School board talks superintendent replacement and TB policy

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News 12 at 11 / Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Augusta, Ga. (WRDW) --School might be out for the summer, but school leaders are still in session. Tuesday night, the Richmond County school board took the first step in picking their next leader and adopting new ways to deal with tuberculosis threats at school. The board hopes to have a new superintendent by August and a new policy for tuberculosis in the next couple weeks. The policy will stop students from going to school if they have not been tested after a TB scare.

Just because school is out for summer, doesn't mean the learning stops. Like students in class, members of the Richmond County School Board listened and watched as the health department used a power point to explain TB.

"It pretty much means they can breathe in the germs, but they do not have the TB disease," said Nikki Jones, a nurse with The Richmond County Health Department.

With four TB scares in the last two and a half years, most people know there can be false positives. A positive test does not necessarily mean an infection. This is why the school board will set a new policy for students or parents who refuse a test when a threat pops up.

"The attorney will draw up rules saying that if you don't go through testing, you will lose the possibility of going to school," said school board member Jack Padgett.

In the next few weeks, the new TB testing policy will be official. Principals will get it before the school year starts.

The board is also taking steps to find the replacement for superintendent of Richmond County Schools. Tuesday, the Georgia School Board Association handed over a list of applicants, and now board members have set a date to pick the top contenders.

"The board will reconvene on Monday, July 7th at 4 P.M. with a list of candidates to discuss," said school board member Jimmy Atkins.

Padgett says this is the first move in making a choice and hopes to have a decision before school starts.

"Hopefully August 1st or August 15th at the latest," Padgett said.

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