School board sets rules for return to public meetings

·2 min read

Jun. 18—GUILFORD COUNTY — The Guilford County Board of Education is preparing to return to in-person meetings for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The board has either met remotely or among themselves with no public guests since March 2020. The board will resume allowing constituents to show up in person for the next meeting at 6 p.m. July 13 at the school district main office at 712 N. Eugene St. in Greensboro.

But during its meeting Thursday night, the board and school district leadership enacted a series of public health safety protocols on the resumption of public meetings.

Guilford County Schools Chief of Staff Nora Carr said people will have to wear masks and go through a health screening. Seats will be set up several feet apart.

Seating will be limited to 15 people at a time, and speakers will address the board on a first come, first served basis. If a speaker hasn't secured a seat, the speaker will have to leave the boardroom after making remarks.

Carr said public health COVID-19 protocols for school buildings are more restrictive for businesses such as restaurants.

Board members decided to have an online lottery ahead of meetings to award the 15 designated seats at random for a meeting. Also, someone without digital access could call to submit their name for a seat.

Board members said a lottery system would be more equitable for allowing people into meetings.

Board Chairwoman Deena Hayes said the board plans to resume meetings at High Point City Hall. Before the pandemic the board met roughly once each quarter in High Point.

In another matter, Hayes said during her chairwoman comments that Superintendent Sharon Contreras has faced insults and threats online over false reports that critical race theory is taught in local schools. Hayes said any threats against Contreras that involve references to violence will be referred to law enforcement.

pjohnson@hpenews.com — 336-888-3528 — @HPEpaul

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