WILMINGTON — To begin their first in-person meeting since March this past Tuesday night, the School Committee unanimously approved all of the minutes, warrants, and policies being reviewed without comment. The policy was the MASC Sample Policy EBCFA regarding face masks that had been slightly edited since the previous meeting.
They moved right along to the Superintendent’s Report from Dr. Glenn Brand, which only contained the 2020 lunch waivers that will be expanded for this coming school year. The food services department provided more than 195,000 meals so far since they began giving out free meals at the beginning of the pandemic.
Several School Committee members expressed thanks from themselves and people who reached out to them. Meals will continue to be given out on the same operating schedule as they use currently.
Their next item for approval was the appointment of Superintendent Brand to the SEEM Board. They also unanimously approved the annual School Committee Meeting Calendar. With some discussion, the committee approved the district’s participation in the following fall sports: field hockey, soccer, golf, and cross country.
They agreed this should not be affected by the school district starting with remote learning well into the fall season.
After reading a memo from Town Manager Jeffrey Hull regarding the committee to hire an OPM for the new town hall/school administration building, they identified committee member Steve Bjork and appointed him as the School Committee’s designee.
The committee approved the revised 2020-2021 school calendar with the first day of school being the very next day. Dr. Brand explained this calendar includes the reduction to 170 school days for students, but teachers and staff are contracted to work 182 days.
Completing 10 days of professional development for staff as of that day, the other two days of professional development are for the presidential election and a placeholder in the end of June.
“We envision the employment of that day may be in transitioning between learning models,” Dr. Brand said.
This would allow students extra space to adjust to a new learning model and/or transition between schools.
The only subcommittee report of the night came from Jay Samaha, who serves on the new Equity Committee. He shared that the committee met for the first time last week to try to figure out their purpose. In their first meeting, they reviewed the anti-racism resolution passed by the School Committee on June 24 to see what parts of that fall under the committee.
Samaha mentioned that so far they proposed to look at policies that may promote institutionalized or systematic racism and to promote policies that appropriately consider equity and recruiting and retaining a diverse staff.
The School Committee’s next meeting has been moved to Wednesday, Sept. 30 in person at Wilmington High School.