On Monday night, Wakefield’s Board of Education met for their last regularly scheduled meeting before the start of a new school year on Thursday, Aug. 19. During the meeting, the board passed the 2021-2022 Safe Return to School plan, approved spending on an elementary classroom and reviewed several policies.
Early in the meeting, the administration team gave their reports. This was the first official board meeting for new secondary principal Angela Zach. Zach’s predecessor, Matt Farup will be in his first year as the district’s superintendent. Farup said during his report that Zach is working well with elementary school principal Jared Wulf.
“I want to thank our principals,” Farup told the board. “I think we do have a remarkable team, so I’m excited that they’re doing and the work that they’ve done.”
Wulf noted that the four-year-old Pre-K class was full and the three-year old Pre-K class nearly was full for the new school year.
The board unanimously passed the 2021-2022 Safe Return to School plan, which can be found in full on the school’s website, wakefieldschools.org. Farup told the board that roughly 70 percent of the faculty is fully vaccinated. Masks are optional for students and teachers and all are being asked to self-monitor symptoms. Isolation practices should a positive COVID-19 case be identified will be similar to those of last spring. Now, quarantining because of exposure will depend both on vaccination status and whether or not masking and social distancing have been observed. Wulf said he plans to attempt to social distance where possible, but noted it is difficult in the elementary setting. The district will continue to take advice from medical professionals, the local health department and CDC.
The board also approved spending $9,450 for a teacher’s desk, new white board and cabinet for the Elementary Music classroom. Farup told the board they would be much like the high-quality cabinets in the high school music room. The installation should be complete in a few weeks.
Board member Emily Godinez made a motion to expand health insurance benefits for classified staff to 12 months. Board member Eric Riewer seconded and the expansion was passed unanimously. Farup voiced his support for the move.
“I think this is a positive step to support our classified staff. It’s going to get more challenging to find good quality people. This is the right thing to do to help us do that and it’s within our budget,” Farup said.
Several policies were reviewed during the meeting. Among them were the Parental Involvement in Title I, Parental Involvement in Educational Practices, Student Fees, Bullying and Multicultural Education Policies. The 2021-2022 school year will see a change to the iPad Policy. Now the school will collect $10 for each iPad given to students to help offset the cost of repairs. Families will be capped at $30.
A budget hearing is scheduled for Monday, Sept.13 at 6 p.m., with the regular board of education meeting to follow on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at Wakefield Community School.
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