Last week I enjoyed listening to our band play the National Anthem at our field hockey game. It was a moment of pride for Slater Nation to watch our arts and athletics come together for these memorable events. It was a pleasure to watch so many talented students perform and compete. A special thank you is extended to our musical directors, coaches, and athletic director for making this happen.
I want to remind our families that our Community Symposium is scheduled for Thursday, October 29, from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. We will get everyone caught up on current events as they relate to the school district. There is always time for questions. Our Community Symposiums offer the public an opportunity to have conversation with me and other members of administration. Due to the Pandemic, our meetings are now held via Zoom. The Zoom link can be found in email communication and on our website. Please join us for this informative session.
If you haven’t heard at our last Board Meeting, our buses will be equipped with stop arm cameras. Stop arm cameras will take pictures of vehicles that drive through the stop sign and red flashing lights of a stopped bus. A very generous donation from the Post Foundation made this idea a reality. We worked closely with John Birmingham, Chairman of the Upper Mount Bethel Supervisors, and management from our bus company, Student Transportation of America, to have the cameras installed. The stop arm cameras will provide another layer of protection and safety for our students.
As we head into the winter months, we are already seeing an increase of COVID-19 cases in Northampton County. We have had a very successful school year to date. Let’s continue to work together to keep our students and staff safe and in school. Please continue to wear your masks, practice social distancing, and try to avoid indoor gatherings.
We are approximately six weeks into the school year, and everything has been going smoothly. Our safety protocols and the efforts of our staff have worked to keep our schools open and our students participating in athletics and activities. We have received positive feedback regarding our Virtual At Home Instruction and have been working through the glitches we encountered with our Connexus Model. It is my hope that if we remain diligent and work together, we can keep our schools open through the winter months.
Our athletics and extracurricular activities seemed like a rollercoaster as the rules for attendance felt like they changed every week. We vacillated between limiting our attendance to 250 total people outdoors and 25 people indoors to capacities that allowed for a greater number of spectators. It was important to us that first, our students could participate and compete, and second, the parents of our students could watch their children. We were also cognizant of the fact that there are many diehard Slater fans in our community who thoroughly enjoy watching the kids and supporting our programs. In the end, the directives from the Commonwealth allowed for us to have the parents of our students and members of the community at our events. There are still limitations, but they are much better than originally anticipated.
There have been some inquiries into the One Room School House a.k.a. the Union School. We received a $15,000 grant from Northampton County to renovate the structure. COVID-19 delayed our progress, but we are ready to move forward. We are removing shutters for repair or replacement as needed. The interior of the building will be professionally cleared of debris this week. The roof is leaking and will be repaired after the cleaning crew has finished. Once these items are complete, we will consider our next steps.
Finally, the Federal Government will continue to fund breakfast and lunch for our students throughout the school year. This program includes our students who are in Bangor Area School District cyber programs. Cyber students can receive meals on Mondays and Wednesdays between 9:30AM and 10:30 AM from Washington Elementary School or Bangor Area Middle School. Additionally, our Virtual at Home students can obtain meals at 2:30PM on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Bangor Area Middle School.