The Cheshire Board of Education met in person for the first time since March on Thursday, Sept. 17 to welcome parents and staff to the new school year. The meeting served as an informative session on what changes have been made to the District since the spring and the onset of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting began with Superintendent Jeff Solan presenting his plan for the upcoming school year.
“I just want to take the time to thank everyone for sticking with us and going through these difficult times with us,” Solan said. “A lot of planning went into this school year, and a lot of things had to be readdressed due to the COVID-19 situation.”
According to Solan’s presentation, all aspects of schooling have been revamped in order to accommodate for the CDC’s social distancing guidelines to stop the spread of the virus. Some of the major changes have been adjustments to classroom spacing, which Chief Operations Officer Vin Masciana addressed.
“...This was a summer like no other, and there were tasks added that we normally wouldn’t do…” he began. “In order to create additional space in our classrooms and in our buildings in general we were able to take furniture and equipment and move it into storage…”
Masciana also discussed the set up of various tents outside at different schools to accommodate for lunch periods outdoors.
Another addition mentioned were “mask police”—individuals hired by the District and stationed on the school buses in order to ensure students are wearing their masks.
Masicana also mentioned that the CEN bandwidth available at District schools has been increased in order to accommodate video streaming for those who have opted for remote learning.
Solan then informed the audience of what would happen in the instance of a student or faculty member testing positive, a scenario that played out at Highland Elementary School last week when a porter who cleans restrooms at the school was revealed to have tested positive.
“If someone does test positive we are communicating directly with Chesprocott and we will try to identify, up to 48 hours before, who they have been in contact with,” he said. “At this point we are trying to make sure people are following the right directives and standard operating procedures released by the state.”