WSSD Board Meeting Dec 14, 2020

Many considerations go into high school scheduling

The school board held its last meeting of 2020.

  • An email went out on Monday moving Strath Haven Middle and High Schools online until the break. The schools reached the Covid thresholds set by the state for schools of their size (4 for the middle school, 6 for the high school). This requires a 3-7 day closure and the district decided to go online for the rest of the week.
  • The Foundation for WSSD schools gave $5,000 to help families with childcare and food.
  • Lisa Palmer’s retirement at the end of the school year was approved by the board. There will be opportunities for community input in the search for the next school board superintendent. The board is hiring a search consultant (Judith Wilson LLC) and anticipates a 16-week long search. They anticipate that the next superintendent will be in a high level position at a school system.
  • There were two focus topics. The first covered other activities happening at the schools besides sports. There had been criticism in earlier meetings that sports were receiving all the attention. The school district went over the various clubs and performing arts that are happening, some virtual, some in-person. Most of the discussion was about music programs with some talk of the theater programs.
  • The second focus topic covered possible changes to the high school schedule. The district presented three possible plans. The district is hoping to implement some kind of change at the semester change-over on January 25th. Any of these changes would require sufficient students to commit to the online academy for the rest of the year to ensure there are not too many students in school. This would reduce the current flexibility.
    • The first would be full day, twice a week for each cohort with no lunch at school. There are problems with accommodating the vocational ed students and it would be a long time for students with no break or meal.
    • The second would be full day with lunch. Each cohort would be split into two lunch blocks and each lunch block would be further split in half so that only about a quarter of the students would be eating lunch at any time.
    • The third plan was half day four times a week. Two days a week, a cohort would go in-person mornings. The other two days it would go in-person in the afternoons. The other cohort would do the reverse.

Categories: Government, WSSD