Marlboro Superintendent Michael Brooks said as part of the school’s Return To Learn program there us the annual recognition of the Board of Education. He said each year the Governor adopts a proclamation, “that recognizes the hard work of this volunteer group on the front dais, our seven member Board of Education Trustees. They work hard on representing this community and making sure that our programs and direction is what our children need; I for one can attest to their hard work and steadfastness toward that end.”
The Proclamation notes that this year’s School Board Recognition Week is observed from October 19-23, 2020 by more than 700 school boards in the Empire State and says that the public education system is designed to meet the educational needs of all children and to empower them to become competent, productive contributors to society and to an ever-changing world. It acknowledges that school boards have faced unprecedented challenges during this pandemic, while working closely with educators in preparing children to learn...School Boards are dedicated to children learning and to the community and devote many hours of service to elementary and secondary public education as they continually strive for improvement, excellence, and progress in education...Members are strong advocates for public education and are responsible for communicating the needs of the school district to the public and the public’s expectations to the district, by working closely with parents, educational professionals and other community members.
Brooks added his own caveat to the intent of the Proclamation: “So please, on my request, accept my gratitude what this Board of Education does for our community and our children. We really appreciate all the work you do for us.” He said each member of the board received a Marlboro Dukes PPE pack that each staff member received at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.
Brooks reminded everyone that the ‘three stalwart goals’ of the district’s Return To Learn program are to, “maximize the time that students and teachers are with each other that was achieved on October 6; we are expected to establish and follow safety measures to minimize the transmission of illness, not just of covid-19; and recognizing and respecting the difficult challenge that returning to school means for families, children and staff, whether it’s a health issue, whether its food insecurity or learning issues, or daycare needs or any of a number of issues. We all need to be respectful and responsive to everyone’s social and emotional needs. It’s extraordinarily important that we couple our hands and take care of each other.”
Brooks said the Return To Learn statics shows that 1/3 of the students attend on Tuesday/Thursday; another 1/3 come on Wednesday/Friday and 1/3 of the students are fully online all five days of the week. He said there has been an uptick in the number of home school students this year, with 45 students at the Elementary level, 16 at the Middle School and 14 at the High School.
Brooks offered several guidelines on how the district can stay with the in-person hybrid format; if a student, staff or employee is sick, stay home and anyone who becomes ill at school must go home; wear a mask and practice good hygiene by washing hands and cleaning your personal space; having daily temperature checks at home and school for all staff and students and quarantine and isolate when ill as directed by the doctors and the Department of Health.
Brooks pointed out that if a period of quarantine is needed, students can move to the online experience during this time. He urged families to develop a plan on how they would pivot to remote when there is little or no notice. District plans are also in place if they have to briefly close so that contact tracing and deep cleaning can occur.
Brooks said that chrome books for all of the 1st through 3rd grades will arrive by the end of the month, be logged into the school’s system and be ready for distribution during the first two weeks of November.