Ichabod Crane BoE considers hybrid meeting model
Emilia Teasdale is reporting for The Columbia Paper the Ichabod Crane Board of Education held its first meeting of 2021 on January 12, on Zoom with board members, administrators and the public gathering online. The board had been hosting in-person meetings with an online option for the public for the last few months. The board discussed the number of positive COVID-19 cases increasing in Columbia County. Though a few board members said they preferred to meet in person, they also expressed concerns about the spread and the possibility of exposing staff and administrators to the virus. Board President Matthew Nelson said the board and administration plan to look at options for a hybrid model of meeting that would allow the board to be together while the public would participate remotely. Instruction at the middle and high school levels moved to remote learning this week due to positive COVID-19 cases. Last week the high school and the entire 6th grade were remote. Superintendent Suzanne Guntlow told the board that even with the high numbers countywide, “We have not seen the spread in the schools.” And later in the meeting, she said, “We have not had a case from an exposure in school.” The superintendent said the district has seen a decline in the number of available substitute teachers this year. The shortage creates problems with staffing when teachers must quarantine. Guntlow said that even though the infection rates are high in the Capital Region and in Columbia County, the area has not been moved into one of the governor’s designated zones, where in-school testing is required. Currently, Ichabod Crane is not in one of those zones. She said some staff members, including school nurses, have received COVID-19 vaccines; and teachers could start getting vaccinated, but she noted the county Department of Health was completely overwhelmed last week. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.