WSSD School Board, 27 Sept. 2021

The Wallingford Swarthmore School District held its regular meeting tonight. Its available on Youtube and at 50 minutes is one of the shortest. The agenda is available on Board Docs.

Student Report

The student report covered the first month of school. Band night on the 24th was a highlight. The student representative had a conversation with the superintendent about the role of the student representative on the board. She said students she talked to were excited about the upcoming equity audit and were actively engaged in the district’s many activities.

A SRS Spiritwear event is upcoming as is WES movie night.

Superintendent Report

The superintendent’s report covered the challenges regarding transportation. They are trying to hire additional drivers, creating more parking, encouraging parents to drive children, encouraging biking and walking and possibly renting vans. The district will start by relining a lot at the high school to allow more student parking and installing additional bike racks to accommodate the many bikers. The superintendent says the transportation issues are likely to continue for some time.

The district continues to try to keep up with shifting guidance regarding Covid. The Covid cases in DelCo are declining, but still in the high category. Vaccination numbers for children have been updated with ~75% in the senior class and ~50% in 7th – 11th grades.

The superintendent highlighted the performance of Beauty and the Beast done by the district.

Work on Possum Hollow begins Oct. 11th and will run through December. Possum Hollow will be one way from Providence to the train station. Work will start up again in March-April to complete the project.

Discussion of the school calendar will be beginning soon and the district will seek feedback from the community and students.

The superintendent says the district is looking at the field trips planned for this year and assessing the risk of each of the trips. Cancellations and rescheduling remains a possibility.

The Educational Affairs committee is meeting October 6th and Nov. 3rd. At the first meeting the comprehensive plan and school start times will be discussed. At the second, the school calendar and federal funding programs will be discussed. The Facilities and Finance Committees will meet October 20th and November 17th, but no items were listed. In response to a question from David Grande, the superintendent says the intention is to set next year’s academic calendar some time in January.

Board Announcements

Amy Caruso was welcomed to the board.

The Finance and Facilities Report was moved up ahead of regular business. In the Facilities Report, they mentioned the high school entrance project, an easement for an Aqua water main, the 5 year capital plan, the WES roofing project, and RAPTOR secure entry. In the Finance Report, the budget process is getting started with this year’s Act 1 Index, the process continues through June. They discussed the process. Up for board approval was a 1-year subscription to a data analytics package and a contract for demographic data for the upcoming strategic plan. There was also discussion of ESSER/ARA funding and what its allowed to be used for.

Regular Business

The board passed regular business without much comment.

Public Comments

There were anti-mitigation comments from one resident, comments from another about the structure of public comments at committee meetings and comments about composting.

In response to one comment, Kelly Wachtman asked if 3′ spacing was the regular distance in classrooms and the superintendent confirmed it was.

Categories: Government, WSSD