Board with high hopes for 2022 at their last meeting of this year

Superinendent+Dr.+Curt+Dietrich+and+Board+President+Mrs.+Tina+Stoll+at+the+December+17.+2021+School+Board+action+meeting.

Julia Nardone

Superinendent Dr. Curt Dietrich and Board President Mrs. Tina Stoll at the December 17. 2021 School Board action meeting.

The North Penn School Board met for the last time this year for their December Action meeting with some parents and community members asking the board to take another look at their Health and Safety Plan, the Test to Stay program, and to revisit the topic of masks.

The first Audience of Citizens held various irate community members sharing their opinions on the districts masking policies as well as the potential discrimination between vaccinated and unvaccinated students when it comes to quarantining. 

The Board has yet to discuss making changes or additions to the current Health and Safety plan (click here to see the current plan) despite insistent community requests for them to do so. However, Board Director Christian Fusco said at the end of the meeting that the Board will discuss more in January to revisit the topic of masks and vaccines for the elementary level. 

“Section 510 of the school code authorizes school boards to adopt and enforce reasonable rules and regulations as it deems necessary and proper,” Fusco explained based on information from Solicitor Kyle Somers. “That is the guidance that districts have been using at this point in order to make decisions about how to keep our schools open- that is the legal authority that we have.”

After hearing the Committee Reports, Board Director Johnathan Kassa encouraged community members to look into the more individual committee meetings if they have questions about certain decisions like change orders not specifically discussed in the normal school board meetings. 

“When we went over these change orders, it’s important for the community to know that all of the change orders are reviewed… most of these changes deal with long-term fixes… we’re not cutting any corners,” He explained. 

In Superintendent Dr. Curt Dietrich’s report, the Board approved the 2022-2023 school year calendar, as well as a change made to have Spring break “occur the week immediately preceding Easter, beginning on Monday and ending on Friday of that week.”

At the end of the meeting, Fusco took the time to discuss the Special Education Program as it was brought up by multiple people during public comment. 

We are listening, it is on our radar, and we are working to find solutions and make sure we have a program where every child in this district feels as though they are as much a part of North Penn as the child sitting next to them”

— Christian Fusco

“It’s an issue that we’re just starting to take up as of last month, it’s a process, but we are committed to it, and we are hearing you,” he expressed. “Covid has taken all the oxygen out of the room on every other priority we have had as a group sitting here. It has affected our special ed program, it has affected our regular program, and we have a lot to address based on the last year and a half going on two years moving forward.”

“We are listening, it is on our radar, and we are working to find solutions and make sure we have a program where every child in this district feels as though they are as much a part of North Penn as the child sitting next to them,” Fusco finished prior to the board’s adjournment. 

The next school board meeting will be a worksession meeting on January 11, 2022, at 7 pm.