Board Of Ed: Planning Ahead For Fall

The Board of Education is moving forward with plans for a more normal school year this fall.

Vaccinations would not be required. But masks may still be mandatory.

That was part of the draft report presented by assistant superintendent Dr. Anthony Buono, at last night’s meeting. The board is required to submit a draft plan to the state next week. It may be revised, as conditions change closer to the opening of school in September.

Brian Fullenbaum reports that — according to the current draft plan — students would not have to wear masks at recess.

Students: Don’t toss those masks just yet!

Social distancing will be encouraged, the draft report says. The district will continue to perform contact tracing, and recommend quarantine when necessary. Daily concentrated cleaning will also continue.

In other fall reopening news, the middle schools will implement a math tutoring program, with sessions before and after school.

Staples High School will return to its pre-pandemic schedule of 40- to 60-minute periods, rather than this year’s 80-minute blocks. A writing lab will be added, and there will be more opportunities for students to use the fitness center and fieldhouse.

In other matters, the board:

  • Honored retiring staff members
  • Discussed the timing of the Saugatuck Elementary School roof replacement project
  • Heard comments about the NYU equity study
  • Talked about the success of the middle school 3-year engineering and design class.

A report on the Search Institute survey results — a self-assessment administered to 800 students in grades 7 through 12 — showed that they reported strong social and emotional competence, and strong skills in self-management and social awareness.

A majority reported that the pandemic was stressful. A major of students also strongly agreed on the need to work with the community to eliminate racism and discrimination.

Nearing the end of his first year, superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice is turning his attention from COVID to “emerging themes” in the district. These include sustaining professional development, child development, and the amount of testing being done.

The board also approved a motion to support naming the football field after former coach Paul Lane.

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