A Graves County Schools official commented on making masks optional, after Thursday’s board meeting.

Since masks became optional on Monday, students, parents and faculty have reacted “very positively,” Superintendent Matthew Madding said.

“We have not been able to be in our buildings without masks since March of 2020, so I know we have several students, several employees, several parents that are excited that that requirement is now gone,” he said.

“I’ve visited most of our buildings since masks have been optional, and the vast majority of students and employees are choosing not to wear them, but we do still have some that are wearing them. And like we said, we encourage that, it’s not a problem at all,” he added.

While glad to see masks optional, Madding noted that the district is still taking steps to continue “battling” any spread of COVID-19, including quarantines, social distancing and tracing.

In other news, board member Kenneth House made a motion to increase pay by half a% for contracted employees starting January 2022. His motion came amidst an agenda item to provide a one time supplemental payment ($300) to contracted faculty for their work throughout the pandemic.

While his motion was seconded by board chair Kelly Thurman, others felt it was a bit too soon to discuss raises. Madding suggested having the talks again in Spring 2022.

House’s motion failed in a 2-3 vote. The board then voted unanimously for the supplemental payment.

The board also unanimously approved a few other agenda items, including:

  • Selected a concept option for the Farmington Cafeteria Project.
  • The Fiscal Year 2021 Audit Report.
  • The purchase of a new fleet vehicle for over $43,000.
  • The BG-1 for the middle schools HVAC project.

Changed the date of next month’s workshop meeting to December 14.