The Eastern Regional High School’s Board of Education met on Wednesday, Oct. 20 to discuss updates throughout the district including the Emergency Remote Plan for 2021-2022. Superintendent Robert Cloutier gave a presentation and shared that the state has permitted the use of remote learning in cases of emergency in April 2020. Emergencies include health emergencies, or a state of emergency where the school would be closed for a minimum of three days. During that time, the school would have to ensure students have access to the internet and continue to provide lunches to students.
He noted that the law does not permit remote snow days unless it was an emergency where the school was closed for more than three days.
“[Emergency remote learning] is now permissible from year to year, so each year, we will have to approve a remote plan,” Cloutier explained. “ … Last year we had to use all these capabilities. We have retained these capabilities and we will do so moving forward.”
During public comments, Eastern teacher and Philadelphia resident Sean Garry repeated his opposition to the mandatory masking after previously expressing the view at a prior board of education meeting. He acknowledged that the board and the administration did not have the power to override Gov. Phil Murphy’s mandate, and said he wasn’t blaming either party for the mask requirements. He shared his opinion that the decision to mask a child should be made by parents who know the situation rather than the government.
“When the only factor we weigh is physical safety, then we’re making a sacrifice,” he said. “Have we considered the irreparable social, emotional and psychological damage that we’re doing to them?”
In other news;
- Board member Elena Chow shared that the Fall Craft festival held earlier this month was a big success and reminded people that The Spot, a teen center located in the Voorhees Town Center, is open from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The board approved to raise hourly wages for bus drivers to $24.
- Valora Wong was recognized as Scholar of the Month for October 2021. The school principal, Dr. Robert Tull, shared her academic achievements, community and extracurricular involvement and more. These included holding a perfect score in math on the SAT and a 780 (out of 800) on the verbal SAT, being president of the National Honors Society and Spanish Honor Society, Secretary General for Model UN, being on the varsity doubles tennis team and involved with gymnastics prior to an injury among other accomplishments like serving as a worship leader at her church. Wong hopes to have a career in the STEM field and will be applying early decision to Columbia University.
- The board accepted the resignation of School Nurse Ashley Krimmel and are hiring Michelle Filipkowski to be her replacement, contingent on her obtaining a School Nurse-Non-Instructional Standard Certificate.
- The board approved the bid for the Solar Array Project by Usource LLC.
- The district received and accepted a grant to upgrade the security camera system.
The next board of education meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The location will be determined by how prevalent COVID is at the time. See https://www.eccrsd.us/Page/128 to stay up to date.