BOE Meeting Highlights September 1, 2021


September 1, 2021

(The entirety of this meeting can be viewed on the NPCSD YouTube Channel)


**Superintendent Angela Urbina-Medina and the New Paltz Board of Education would like to welcome our new High School Assistant Principal, Ms. Kathleen Schneck. Previous to arriving here, Ms. Schneck was an Assistant Principal with the Wappingers Central School District in Dutchess County. She will begin at New Paltz High School this week.


**Superintendent Urbina-Medina had the pleasure of attending several meet & greet and student orientations this week at our four schools and would like to thank the various PTA groups, as well as staff, students and administrators who helped to plan and implement these important events. The District is looking forward to welcoming students back to school next Wednesday.


**The NPCSD Reopening Plan was released to the community this past week, encompassing both Ulster County Department of Health (DOH) and CDC recommended guidelines. Both temperature checks and COVID screening applications are not required for school districts this year. The District will be working with the Ulster County DOH to closely monitor the COVID transmission rate in both the county and the local community.  The Superintendent urges parents and caregivers to familiarize themselves with all of the COVID-19 symptoms so they know what to look for in their children. Any positive COVID-19 cases will be communicated immediately to building administrators and nurses. The District asks parents and caregivers to please share with us if your child has come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.


**National, state and local officials encourage all students to return to schools. The pivot to remote instruction will be dependent on circumstances and guidance from the state and county. Students required to quarantine through the Ulster County DOH will receive 1-2 hours per day of tutoring (depending on grade level) from the NPCSD. A release given to the quarantined student(s) from the Ulster County DOH will be required to return to school. Any medically fragile children should go through the 504 process and a determination and accommodation will be made for those students.


**Athletics and extracurricular activities will happen as planned. Spectators to any events in our buildings are required to wear masks at all times. For outdoor sporting events and activities, masks will remain optional.


**Questions have arisen regarding locker usage at our Middle and High Schools. Both Middle and High School students will be moving from class to class. School lockers will not be used. Students will be changing for physical education classes in the locker rooms and gym lockers will be used. Students that bring athletic equipment to the schools can store them in their gym lockers. Students who bring a musical instrument to school will be able to store them in a band locker or band storage room. Teachers and staff will be cognizant of the amount of books and other belongings students will be carrying.


**Social Distancing will be kept at a minimum of 3 feet (or more when possible) at all schools. Districts are not required to maintain social distancing regulations on school buses. In cafeterias, where students will be unmasked at times to eat, desks have replaced all tables. There will be no table seating in the cafeterias. Hand sanitizer will be readily available for students and staff to use at various locations throughout all school buildings.


**Great news regarding Chromebooks! In grades 7-12, everyone has or will have a Chromebook very shortly. All 9th and 10th graders have devices, devices for 11th and 12th graders will be distributed during the first few weeks of school. At the Middle School, 8th graders have all received a Chromebook, 7th graders will receive one at the end of September. 6th graders will have access to a laptop or Chromebook, and if necessary, will be able to bring them home. For Duzine and Lenape, the District is purchasing 350 more devices and will have them available if needed.


**REIAC (Racial Equity Initiative Advisory Committee) Update: Racial Equity teams are currently being established in each of our four schools. Starting this month, these teams will begin holding meetings and are hoping to consult with Due East on next steps moving forward. Our REIAC Board Committee is recruiting new members, especially students, to join in this important work. There are six student openings for Middle and High School students. To fill out a REIAC application, please visit the District website. Thank you to REIAC member Molly Brooks for the monthly committee report.


**The NPCSD would like to have access to on-site COVID-19 testing for District staff and students who consent to be tested. However, the District cannot embark on this endeavor without help from Ulster County. The NPCSD Board of Education will be composing a letter to Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan to ask for assistance in setting up a testing site or any other proactive measures we can collaborate on that will be beneficial in keeping the COVID-19 virus at bay within our school district and community. The NPCSD is committed to keeping our school environment safe and healthy.


The next Board of Education meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 15th at 6:30pm. Location to be announced.