By JENNIFER GLACKIN
For Union County HAWK
SCOTCH PLAINS — At last Thursday’s Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Joan Mast, Ed.D., said she was in discussions with the local department of health about reducing the currently required 14-day quarantine. “We have not seen any strong evidence of in-school transmission,” said Dr. Mast.
Fanwood board member Amy Boroff thanked Dr. Mast for her efforts, noting that quarantine times “are out of our control.” Ms. Boroff commended Dr. Mast for continuously working with the district’s partners to move forward and said it is confirmation that the district and board are listening to the public.
Kim Bongiorno from REAL (Representation, Equality, Anti-Racism, and Literary Diversity) Parents SPF thanked the board for its support of the group’s Diverse Book Initiative. “The community donated 132 books that filled gaps in representation on the shelves and your matching gift doubled this,” said Ms. Bongiorno. She added that these titles will help underrepresented students feel valued and help all students by “increasing empathy and building connections” with those who are different from themselves.
Assistant Superintendent Robert McGarry, Ed.D., thanked the REAL Parents for their “wonderful gift of literature” to the elementary-school media centers. “The media center specialists were so grateful, as we all are,” he said.
The board unanimously voted to approve changes to the school calendar. Schools will be closed for students on Tuesday, November 2, for Election Day. Teachers will report to school for professional development. In a second change to the calendar, Monday, November 8, will be a single-session day for elementary schools.
In his facilities update, Board Vice President Evan Murray said Pomptonian, the district’s food supplier, began serving hot lunches to the high school on October 1 and is working to extend that to the other schools later in the year.
Board member Karen Mitchell reminded the public that students should be encouraged to use the crosswalks during drop-off and pick-up times for safety. “The Scotch Plains and Fanwood Police Departments work tirelessly for our safety, as do our crossing guards, but we all have to do our part,” she said.
Board President Dr. Karen Kulikowski gave a “shout-out” to the League of Women Voters and the PTA Council for the annual BOE candidates forum last week, in which she participated as a candidate. Dr. Kulikowski said the video of the forum is up on the district’s website. The next meeting of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education will be on Thursday, October 28.
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