Marlboro expands in-person learning

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 3/31/21

After significant disagreements and charges of a lack of information at the March 25th Marlboro School Board, their members scheduled a special meeting two days later and voted on what the schedule …

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Marlboro expands in-person learning

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After significant disagreements and charges of a lack of information at the March 25th Marlboro School Board, their members scheduled a special meeting two days later and voted on what the schedule will be for April and for the final months of the 2020-21 school year.

Instruction starting on April 20 will be in all buildings for 4 days a week, with Mondays remaining as a Communication and Collaboration day. This motion passed by a vote of 4-3; with James Mullen, Joann Reed, Karen Brooks and John Cantone voting yes and John Marro, Mike Connors and Frank Milazzo voting no.

Karen Brooks also introduced a motion that in the week of April 20 students have the option to remain with 2 day hybrid learning. She added that this can be looked at further using clear and present data that is presented at school board meetings after May 6th. This motion passed by a vote of 5-2; with Mullen, Reed, Connors and Brooks voting yes and John Marro and Frank Milazzo voting no.

A motion to have all the buildings return to 5 days of in person learning failed by a vote of 5-2, with Marro and Milazzo the only yes votes.

Superintendent Michael Brooks said at the March 25th meeting the board voted to offer K-5, five days, “and then continue on with what we’re doing right now with Mondays being remote only that staff was using for communication and collaboration planning days. Grades 6-12 was going to be 4 days a week, all in person learning, plus there was still the ability to be fully remote.”

Brooks said on Saturday the board changed that, “so there was consistency for K-12; it’s all going to be 4 and 1, four days of in person instruction and one day of communication and collaboration day. He said there is still the remote option for students and the board, “is also allowing for people that want to keep the existing hybrid 2 day a week, every other day.”

Brooks summarized the options: (1) remote only (2) every other day in person either Tuesday/Thursday or Wednesday/Friday or (3) four days a week in person.

Despite the different types of schedules, Brooks said the entire staff of the district, “has always been able to step up to the challenge. This is something the board voted on Saturday and felt strongly about and this is a step toward getting ourselves back to some level of normal.”

At this point Brooks said the district has what is needed to now move forward and as more and more people receive the vaccines, there may be movement toward 5 days of in- person learning, “and certainly we’ve got an eye on what September is going to look like.” He said he is hoping that the upcoming June graduation would allow for the entire class to attend together, instead of the 3 shifts they did in 2020.

“That’s something we’re going to be concentrating on and see what the rules will allow us to do. It’s on the radar for April that we can start getting into some of those discussions,” he said.

Brooks concluded by saying, “that no matter what’s thrown at us, I know that our Administrative, Instructional and Support staff can knock it out of the ball park. We’re ready to start the transition to get kids back in school and this is one of those steps. I’m proud the school board got to a good place with it and I know that our staff can take this to great lengths.”

Brooks sent out a letter on March 27 outlining the process for the coming weeks. Parents have to choose one of the 3 options for each of their children that is listed on an online form and submit it no later than April 6th, with the new programming beginning on April 20th. He said any questions should be directed to his office at 845-236-5804.

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