Although school’s out for summer, Wantagh Union Free School District officials are preparing for the 2021-2022 academic year.
The district held its annual reorganization meeting in-person last Tuesday, where newly elected Board of Education members were sworn into their positions.
Following the appointment of district clerk Elaine McGuigan for the upcoming school year, new board member Anthony Greco was sworn in for an additional three-year term by McGuigan. At the meeting, the school board nominated and elected Mr. Greco as president of the board and trustee Laura Reich, who was not present at the meeting, as vice president.
During his report, Superintendent John McNamara congratulated the Class of 2021 and matriculating students. He noted that he was grateful for the chance to celebrate their accomplishments, and referenced the prior year’s cancellations due to the pandemic.
“We had some outstanding end of the year celebrations and it was really nice to resume a sense of normalcy for those events,” McNamara said.
Following the Board’s approval of resolutions, resident Elizabeth Mugavero approached the microphone and asked about in-school mask mandates.
“Do you know anything about next year in terms of masks, vaccines, all that? I’m sure we’re all wondering about it,” Mugavero, who has two students in 10th and 8th grade, said.
McNamara responded and said the district had not received an update from the New York State Department of Health on mask policies since June.
Public and private schools throughout the state were asked to return to in-person learning wherever possible and to keep students, teachers and faculty masked and socially distanced, according to a document from the New York State Department of Health dated June 7. At the meeting, McNamara said the district continues to adhere to those guidelines.
As of July 9, the CDC relaxed its Covid-19 guidelines: vaccinated teachers and students are no longer required to wear masks inside school buildings. However, its unclear at this time if the state will change its mandates to follow the CDC’s recommendations.
The new regulations ask that students maintain 3 feet of distance in classrooms, though distancing is not required for fully vaccinated staff, students and faculty, according to the CDC. New records do not provide guidance for school districts or parents on how they will know if students or teachers are immunized.
An additional comment from the school district was not available by press time Monday evening.