Waterville Central School students in the Junior-Senior High School will continue to attend school for half-day sessions past May 3.
While Memorial Park School students will return that Monday to five full in-class days a week, the positive rate for the coronavirus in Oneida County has pushed the same back for the secondary school. The matter, which was discussed at last week’s WCS Board of Education meeting, has not been given a new potential date when those students will be classes for the full day. Twenty-six people watched the meeting live on YouTube.
Part of the reason for opening one building back to full-time status and not the other is different regulations set for elementary and secondary students by the state.
MPS students, which will include the sixth grade returning to the elementary school, can be in class with 3-foot distances and facemasks worn except when eating.
Junior-Senior High students still are required to have 6-foot distancing with facemasks. That is for schools with students not in the same cohort group at all time, which is how it is done at WCS.
That also applies to schools in counties with a high transmission rate. Oneida County last week fell out of the high category to the one below, but WCS Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Spring said that uncertainty of that ranking is a concern.
With that 6-foot stipulation, the Junior-Senior High building does not have enough room, even with the sixth graders back at MPS, she said.
A month after the state said barriers would be required in bringing students back full time, that regulation was lifted.
Spring said administrators, teachers, and Waterville Teachers Association officers all worked together in deciding May 3 would work for MPS students but not for the older students.
Elementary students will attend in person from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or remotely for a full day five days a week. The half-day attendance will be ended.
Before that happens, bus routes and transportation needs need to be identified, Spring said.
The meeting opened with a virtual congratulations given to Class of 2021 valedictorian Trevor Salvaggio and salutatorian Laney Hinman.
Salvaggio’s college plans were still undecided last week but he hopes to study biology-pre-vet. He has played soccer and is in the National Honor Society.
Hinman plans to attend Utica College to major in occupational therapy. She has played soccer, basketball and softball and is in the National Honor Society.
Spring began her presentation with updates from the New York State Education Department. Next year schools have an urgent call to action, she said, to focus on diversity, inclusion and…