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BOE spoke of safety and tech ahead of reopening

MILLBROOK — The Millbrook Central School District (MCSD) Board of Education (BOE) had a public hearing and regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 17. The meeting was held both in person and also on Millbrook’s media channel. It included a presentation of a District Level Safety Plan, which was the purpose of the public hearing and was ultimately approved.

The safety plan included five sections: General Considerations and Planning Guidelines; Risk Reduction/Prevention and Intervention; Response; Communication with Others; and Recovery.

The board then approved an agreement with HBO to use its gyms and parking lots at the middle and high school on Aug. 19 and 20 for the filming of its series, “The White House Plumbers,” which had been filming around the village, for a sum of $2,500.

A motion was passed to allow two athletes from Millbrook High School to merge with the Dover High School football team in order to play the sport. (For more on this issue, go to www.tricornernews.com.) They board also approved a motion to accept sealed bids for various sports related items. 

Two employees, Mariah Stafford and Tonya Pulver, were allocated vacation days, and Elliott Garcia was appointed as technical support for BOE meetings.

Safety plan

The District Level Safety Plan was approved. A presentation reviewed the state the MCSD was in when school closed in June, a review of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and current guidelines and district re-entry recommendations. Those include 3-feet social distancing; universal indoor mask requirements throughout the school day and universal masking on all buses. Also, stringent COVID cleaning and disinfection practices throughout the MCSD and responsible hand washing practices for all employees. Voluntary asymptomatic testing for students and staff will be made available to the school district. 

The district will continue its bus cleaning and disinfection routine, to maximize indoor air quality and continue daily screening.  

Additional considerations had to do with athletics and activities that dealt with increased respiration. As per the CDC recommendations for those who are asymptomatic: masks should be required for athletes taking part in activities with increased respiration unless appropriate social distancing is possible. 

Regarding the cafeteria, the BOE said it would continue to review its policy for home bound instruction with it exploring expanded provisions for synchronous instruction for students unable to attend campus for an extended period. It added that isolation spaces would be maintained in all buildings.

Technology and Data presentation

Director of Technology and Data Services Elliott Garcia gave a presentation on technology, which included the MCSD’s Technology Goals. 

Garcia said the goals included aligning the district’s technology resources with its curriculum; to establish and expand fiscally responsible technology devices and system planning; and to maintain a safe and secure digital learning environment with the school community. 

Garcia discussed several other goals, and gave an overview of what had been accomplished in the past as well as an overview of the budget. All was posted online, at www.millbrookcsd.org.

Both the Building Survey and the Energy Audit were also discussed.

The school board discussed new business, including approvals of financials and warrants, an authorization of the fund balance and an approval of the 2021-22 tax warrant. 

The district said it would start tax collection on Sept. 1, in accordance with the Real Property Tax Law. It said tax collection would end Nov. 1. Details and amounts can be found online at www.millbrookcsd.org.

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