By Marissa Cohen
Over the past few months, school board meetings have become the number one source of information about everything from reopening plans to football games. However, if you’re like most students in Council Rock, you’re probably way too busy to watch these now almost four-hour-long meetings. Here are a few of the most important and relevant points that came out of the October 1 board meeting.
Covid-19 Reopening Plans
For many students, parents, and teachers, the past few weeks of hybrid learning have been going well. As we start getting accustomed to this new way of learning, the school board has already started to discuss a five day a week plan for in-person learning. Much of this month’s meeting was spent discussing this plan, specifically the target date for implementing this new plan. As of now, it’s hard to tell whether or not students will even be able to go to school for a full week since news about the pandemic changes almost daily. There have already been two cases of Covid-19 in CRN alone, and no one knows if that number is going to increase. However, the school board is staying optimistic and cautious: the current target date for reopening five days a week is November 16th. Of course, the school board can’t force students uncomfortable with in-person learning to come in, so the 100% virtual option will still be available. It will be interesting to see how this plays out: after the announcement that cases have started showing up at CRN, more students have opted out of the hybrid option and are now virtual. And without a hybrid, two days a week option, there could be an increase in students who go 100% virtual because they aren’t comfortable going in all five days. They will be having a final vote on this notion on October 22nd, and if you have any concerns or comments, you can make a public comment at email@example.com .
Education Committee and New Electives
It seems that even one month into school, teachers are already planning new electives for the 2021-22 school year. In the technology education department, a new elective called STEM guitar was approved. The basis of this elective is building a guitar, a process that will teach students about many different aspects of the STEM field. Three new electives in the Family and Consumer Sciences department are Global Foods and Culture, Nutrition and Dietetics, and World of Fashion 2. These three electives and the STEM guitar one were not voted on unanimously: some board members had concerns about expenses and about having enough teachers to include these subjects in the curriculum. However, two new gym and health electives were approved unanimously: Unified Physical Education and Achieving Happiness. These new electives may give students more options for their required gym classes, something that can add diversity and fun to this requirement. All of these electives will most likely be available beginning next school year.
CR Health and Safety/Athletic Health and Safety Plans
Another major issue in this month’s board meeting was regarding the current health and safety plans and Governor Wolf’s restriction mandates. Previously, the plans stated that there could be a maximum gathering of 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors, and that allowing spectators at games would be a case-by-case decision. However, after much discussion, the school board revised those statements. Now, the district will strictly follow whatever the CDC and Governor Wolf’s guidelines are. And for us, it means that a limited number of spectators and talent scouts will be allowed to come to games, something that will hopefully boost morale and school spirit for our great teams.
As they have been the past few months, this board meeting was filled with lots of discussion, debates, and public comments. There is currently a lot of turmoil over what’s right for the students and how it may conflict with the health and safety concerns of the state. These times and these decisions are increasingly difficult, so it’s important to stay informed about what’s going on in our district. These meeting summaries will most likely be written monthly, so make sure to visit the Indianite’s website next month to learn about November’s meeting.