School Re-Opening Meeting #2 Notes

June 25, 2020

Attendees Scheduled: Dr. Cook; Deborah Johnson; Lisa Schlenker; Gina Berzal; Joseph Jimick; Benjamin Bragg; Nicole Chaluisan; Kerry Overbaugh; Junait Shah; John Rivers; Don Marino; April Ormerod; Holly Hebb; Rebecca VanAlstyne; Stacy Hallam; Lisa VanDyke; Kelly Konsul; Suzanne Ribsamen; Sheri Whitney; Erin Holdridge; Tammi Kellenbenz; Doug Lampman; Christa Dedrick; Michelle Storrs; Jodi Chirkis; Joe Crocetta; Christie Berard; Colleen Nabozny; Cheryl Cinatti; Christine Penet; Cherie Dottino; Tammy Morrow; Heather Schindler; Diane Ashley; Alissa Hackett; Mary Jo Verdichizzi; Cynthia Nash; Stefanie Loomis, Alex Standish; Barb Erceg; Kelly Marino; Thomas McNamee; Eve Hines; Kim Jones; Nancy Palmateer

Dr. Cook opened the meeting at 1:00, thanking all that attended.  We are still waiting for information from SED.    Dr. Cook told the participants notes were taken at the last meeting, and notes will be taken this meeting. Dr. Cook provided an update from his Superintendent’s Meeting yesterday.    The Task Force meeting of yesterday brought up topics of health and safety, sped, social and emotional education, budget and fiscal responsibilities, staffing, etc.    Everyone is waiting for guidance and we want to make sure that as we prepare for the new school year, that we are prepared. Inquiries and concerns brought up included the following:

How effective student learning is taking place?

How can we provide an environment to meet students’ needs?

Getting rid of assessments for the 20-21 school year was mentioned, because standardized tests data aligns with our APPR’s.

Our special education students (ELL & SPED) on the A/B schedule should be here each and every day to meet their services, in-house, instead of virtually.

Planning for a second wave of the virus was discussed.    We may be in a position where we return to virtual learning; Stage IV has been pulled back.

Transportation was also an issue; # of students/adults on bus; taking student temperatures.  Staffing was brought up; making sure there is enough staff; sanitizing individual classrooms, etc.    The Gov. extended childcare and the meal plans throughout the summer, which we are on point.

Ben and Kerry met yesterday and confirmed their plans. They feel it is in the best interest for students; per a weekly plan, students may be split up (extended families have child care when they are home); group 1 would be in Monday and Tuesday; do virtual teaching on Thursday and Fridays, and group 2 would switch.  4 lessons a week will be taught, and 2 virtual lessons.  Wednesdays will be for cleaning and meeting w/teachers via google.  All sped/operation graduation students need to be in school all days to meet their IEP/social emotional.  On opposite days they will work with appropriate teachers to meet their needs.  The hallways and stairs will be oneway; no lockers.   Monitors at restrooms to ensure 1 in – 1 out.  Lunches will be 20 min. ½ in lib and ½ in café, 2 to 3 kids at a table, and then switch.

An additional proposal included the idea of quarantining newly enrolled students for 14 days. If a student gets ill in school, all parents in classroom need to be notified.  Guests are required to wear masks/temp check and follow CDC guidelines.  Code of Conduct documents and attendance policies need to be updated to hold students accountable.  Needs and concerns are technology in classrooms, desk disinfecting.  We need PD in the fall to help teachers teach virtually.  We all need to be on the same page.  Subs and class coverage needs to be looked at.  Transportation can transport K – 12 to keep families together and kids being taught on the same days.  Kerry said the MS would use gym/auditorium during lunch.  Kerry said arrival time, 7:25, is the same time teachers come in.   A suggestion to change start and end time would have teachers come in at 7:10 and kids go right to classroom for supervision; teachers would leave 15 min earlier.  Dr. Cook will speak w/Union Reps. On this matter.    Kerry and Ben feel that these will help families.

John Rivers reported he reviewed the MS/HS plan; they have a 3-phase plan; all students return but under 6 ft. distance; mask-wearing, directional hallways (which side of the hallway), no lockers; restroom protocols (1 at a time and station monitors); hand washing stations; limit use of spaces.  Lunch may be provided in classrooms.  Temperature checks will be done for everyone.  A teacher aide in each nurses office would be put in place.  Teachers could be rotated (special area).   They would split groups into Monday, Tuesday;  Wednesday (home), Thursday and Friday virtual, then reverse.    CES would like to group alphabetically; keep skill levels together to benefit the students.    Wednesdays would be for virtual learning/planning; attendance needs to be worked on (meeting during google meet?)   John said if ½ students are home, how will they learn if the teachers are instructing the opposite group?  The hybrid plans need to be worked on.  John said if we don’t return in September, a virtual plan and schedule needs to be made up.  John thinks technology will play a big piece.  Chrome books and internet service plays a huge role in virtual learning.

Transportation, SPED requirements, gym and café use, assemblies and large gatherings, main entry protocol (temperature taking); signage and floor markings, bathroom coverage protocol, if a student gets ill at school, what is return protocol?  John said these are some of the issues brought up for concern.  The elementary students are dropped off at 8:20, which is teacher prep time.

