Mineola school superintendent Michael Nagler said at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting that he believes schools should be able to hold sporting events following a vote of county superintendents and a group that oversees Nassau County school sports to delay the fall sports season to 2021.
“I was not polled, I did not vote and if I had, it would not have ben unanimous,” Nagler said. “I think Section XIII was a bit premature.”
Nagler said he understands the concerns about playing fall sports as COVID-19 continues to spread in the United States, but pointed out that it may be better to have students play sports outdoors than hold gym classes indoors with everyone spaced 12 feet apart, as stated in their reopening plan.
“Moving forward, I am an advocate for playing sports in the fall,” Nagler said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that he would permit “lower-risk” high school sports to be played. Those included cross-country running, soccer, tennis, swimming and field hockey.
Cuomo said full-contact sports such as football, wrestling and rugby were considered too high-risk to be played at this time, along with volleyball, according to the governor’s website.
At the meeting, Nagler also gave an update on the ongoing capital projects going on at the district’s buildings.
He reported that a new parking lot and bus lane have been installed at Meadow Drive School.
At Mineola High School, new floors have been installed in some classrooms along with a new boiler. The old weight room has been converted into a “robotics room.”
A new storage room has been completed and installation of cameras in ongoing. At Jackson Avenue School, a new boiler has been installed, science and art rooms have been renovated and the gym has been equipped with a new HVAC system.
Deputy Superintendent Matthew Gavin went over some further details of the reopening of schools on Sept. 8.
In grades K-7, class sizes will be between 12 and 18. Masks breaks will be given and as much outdoor time as possible will be given to students.
Gavin said the district has ordered tents that will be placed outdoors. Gavin said he visited some of the elementary classrooms recently and said “they look good, they’re not depressing.”
Eight graders, who are invited to come to school in-person, will have a class size of 18-20. Grades 9-12, who will be on the hybrid model, will have a class size of 9-12 to maintain physical distancing. Some students have opted to take classes purely online.
A member of the public told Nagler that her child had opted to come to in-person classes, but asked if her child would be able to switch to online learning in the middle of the semester. Nagler said that would be allowed, but only one time and that students cannot repeatedly switch back and forth.