The Winthrop School Committee met on Monday, Nov. 9, in the Harvey Hearing Room of Town Hall, where Supt. Lisa Howard recognized student athletes and announced a possible change to the district’s CORI schedule.
Supt. Lisa Howard congratulated the district’s athletes for a successful fall season. Two-hundred and sixty students participated in fall athletics. The cheerleading team placed fifth in a recent competition, qualifying for regionals. Boys soccer and football qualified for the state tournament. A number of athletes were named All-Stars in girls soccer, boys soccer, boys golf, volleyball, and cross country. Football All-Stars will be announced on Nov. 29th.
The Policy Subcommittee voted on a proposal that would decrease CORI checks from every year to every other year for employees with fingerprints on file. This would reduce administrative burden. The School Committee will vote on the proposal at its next meeting on Monday, Nov. 22.
CORI stands for Criminal Offender Record Information, and allows employers to know if their staff have criminal records. Volunteers will still receive CORI checks annually.
In the early morning hours of Monday, Nov. 8, there was a smell of gas at the Cummings School. The fire department found an issue with the pipe in the stove. Gas was turned off and the school was aired out before allowing students inside.
Inclement weather kept students out of schools on Oct. 27. Severe winds downed several power lines that delivered electricity to schools. Supt. Howard emphasized that parents can always choose to keep students home from school during weather emergencies, and the students will not be penalized.
To date, there has been no in-school spread of COVID. Supt. Howard credits the district’s mitigation strategies, including mask-wearing, hand-washing, social distancing and regular sanitizing.
Positive test numbers appear to be on the decline, though the Thanksgiving holiday may reverse that trend. Between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3, four students and two staff reported testing positive. The district continues to work with the Dept. of Health to identify patterns and inform policy.
The Dept. of Education extended its mask mandate to Jan. 15. The Town is currently compiling vaccination data on all students and staff.
The Town held a successful pediatric Pfizer vaccine clinic at the Senior Center for children aged five to 11. They will be eligible for their booster shot two weeks from that date. Two weeks after the booster, they will be considered fully vaccinated. A second clinic may also be announced to accommodate more children.
Winthrop school staff participated in a professional development day on Nov. 2 focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion. The training, which united teachers from five local districts, featured a number of speakers. Teacher feedback was positive.
The district is seeking individuals to fill a number of open positions, including an Instructional Leadership teacher/coordinator, a computer teacher at the Cummings School, and various spring athletic coaching positions.