Wayne Highlands unveils health and safety plan for new school year

By LYLE T. GALLOWAY
Posted 7/28/21

WAYNE COUNTY, PA — This back-to-school season will mean back to in-person instruction for the students and faculty of Wayne Highlands School District.

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Wayne Highlands unveils health and safety plan for new school year

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WAYNE COUNTY, PA — This back-to-school season will mean back to in-person instruction for the students and faculty of Wayne Highlands School District.

The Wayne Highlands School District recently unveiled its health and safety plan for the 2021-22 school year.

The district is making the choice to suspend its Wayne Highlands Live model of synchronous learning and fully reinstating in-person attendance.

The plan falls under PA School Code (24 P.S 5-520.1), which provides flexibility regarding the attendance of students during an emergency. As per the World Health Organization’s guidelines, the COVID-19 pandemic has fallen under those restrictions.

With a full year of prior instruction on the heels of the pandemic, the administrators have a better idea of what to expect and what actions work the best. The plan will be subject to change according to how the school year goes. Wayne Highlands Superintendent Gregory Frigoletto stressed the need for the district’s plan to be adaptable and open to change whenever the need arises.

“Last year, we spoke a lot from the very beginning about different pillars that we needed to consider as we moved into the school year; the most important pillar was flexibility,” he said.

A lot of the safety procedures will stay largely the same when it comes to things like social distancing, signage, education on protocols, contact tracing and at-home safety screening. They’ve recently sought guidance on the matter from Wayne Memorial Hospital.

“They have been absolutely instrumental in assisting us from the very beginning in not only providing us with great information and expertise but also assisting us in looking at our plan and guiding us in directions that we thought would be helpful,” said Frigoletto.

Under the guidance of the hospital, the district elected to change its policies on masking. As the year begins, masking will not be mandatory but will be encouraged. Vaccine clinics will also be made available for any eligible student or faculty member.

Frigoletto remarked that he’s more confident this year than he was previously. When asked about how he feels about the plans, he said that it might have been a loaded question had it been asked one year ago.

“What we learned was that our plan was a good one, that the flexibility pillar was critical, and when everyone cooperates the best they can and are willing to face it with some level of patience and understanding, it wound up working,” he said. 

Frigoletto was tremendously satisfied with the hard work and results that the staff of Wayne Highlands brought to the table, whether they were bus drivers, teachers, school nurses or cafeteria workers. “I can’t stress enough how proud I am of all levels of staff at Wayne Highlands School District in how they all did the best they could,” said Frigoletto.

In addition to students and faculty returning to classrooms, the members of the Wayne Highlands School Board will also be resuming in-person meetings for the month of August.

The district is currently working on send out information regarding the plan to parents and families.

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