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ECSS conducts first in-person meeting

The Escambia County School System hosted the first in-person board of education meeting last week during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to follow health guidelines, the meeting was conducted in the W.S. Neal High School cafeteria.
“This is our first meeting back face to face since we started virtual meetings,” Superintendent John Knott said.
Knott said challenges lie ahead.
“We are now looking at items and issues that we have never had to face before. We have health concerns like we haven’t seen in decades or even centuries. We’ve got social concerns, emotional concerns. We’ve got conflict but we also have to remember that we have resolution,” said Knott. “We have to remember that as a school system and as employees of this school system we carry a great responsibility and a great burden that can be the one to carry the positive messages to our community.”
In new business, the board heard from Deborah Bolden, retiring Escambia County Middle School principal.
Knott said more about plans for the summer and fall in regard to the school system. From athletic practices to literacy camps, the school system remains busy and open at this time, he said.
For the fall, Knott reported that at the present moment the students would be returning on schedule.
“Right now, it is my recommendation that we maintain the calendar which means our students would start back to school on Aug. 7,” said Knott.
During action items, the board approved two contracts. In miscellaneous items approved all 90 new hires, one leave of absence, four resignations, one transfer and two retirements. The board did break off into executive session to discuss five positions before returning to name four new principals and one assistant principal within the school system.
The next regular board meeting is set for July 23 at 10 a.m.
There is also a special called board meeting on June 30, at 10 a.m. Both meetings will be held at the central office.