BoE in brief: recapping the Feb. 16 North Salem Board of Education meeting

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Image via North Salem Central School District

The North Salem Board of Education held a regular meeting on Wednesday, February 16. The Board discussed the following items:



2022-2023 District Calendar
The North Salem Teachers Association and Superintendent Ken Freeston came to an agreement on a 2022-2023 district calendar. The calendar will be released at the March 9 BOE meeting.

COVID-19
Cases
COVID-19 cases within the district continue to steadily decline. Most days, the district is reporting zero cases. Very few students are in quarantine and the district has not needed to implement the Test to Stay program, according to Asst. Superintendent Adam VanDerStuyf.

Masks
If New York State Gov. Hochul drops the mask mandate for schools, the district’s position will be to encourage, but not require, masks for students, faculty and staff.

Tests
On Thursday, February 17, the district will distribute COVID-19 test kits for every student, faculty and staff member. Families are encouraged, though not required, to test their students prior to returning to school from mid-winter break.

School start times
The School Start Time Committee is exploring five different scenarios to have middle/high school students start school later. The committee is considering the impacts of each scenario on students and families before it makes a final recommendation. Updates are expected by mid-March.

Civil rights data collection
The civil rights data collection report, conducted every two years, was recently completed. The data has been accepted and verified. The report includes an enrollment breakdown, information on special ed, gifted and talented, absenteeism, discipline, out of district programming and internet access, among other things. The purpose of the report is to ensure that district practices are equitable.

Turf field project
Initial work began this past week. Tree cutting will be complete no later than March 31. The field is not expected to be ready in time for Fall ‘22 sports teams.

Water filtration
The water filtration project at the middle/high school is “going along extremely well” according to facilities director John Sieverding. The project at Pequenakonck Elementary, however, continues to be stalled, as it awaits Department of Health approval. The facilities committee recently discussed the ongoing delays; the consensus  was to “just be patient,” according to member Andy Brown.

Winter sports
Sectional playoffs kick off this week for NSHS winter sports teams. The ski team competed at Hunter Mountain on Wednesday. Ice hockey will play at the Brewster Ice Arena on Friday, February 18. Boys basketball will play Palisades Prep and girls basketball will play Bronxville.

State aid
The district is set to receive a 16.5% increase in foundation aid as part of Gov. Hochuls’ fiscal year 2023 budget. Trustee Paul Giamundo said the district is expected to receive approximately $400,000 in additional aid.

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