WILMINGTON — As the Wilmington school year draws to a close, a variety of coronavirus-related loose ends still need to be tied up by students and staff alike.
In the abrupt shift to remote learning, many students left personal belongings in desks, lockers, and classroom storage. Superintendent of Schools Glenn Brand told the School Committee that a plan is being developed to allow students to safely retrieve these items.
“We have not forgotten about the personal belongings that are in school,” Brand said. “We just need to figure out a plan that obviously keeps everyone safe that can make this possible.”
He noted that a protocol would be developed that would keep social distancing guidelines in mind.
“It’s not going to be as simple, unfortunately, as sort of opening the doors on a Tuesday afternoon and allow hundreds or thousands of students into the school to get their belongings,” Brand said.
Additionally, Brand made note of district updates with regard to student promotion and graduation at the conclusion of this school year. He noted that the district would be promoting students in the majority of cases, calling promotions “…generally speaking, what research points to.”
He noted that there may be some exceptions in “unique circumstances.”
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Staff Development Brian Reagan noted that the state would be allowing districts to use math or English grades in place of MCAS scores, for this year only, to justify graduation eligibility. This will not be an issue in Wilmington, however.
“Wilmington is fortunate in that we have no seniors that are still waiting to pass the MCAS for graduation,” Reagan said. “That’s certainly good news for our community.”
Brand noted also that the district is currently finalizing plans to honor the class of 2020 in a way that allows acceptable social distancing.
“Ms. (Linda) Peters has put together a plan that I think is wise,” Brand said.
He characterized the June ceremony as a combination of the traditional graduation speeches presented by student speakers and district officials, followed by the high school vice principals reading each graduating student’s name and as their pictures are shown. He noted that WCTV would spearhead the technical aspects of this presentation.
Brand also noted that a drive-through diploma distribution ceremony was being considered, in addition to a limited-capacity in person ceremony later in the summer, if physical distancing guidelines at that time allow.