As was reported in the story headlined “Port schools to offer more details on COVID” that begins on the front page of the Oct. 8 issue of The Port Washington Times, our school board and our school superintendent, Dr. Michael Hynes, spent a great deal of time at the Sept. 21 school board meeting discussing when and how our school district should notify parents that it’s been determined that some children in their classes have caught the COVID-19 virus, or variants of it.
Why our children are now attending “new normal” schools, where they are exposed to the airborne COVID-19 virus and variants of it, I won’t discuss in this message, but schools are primarily open now so that our teachers and administrators can continue to collect their generous salary pay checks and fringe benefits. The Times story tells us that “since the start of the school year, there have been 46 positive cases (of the virus) in the district among students and five teachers and three staff members have also tested positive.”
When discussing a “contact notification system” for parents, Dr. Hynes had the following to say: “There’s a lot of things to consider and I think the general consensus was….let’s at least look at what we have in front of us.” That sounds like an excuse to me for doing nothing at the moment, since there are already so many things for our school board and administrators to consider and in addition to that, our school board and administrators have yet to even “look at what they have in front of them”. But, worse than that, Dr. Hynes went on to say:
“One thing that I think is really important is doing our homework as far as what other districts are doing as well”. So, Dr. Hynes is saying, let’s wait and see what other school districts are doing about reporting COVID and then, maybe, we’ll follow them. How very disappointing to say that we may not have the brain power on the Port Washington school district payroll and school board to determine what is best for the students of our district and their parents .
Dr. Hynes and two other doctors who closely assist him, Dr. Christopher Shields, our assistant superintendent for general administration, and Dr. David Meoli, our assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, together, cost our school district somewhere between $900,000 and $1 million a year in salaries and benefits, at least. For that much money, I think that we deserve leadership that can solve problems for our district rather than suggest that we wait for other districts to solve problems for us.