The Spencer-Van Etten Central School District Board of Education met remotely via Zoom on Oct. 15, the day it received the first of three COVID-19 diagnoses at its schools, prompting the district to shut down in-person learning until Oct. 26.
“Our admin team and nurses have been planning for this,” District Superintendent Diahann Hesler said, adding that the district has made its board of educations virtual for the foreseeable future.
“We have a mixed group of people in our community with very different philosophies surrounding what we should be doing,” said Don Johnson, board of education president. “Some things are out of our control; we do have to follow the guidelines from the Department of Health and the government.”
“Mental illness is on the rise in the U.S.; there isn’t an easy wavy to solve this,” Johnson added. “It does take reading out and spending time together. We are a school district that believes in an open mindset.”
In other school district news, Olivia Devlen, liaison to the board, reported that during homecoming week (Oct. 5 to 10) students decorated hallways and seniors had a car parade. It was also Red Ribbon Week to raise awareness for mental health.
Devlen also congratulated Homecoming Queen Lydia Diboun and Homecoming King James Sutherlin.
Matt Stroup, S-VE Elementary School principal, thanked Tammy Martinez, school nurse, for doing a “great job” along with everyone helping out in the nurse’s office.
“We continue to move forward and appreciate the community support,” Stroup said.
Rebecca Saggiomo, S-VE Middle School principal, said the district had its virtual open house on Oct. 7 and that it was wonderful to connect with families. She thanked everyone who made it a success.
Missy Jewell, S-VE High School principal, was full of shout outs to those who have worked hard so far this school year, including William Dove for putting together the open house video (which can be found on the high school’s homepage), Erika Brown and student council for making open house the best it could be, Marg McKinery and Jordan Ashman for getting the PSATs together for Oct. 29 and to the students, who she said have been “wonderful through all of this.”
Beth Ruocco, S-VE athletic director, said on Oct. 6 students started off-season workouts, though the likelihood of sports starting in November is very low. Most likely sports will start up in January, she said.
Hesler welcomed new Food Service Director Michelle Dougherty, from GST BOCES.
“Everyone is so welcoming and kind,” Dougherty said. “I look forward to working with you all.