By Janmarie Foschini
The Greenwood Lake Board of Education met via zoom on Tues., Aug. 11 with “Restarting Greenwood Lake Schools” as the main topic of the meeting. The largely attended meeting focused on plans for September.
Superintendent Sarah Hadden, along with School Board members have agreed to push back opening day for all students from Thurs., Sept. 3 to Thurs., Sept. 10. However, half of the student body will attend on Tues., Sept. 8, while the other half will start on Wed., Sept. 9.
By having half of the student body in at a time this will allow them to become acclimated with the “new normal” to learn and understand the new day-to-day routine being set in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Faculty and staff will have four days prior to the students return to prepare for opening day and new procedures. Hadden sent a survey out allowing families to choose in-person or remote instruction. The final decision is to be made by Sun., Aug. 16, which gives the school district time to develop both in-person and remote schedules.
In the coming weeks, families will receive additional information on opening day as well as the new procedures for transportation, in-person and remote learning. On Mondays the school district will operate on a three-hour delay for students. Classrooms in both schools will be set up in a safe, social distance setting. Students will not have to move from classroom-to-classroom; teachers will move from room-to-room.
Class sizes will be reduced and for classes with a larger number of students, bigger spaces will be used to ensure the proper amount of spacing between students. Lunches will be eaten in the classroom and weather permitting recess will be held outdoors.
Once outdoors for recess students will remain with their cohorts and will continue to maintain social distance. Hadden also stated outdoor classes can be held in a social distance setting and encourages teachers to take advantage of the outdoor space.
Each classroom will have a MERV-13 filtration system installed. Rooms will be cleaned and disinfected nightly, while high frequency locations will be cleaned throughout the day. Wipes will be placed in classrooms for desks to be used before and after students eat lunch.
Touchless hand sanitizers will be installed at classroom doorways and building entrances. Students in grades seven and eight will not be given a locker, they will be given a large tub container to store their items. Touchless toilets and sinks have been installed throughout each building.
Hallways will have proper signage showing one-way. Elementary School hallways will resemble road ways to make it adaptable and fun for students such as “Kindness Court,” and “Safety Street.” The Middle School hallways will be decorated with green footprints clearly showing which direction to travel in.
Superintendent Hadden briefed the Board on the renovation progress in both buildings. New and updated entries are being constructed in both schools, and vestibules with transaction windows for school security guards are in the process of being built. Keyless door entries to classrooms and updated security cameras will be installed through a grant the School District received.
The next School Board meeting will be held on Mon., Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Greenwood Lake Middle School, located at 1247 Lakes Rd. in Monroe.