At the Wallkill Central School District Board of Education meeting last Wednesday, Superintendent of Schools Kevin Castle provided updates regarding the reopening of schools in September.
“To date we have not received guidance from the state but we are developing health and safety plans based on CDC guidelines,” Castle said.
The assumption is that there may be six-foot social distancing. Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Brian Devincenzi has been working with a health and safety team to determine how to incorporate social distancing if the district brings back grades K-6 in a self-contained setting. Bringing grades 7-12 back will be more challenging, as classes transition every 40 minutes. The district is taking ideas from models that other states are recommending, since they may see similar recommendations from the state.
Other factors that must be taken into consideration are transportation and food service. Castle indicated that Devincenzi has been doing a solid job coordinating with the district’s transportation and food service providers. Devincenzi has also been obtaining masks and cleaning supplies, as well as coordinating with custodial workers and working with the district-wide nurse practitioner to identify isolation rooms and monitoring protocols.
The district is also strengthening its online learning programs in the event that distance learning remains in the fall. Castle noted that once health and safety and online learning plans are complete, they will be shared with the board of education and the community.
During the meeting, incumbent board members Kathryn Anderson and Vinny Petroccelli as well as new board member David Bartolone took their oath of allegiance. Joseph LoCicero was voted president of the board and Thomas Frisbie was voted vice president. Both were voted in with a 6-0 vote.