Wilson School District in Berks

SPRING TWP., Pa. - The Wilson School Board on Monday heard an administrative report that recommends the district continue with the current model of hybrid learning for students in the middle and high schools.

Christopher Trickett, assistant superintendent of secondary schools, presented the plan for sixth through 12th grades, saying the guidance from the state has not shifted.

"As a secondary team, we've analyzed every option and looked at all of the schedules," Trickett said. "If we moved back to full-time, in-person learning, we could not maintain the 6-feet physical distancing."

Since the start of the 2020-21 school year, all secondary students have been attending on a hybrid schedule, with half the students attending in person on Mondays and Thursdays and the other half attending on Tuesdays and Fridays. All students participate remotely on Wednesdays.

Families also had the option of having their students attend all-virtual classes.

The elementary schools were not addressed in the presentation because kindergarten through fifth grade already have the option of attending in-person learning five days a week.

That model has been in effect since August 2020, because enough elementary students chose the entirely virtual option, which allowed for reduced class sizes on site and sufficient space to maintain 6-foot social distancing.

Trickett said if the state were to change its current distancing guidelines, the administration would come back to the board for a new recommendation.

Superintendent Richard Faidley said the district has done a tremendous job with the challenges it faced for this school year.

"I want to focus on the tremendous job our district has done with coming up with a plan that meets the need of the community," he said. "Ultimately, we need to continue to ensure the safety of our students and staff."

Faidley added the district had only two short-term closures because of COVID-19 positive tests.

Board member Jay Nigrini said he wants the community to be aware that the district is evaluating the safety of in-person learning on a constant basis.

"The hybrid instruction works well for some and it's been a challenge for others," Nigrini said. "The challenge is the emotional well-being of students and how some students are challenged with the type of learning that has taken place this year. We hear you, parents, and appreciate your feedback and comments, and we will continue to try and meet all of our students' needs."

Graduation 2021

In other business, the board voted to set the date of the 2021 graduation for Friday, June 4, with a rain date of June 5.

Trickett said the vote was only to reserve the dates, and that the type of ceremony and the location have yet to be determined.

Related to the graduation ceremony, the board also approved:

  • An $8,000 contract with International Fireworks, Douglassville, for a graduation fireworks display, which was recommended by the graduation committee.

  • An $11,322 contract with Choice Live, Lititz, for the rental of two mobile LED screens, each 8 feet by 15 feet, for the graduation event.

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