By the end of this week, coronavirus cases within the Waterville Central School District will determine if WCS can continue its in-person schedule.
An hour-long discussion among Waterville administrators, Board of Education members and some parents focused on how to keep students in the district going to in-person classes four days a week, and possibly expanding that time in classrooms.
Those options, and continuing what is happening, Board President Steve Stanton said, depends on how families followed scientific guidelines for Thanksgiving. Those guidelines included spending the holiday only with people in the same household and not attending large gatherings such as shopping on Black Friday.
“Control the spread,’’ Stanton said. “This is not a political issue. We have to make those choices. But I hear a lot of people say they are not making those choices.’’
In what appears to be the only school operating this way, since Sept. 8 Waterville has had students attend in-person classes four days a week for half a day and attending at home via livestreaming the other half of the day for Junior-Senior High students, and virtual assignments for Memorial Park students.
Some of the 10 parents at the meeting said the amount of work for elementary students when not in school needs to be increased. “Kids are bored,’’ said Junell Pryputniewicz, parent of a sixth grader.
Pryputniewicz said the gap in learning is growing between fourth, fifth and sixth graders who should be getting ready for Junior High. “Parents shouldn’t have to ask for more work. And what about kids not having parents who ask. All kids need more work assigned when not in school.’’
Interim Superintendent Dr. Kathy Davis said she and MPS Principal Maureen Gray would meet with representatives of the building to hear suggestions.
Stanton, also the parent of a sixth grader, said he agreed with Pryputniewicz.
“In hindsight we can look now and see we could have done some things differently,’’ he said, “such as how to take advantage of the time at home. Those concerns are valid even at the High School where they are getting more instruction.’’
But, Stanton said, seeing what is happening in other districts and the surge in coronavirus cases in Oneida…