School Committee Tonight: Covid Response, Sources of Strength on Agenda

An old school committee meeting, not ours. Photo by Claire Nakkachi on Unsplash

Tonight’s School Committee meeting has the “usual” updates as well as the new normal which is Covid response discussion. As covered in the Owl, the cases of Covid in the public school system have jumped post-holiday break. A well-written and detailed communication yesterday from the district’s Director of Health Services, Jamy Gaynor, significantly allayed at least the Owl’s parental anxieties.

According to the district communication,  “while a shift from 17 to 138 cases [week over two weeks] is alarming, these numbers are more reflective of self-report than identification in school. Many of these cases were in isolation on the 3rd and remain in isolation now. Furthermore, 138 cases reflects 4.2% of our district population which is either in alignment with or lower than many surrounding districts.” The letter goes on to talk about the distribution of test kits to the teachers before the start of school, and the effects of testing on three teams at the high school. It is worth a read whether or not you have family in the public school district–this is one of the best communications I have seen coming out of the district. Thank you, Jamy Gaynor, and the entire nursing team.

A screenshot of the good stuff for tonight

Back on to the agenda for tonight. There will also be a review of the Sources of Strength program at the middle school. One owlet was one of the peer leaders for this program when he was in middle school and I must say I am a fan. If you don’t know anything about the program, take a look here, or just know its mission: “a best practice youth suicide prevention project designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse.” As everyone knows, the pandemic has not been great for the mental health of students (or anyone, really) and this program seeks to help.

Let’s see….policy review process (zzzz) and collective bargaining updates are also there and some minutes approval. For the full agenda and the zoom links, please click here. You’re on your own for this one, Weston–the Owl has a Weston Forest & Trail Association quarterly meeting tonight and is on the agenda. Let me know if there is major excitement.

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