Budget Amendment II
*Contract between Greene County Board of Education and Amy Quitt, Speech-Language Therapy Services, for 2020-2021 school year.
Contract between Greene County Board of Education and Mattie Strode, Homebound Services, for 2020-2021 school year.
Contract between Greene County Board of Education and WeCare Therapy Services, LLC, 2020-2021 school year.
Contract between Greene County Board of Education and Deonna Haley, Psychometric Services for 2020-2021 school year.
Contract between Greene County Board of Education and West Alabama Therapy, LLC for Physical and Occupational Therapy Services, for 2020-2021 school year.
Contract between Greene County Board of Education and Kim Herren, Developmental Delay Services, for 2020-2021 school year.
Plan to reopen Greene County Schools for 2020-2021:Phase I- First nine weeks -Remote learning for all students. Phase II- Second nine weeks -Hybrid Learning. Phase III- Third nine weeks -Traditional learning
Revised 2020-2021 Greene County School calendar.

Alabama Power Foundation grant makes ‘virtual learning’ a reality for rural Greene County students

Greene County students work on computers at school before COVID-19 forced the shift to home learning. Many students didn’t have home internet access, but a grant from the Alabama Power Foundation supplied Chrome books and hot spots the students will be able to use at home.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced Alabama schools to close their traditional classrooms in March, Corey Jones said it hit his students in rural Greene County doubly hard.
“We’re one of the poorest school districts in the state, and most of our students don’t have computers or access to the internet,” said Jones, Greene County School System superintendent. “We had to print out instructional packets and use buses to deliver them to students. Having to rely solely on printed materials put them at a significant educational disadvantage.”
Jones said because most parents in his school district are still concerned about sending their children back to the classroom in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, remote learning will continue during summer school and most likely through the fall semester. But thanks to the Alabama Power Foundation, Greene County students will soon have the technology they need to navigate their new virtual classroom.
The foundation provided a grant to the Greene County School System to help pay for Chrome books for 600 students in grades K-12. The funds will help purchase hot spots for students living in the most rural areas where broadband is unavailable. This technology will be used by students at Eutaw Primary, Robert Brown Middle and Greene County High schools.
“The pandemic has created many challenges for education in our communities – especially in rural areas,” said Alabama Power Western Division Vice President Mark Crews. “This grant will help Greene County schools overcome barriers such as access to the internet and computers as they prepare for distance learning. We’re proud to be a partner to our schools and thankful that the Alabama Power Foundation’s grant will be utilized in such an important way.”
Jones said the grant will be a real “game changer” for his students.
“It has been a godsend to have the Alabama Power Foundation partner with us,” Jones said. “The grant will allow us to provide resources to our students during this critical time so they can continue instructional learning and receive educational opportunities. Now every student will have access to devices and the internet, and will be able to use them anytime in the comfort of their home.”
Greene County School Board President Carol Zippert added her thanks and said the Alabama Power Foundation’s gift will make all the difference.
“We value our students and are deeply committed to providing the best educational services and opportunities for each one,” she said. “We also recognize that to accomplish our goals, we need partners who are sensitive to our student and community needs and aspirations, and are willing to reach out and share with us. Alabama Power Company is a longtime friend and supporter of the Greene County School System, and we take this opportunity to acknowledge the goodwill spirit of this relationship.”
Jones said some students will begin using their new Chrome books immediately during summer school.
Additionally, plans are to offer a summer learning program to help students catch up on the curriculum they may have missed from March through May. There will be an enrichment program to boost learning during the summer and support students who are struggling academically.
Jones said the Chrome books – fully loaded with all necessary programs and ready to use out of the box – have been ordered and are in route to students’ homes. The school system is working closely with internet providers to set up the permanent hot spots.
Jones believes that virtual learning is here to stay – even after the coronavirus is no longer a threat.
“We already know that students are affected by the ‘summer slide’ and lose much of what they have learned,” Jones said. “But with COVID-19, it will be worse this year because summer started in the middle of March, and students will have been away from school for a much longer time. Even after COVID-19 goes away, we will be using these devices to extend learning time to week nights, weekends and the summer.”

Newswire: Black unemployment was 16.7 percent in April

by BlackmansStreet.Today

Black people waiting to work


More than 20 million jobs were lost in March because of the pandemic
It is the worst of times for blacks workers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the jobless rate for the blacks was 16.7 percent in April, a giant leap backward from 6.7 percent in March, as the Covid-19 pandemic caused nonfarm employment to fall by 20.5 million jobs last month.
The overall unemployment rate was 14.7 percent in April, the highest since the Great Depression, which lasted from 1929 to 1939. The number of jobs fell sharply in all major industry sectors, particularly in leisure and hospitality.
The seasonally adjusted jobless rate in for black men 20 and older in April was 16.1 percent, up 7.0 percent in March. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for black women 20 and older in April was 16.4 percent, way up from 5.2 percent in March.
BLS reported that the sharp increases reflect the Covid-19 pandemic and efforts to control it, such as furloughing workers.
The number of individuals who work full time declined by 15 million and the number who worked part-time dropped by 7.4 million.
Employment in the leisure and hospitality industries plummeted by 7.7 million. The jobless rate in education and health services declined by 2.5 million. Professional and business services shed 2.1 million jobs and manufacturing dropped 1.3 million jobs. Employment in the services industry declined by 1.3 million jobs and government employment dropped 900,000.
McKinsey & Company reported that the March 14 household survey data from BLS show that racial minorities make up 20 percent of the labor force but 25 percent of the newly unemployed.
The unemployment rate for major worker groups was 14.2 percent for whites, 14.5 percent for Asians and 18.9 percent for Hispanics, the highest rate for all racial groups.
April’s unemployment rate is still an underestimate of the actual number of unemployed workers. It would be higher if all the people who lost their jobs had actually remained in the labor force, said Elise Gould, senior economist for the Economic Policy Institute in Washington D.C.