by Lynda Rubin
The crucial question raised again at the Board of Education’s Joint Committee Meeting: Will all buildings be safe for children to return to by the District’s targeted November reopening date? Hite administration officials reported on the ongoing preparation, including deep cleaning, preparing the HVAC ventilation system to be at full capacity, and making sure all windows can open.
[Slide presentations and descriptions of upcoming Action Items for both committees can be accessed through links on this agenda.]
Minutes for the Joint Committee meeting of August 13, 2020 were approved.
Dr. Angela McIver chaired the first part of this remote meeting. Committee members Mallory Fix Lopez, Maria McColgan and Julia Danzy attended. Board members President Joyce Wilkerson, Leticia Egea-Hinton and Lee Huang also attended.
Learning Implementation Pathway Update: Alicia Prince, Acting Chief of Facilities Management and Capital Programs. This covered the readiness of buildings, staff, and school operational readiness information to date. McIver stated that the District is still planning to move to hybrid model on November 17, as long as the health guidelines so indicate. The information presented by Prince (pp 9-18) seemed to indicate that the District has no serious impediments and is almost set to return to in-school use. Coded colors show status of readiness: Green (on track), Yellow (slightly off track) and Red (needs focus). Only Staff Coverage (academic and cleaning) was listed as Yellow. Building Readiness (slide p15) is listed as Green, but of 224 buildings in process of becoming Covid-ready, none has achieved full readiness. Board members asked for specifics about some of the glossed-over deficiencies. Noting that 72% of students have been issued Chromebooks, Egea-Hinton asked about the 28% who have not. Prince said the District is reaching out to them. Egea-Hinton also questioned the low levels of progress on Hand Sanitizing Stations (11% completed), Partitions (0% completed) and Air Ventilator Capacity tests (25 completed, 199 in progress) and whether the remaining jobs will be completed and on schedule. Prince again referred to expected completion dates on the slides: She reported that 85,726 students have received computers, 40,255 students have not. [The Reopening Readiness Report, including School by School Operational Readiness Checklists,and future updates can be found here.]