WILMINGTON — In favor of getting right to the presentation about school reopening in the fall, the School Committee addressed all other items as quickly as possible last Wednesday night. This started with the skipping of an update from the School Committee Reorganization Subcommittee until their next meeting. They also quickly approved minutes and warrants and omitted the second reading of the 2020 handbook.
After the presentation about school reopening ended, the committee considered an edition to the residency enforcement policy for WPS. School Committee member M.J. Byrnes brought up a question about the wording, in particular the use of the term “caregiver” in the policy.
David Ragsdale clarified that this word comes directly from the law, which establishes that a parent or guardian can sign an affidavit that gives the caregiver of the student certain legal rights to make education decisions. While this did not seem to quell Byrnes’ concern, she agreed to table the discussion on the matter until the next reading of the policy.
Ragsdale proposed changing the rule about how often parents and guardians of students in the district must reprove their residency — as it currently requires that they do so every two years.
“That’s too frequent to me,” he said.
Byrnes added that they should make sure there is a concrete timeline instead of leaving it open-ended. Jenn Bryson suggested editing the proposed policy to say “not less than every five years,” which the committee voted to accept.
This policy will have another reading at the next School Committee meeting. The inoculation of students policy will also see another reading at that time.
Bryson next announced that the committee will be moving their planned meeting from Aug. 12 up to either Aug. 5 or 6. She asked the committee members to let her know if there were any issues or conflicts with either of these dates. This move would allow them to hear the finalized plan from the reopening committee before it needs to be send to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for Aug 10. Then, the following meeting may either be moved up a week or kept the same.
Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand’s final announcement of the night regarded a staff book study of “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo thanks to a donation from the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association.
“We have approximately 90 WPS staff that are or will be participating,” he said.
Brand added that the study may help those revising the strategic plan considering diversity and inclusion.