Dr. Cook said he will speak to the union re: start times.  Dr. Cook received feedback that was alignment in what we already discussed.     Feedback is very necessary, and everything needs to be made very clear, virtual or return to school, so our children receive the services they are entitled to.   Dr. Cook asked Don Marino to speak.  Don collected over 200 out of 400 Chrome Books.   Today, to date, has been the biggest return day.  If ½ students here, ½ home, we would use google meet.  The students would connect the same way they have been.   The laptop camera would be used.  Attendance can be taken that way.  The promethean boards don’t have microphones, but mics can be attached.  Laptops are sufficient, but summer testing will be done.   Don said if laptops are close enough to the teachers speaking/instructing, students should be able to hear but microphones can be purchased.  Don mentioned that his crew will test this summer.  He said if students do return to school, they can check out a laptop, maybe during homeroom, and return at the end of the day.  Dr. Cook asked about sanitizing but Don said the same student will be using the same chrome book .  Dr. Cook feels students should be issued a chrome book for the full year, but they will work that out at a later date.  Headphones, microphones need to be looked at for purchasing.  Don said the headphones wouldn’t be needed; Dr. Cook said supplemental materials are often used, so headphones would be available for intensive instructional support.

Bill Muirhead spoke about transportation; taking temperatures upon entering a bus, having an aide on bus, cleaning after each use and documenting cleaning. Bill asked if a student has a fever later in the day, and asked about other students on said bus; Bill asked the protocol at that point.  Bill said summer transportation is going well. Moving ahead towards September, Bill said the drivers were looking at masks and shields. Bill did not agree with the K-12 returning on one run; he said there would be 13 students per bus, plus an aide.  Bill feels parents won’t want children on buses.  He said logistically going to a K-12 run is very uncertain.  We have 17 buses available.  Bill said we are currently averaging 40 students per bus.   An aide on every bus will be needed.

Food Service will be fine. The only impact he sees at the HS level is no salad bar.  Bill said he would meet with John regarding lunches in classrooms.    Dr. Cook also feels parents will be dropping off their children instead of utilizing buses.    Dr. Cook asked about contracting drivers and aides, and yes, that is the protocol.   Bill recommends using their normal route rather than trying to figure out, which student comes when.  Bill said each driver will have a list and will highlight student that gets on the bus to indicate they rode.

Joe Jimick spoke and said custodial staff will continue to clean classrooms, paint, etc.  He said work needs to be done to accommodate the turnaround time. The staffing  s needed daily to meet cleaning requirements, so some staffing adjustments may be necessary.  Joe said locations that need sneeze guards will be addressed should we be prepared to open.  Dr. Cook referred to floor markings, arrows, etc., as well as purchasing the technology pieces, and Joe said we have open orders for masks, thermometers.  Other devices are being piloted by Questar, such as temp scanners.   Dr. Cook mentioned the ultra violet cleansing mechanism for rooms.  He said they are being used in the city subways.  All mechanisms have arrived, and training will be given next Tuesday.

Nurses spoke; Diane said it is a “wait and see” situation.  Holly received recommendations from Nurses Association.  Holly would like to be kept in the loop of what equipment we are purchasing.   Dr. Cook will meet with stakeholders to discuss this in detail at a later date.  Ben said maybe teachers could utilize face shields instead of masks, for students that read lips.  Holly ordered face masks for lip reading purposes.  She ordered a box.

Dr. Cook opened the floor for suggestions and questions.  Barb Erceg asked if it was an option to have students come in per wing. John said that wasn’t discussed, but they are looking at several options, factoring in snow and inclement weather and drop off areas.  Dr. Cook said this may also present security issues.

Cherie Dottino said the plan in place doesn’t meet unique elementary needs.  She said the Monday / Tuesday plan puts students home 5 days in a row.    Keeping students’ attention may pose a problem.   Dr. Cook said they are valid concerns.  Chris Penet also agreed with Ms. Dottino; monitoring would not be available.   Nancy Palmateer also agreed. She mentioned teachers wearing masks and projecting their voices; masks would deter clear projection of voices, which may lead to a microphone system that Don Marino spoke of.    Don said these cameras were used in place of personal evaluations of teachers; teachers could record themselves but these mics were very expensive.  Don explained the laptop usage for instructing students and the locations the lap tops could be placed.  A large portion of classrooms would be visible, but these options will be tested by the Tech Department.  Don said microphones can be purchased; wireless mics will be very expensive but testing and different options will be looked at.

Tammy Morrow asked if we were purchasing Promethean Boards at CES; Dr. Cook responded that 15 teachers will receive them.  John said 15 teachers needed them this upcoming year.  Tammy said this may need to be looked at again should we be teaching virtually.    Don reiterated Promethean Boards do not have mics.  He said laptops for students at home should be sufficient but again, testing will be done.  John said keeping students engaged is a concern.  Alissa Hackett asked about delaying classroom construction. Dr. Cook said we do not have SED approval yet.  Everything is on hold.   Dr. Cook will meet and discuss how to get things done with minimal disruption.  Alissa Hackett said air purifiers in each classroom may help. Dr. Cook asked if there were windows in each room.   Rebecca said air purifiers don’t prevent co-vid.

Junait Shah said at the end of class, have student clean up (older kids); maybe we do Monday / Thursday, and Tuesday / Friday  to be consistent with Wednesday off.   Lisa VanDyke spoke of separating students; her concern was grades 6-12 students and lack of social interaction; upper level students need to be able to interact with their friends.  Dr. Cook said our students should be able to articulate their concerns about returning.  Dr. Cook wants to create a student forum for students to be part of the process.  He would like to accommodate students with the social/emotional piece to ensure success.

Christy Berard said the noise factor and background noise affects microphones.

Cynthia Nash attends weekly directors’ meetings.  Her concerns were testing for special education.  She said they are awaiting guidance on this issue.

Angela Halwick asked of staggered arrivals; and adjusting times.

Dr. Cook scheduled the next meeting for July 23, 2020 at 1:00.   Hopefully we will have some information from our Governor on moving forward.   Dr. Cook said we had 37 participants today, and he thanked all for participating.  A copy of today’s notes will be sent to the participants.  The meeting concluded at 2:15pm.



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