The Blount County Board of Education adopted a plan late June 23 for spending nearly $2 million in federal funding for pandemic relief.

More than $922,000 will be used to pay for supplemental learning and remediation, which is expected to take place in a range of ways over up to two years, including school breaks and instruction before or after school hours.

Technology is a significant part of the Blount County Schools’ budget, including more than $473,000 to provide Chromebook computers for grades one and two.

Assistant Director Jake Jones explained that older iPads being used in younger grades cannot run software needed for distance learning.

Nearly $123,000 may be used to buy 300 devices for students who don’t have the access needed for distance learning.

Software and professional development are included in the plan as well.

More than $400,000 is designated for school meals programs. Part of that is to buy equipment such as delivery carts and paper trays under plans for students to eat outside the cafeteria.

Part of the funding also will cover costs not paid through another program to provide meals to students while the school buildings were closed this spring.

For transportation, the budget includes $52,000 to pay bus contractors for extra cleaning and more than $206,000 if the district needs to stagger schedules and split routes.

Additional hours for school nurses and custodians are part of the budget, as well as equipment for them.

Blount County plans to add five Clorox 360 machines to the four it already owns for deep cleaning of schools.

Under the law, Maryville Christian School will receive nearly $57,000 of the funding flowing through BCS.

Amy Beth earned her degree from West Virginia. She joined The Daily Times in 2016 on the education beat covering Alcoa, Maryville and Blount County school systems.

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