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story.lead_photo.caption Fulton Public Schools Board of Education President Andy Bonderer presents a stellar staff award to Heather Yates. Photo by Olivia Garrett / Fulton Sun.

Fulton Public Schools is partnering with the Callaway County Health Department to provide flu shots to students.

Superintendent Ty Crain brought up the opportunity during Wednesday evening's school board meeting and a letter was sent to parents Thursday.

Parents must turn in a permission form by Wednesday. A nurse will administer the vaccination during school hours for all students regardless of their insurance status.

Also discussed at the school board meeting was other factors related to education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"One of the concerns that we've talked about quite a bit administrative team is over the next few months as we get into that time of the year that's the winter blues normally, but now we add into it the social emotional challenges of the year of COVID in 2020," Crain said.

He said the district is forming a plan to address the social and emotional needs of students and staff.

Crain also said it has applied to get access to rapid COVID-19 tests.

"We haven't really determined the best way that we're going to go about that or how we're going to utilize those yet," Crain said. "We are going to participate in that so that we have that resource."

The district has received over $200,000 in county CARES Act funds.

"We're trying to get another round of that in before the first of the year when that money goes back to Washington to try to account for supplies to get us through the remainder of the year," Crain said.

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Crain said with COVID-19-related expenses, spending this year has been conservative.

Board President Andy Bonderer said the board has heard of struggles finding substitute teachers this year.

"Pretty consistent message from all the administrators to the board is that you're really struggling with substitute teachers," Bonderer said. "We want you to know that we've heard that. You know, the whole deal is you tell us what you need, we do our best to put the resources in your pocket. We hear it. We've actually been brainstorming some ideas to try to work on that."

Bonderer said the board will work on the issue.

"We will do what we can on this side of the table to fill that void," he said.

Bush Elementary School custodian Dickie Bishop and Fulton Middle School teacher Heather Yates were both recognized at the meeting.

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"(Bishop) has been instrumental in keeping students safe from the spread of COVID-19 by taking on additional duties and responsibilities," Crain said. "Pre-COVID, post-COVID, the building always looks good."

Yates was praised for her work in the FMS social studies department and in helping several long-term substitutes.

Read Saturday's Fulton Sun for an article about other topics discussed at the meeting, including facilities and the comprehensive school improvement plan.

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