Wantagh community members were concerned over the school district’s possible affiliation with Northwell Health at the Wantagh Board of Education Meeting on Thurs., March 24. John McNamara, superintendent of Wantagh schools at addressed the plethora of concerns voiced by parents at the meeting.
“It’s very obvious you made an oath to not communicate with us,” expressed a Wantagh resident in her public comment.
According to McNamara in his spoken address to the parents of the Wantagh school district, the district does not have a partnership with Northwell Health as of yet. There will be potential for a partnership to include mental health services and resources for the students, a plight McNamara believes will be beneficial to the students and parents of the school district.
Addressing “misinformation” amongst the public commenters, McNamara stated the potential of the partnership with Northwell Health was discussed before the start of the pandemic and that the partnership will not “force” students to receive vaccines nor administer them without consent.
“One of the challenges that we have is access to care and that’s across the state and certainly across our county,” addressed McNamara to the guests. “We have challenges getting students into therapeutic environments, challenges into getting students into residential placements, challenges into getting students who are in crisis at the time- anybody that’s dealt with a student crisis knows how it is time sensitive to get them help.”
Parents in the crowd shook their heads in disagreement. Others sat in the crowd in disbelief calling it [expletive].
One Wantagh resident stated in his public comment to the board that he was planning to homeschool his daughter for the remainder of her time in the district because of the possible partnership.
Among other concerns expressed by parents in the Wantagh community, members addressed the board’s “immoral” compliance with Hochul’s and the state’s mandates during the duration of the pandemic. Addressed by McNamara again, he stated the board must comply with the state or face the possibility of losing funding- a possibility the school cannot afford said McNamara.
“I don’t believe you care about the kids,”said a resident regarding the board’s compliance with state mandated regulations. “I feel you have more fear of the government than you care about the students in this school.”
A few residents thanked the board for their work on the school budgets and including the sports teams to receive amenities. Board members stated the budget is “in a good place” and will be finalized in two weeks.
The board also congratulated local Wantagh sports teams for their accomplishments including the MacArthur Varsity Cheerleading team who recently won the state championships.
Thanking several teachers for their service in the school district, board members handed each teacher a basket as they retired from teaching.