WSSD Board Notes Feb 22nd

The board’s primary focus was on the plan to bring elementary school students back for 4.5 days a week learning. The video is available here.

  • The student reps report primarily covered activities regarding Black History Month and Black Lives Matter. All schools are participating in learning about black history and preparing for Black Lives Matter at school day on Fri, Feb 26th.
  • Lisa Palmer read a resolution from WSEA supporting Black Lives Matter at school and supports hiring and supporting teachers of color and anti-racist curriculum.
  • It was national school bus driver day.
  • The board reported it is conducting interviews for the next superintendent and is on track to make a decision by early April.
Focus Topic One – Elementary transition, part 2
  • The district received three pieces of guidance – the CDC recommendations, a CHOP policy lab blog post and recommendations from the ChesCo health department. Both the administration and board put the most weight on the last of these.
  • The CDC recommendations highlighted 5 key mitigation strategies with the first two the most important – Masking, distancing, hygiene, cleaning and contact tracing.
  • The district showed the results of the survey of elementary school parents. Few families are planning to move between the Online Academy and In-person as a result of the transition plan. The Online Academy parents are almost entirely against the plan and the cohort parents equally in favor of it.
  • Because so few students are moving between the OA and in-person, there will be no teacher changes for students (except those changing between OA and in-person or vice-versa)
  • The transition timeline is as planned before. On March 15-17, the schools will close and students will be entirely asynchronous. On March 18, 19 and 22 there will be in-person elementary school. After that, the schools will be partly or completely closed for parent conferences through March 26th and then closed for Spring Break March 29 – April 2nd. So most students will have 4 1/2 days of in-person school before a week and a half long spring break.
  • The district currently remains in the Very High category of community transition, but the trends indicate it will decrease to high within weeks.
  • Teachers and staff will maintain 6′ distancing and students 3′ distancing except when eating or taking mask breaks.
  • Students will remain cohorted for recess, schedules will be staggered to reduce hallway traffic.
  • The schools are working on implementing the BinaxNOW and CUE rapid tests.
  • The district will adopt the modified quarantine schedule. Students can now return to school after 7-10 days with a negative covid test.
  • David Grande proposed an amendment that said whether to proceed would be decided on March 5th if the community transition rate is less than Very High. Passed 9-0. update – even if community transmission is very high on March 5th, in-person school will begin in April, the amendment only delayed it.
  • The board approved the plan 9-0 with little discussion.
  • Planning is now underway for the middle and high schoolers to also return to 5 day a week in-person education.
Focus Topic 2 – Middle School supports
  • The middle school principal spoke about middle school sports, but there was little content to his presentation.
  • Plans are to have girls and boys track, softball, baseball, girls and boys lacrosse and ultimate frisbee as spring sports, mostly starting after April 5th.
  • Planning underway with other schools in the district for competitions.
  • Students will need a PIAA physical and it was recommended to start making appointments now.
Other business

The board approved a number of routine personnel changes and contracts and appointed Larry Kutys as the DCIU representative for the next year. The DEI reported on positive feedback from teachers about the black history month and Black Lives Matter efforts this month.

Categories: WSSD