September 21, 2020

Public Comment - 9/21/20 Special Meeting

1. Julie Fiege: "When will 8th grade special ed begin? I have two kids in self-contained special ed classes-one at Van Wyck and the other at Wappingers Junior. They are the neediest students, so they should be back in school first. If they don’t get back into school before their gen ed peers do, it will be a disaster. When will we know?"

RESPONSE: Presently, we are not able to update the schedule, but if we can we will be sure to do so.  We first have to assess our K-6 entry process. We will assess the four day implementation model for the students and if we are able to accommodate them prior to the start of when all grades 7 and 8 students are scheduled to enter our phase-in model, we will inform parents.

2. George McDonald - no comment left on form.

3. Allison Conti: "Who’s doing virtual instruction? It’s next week, do we still not have a plan yet? Parents are waiting for answers, to know if they are changing. These are children that need to prepare for this with more than vague answers. Other districts are back or have presented the plan to them. Our community has been patient but this is frustrating. Thanks for your time."

RESPONSE:  Class rosters will remain the same when the District moves to the hybrid model.  Some teachers may need to be reassigned to ensure adequate class coverage.   Please refer to the Parent's Guide to Hybrid/Remote Learning for additional information. 

4. Allison Conti: "Day 3 and 6 are both on Wednesday do balancing that evenly in elementary can not be fair with present plan PE on 3,6 will be half the time and always virtual, please correct me if I’m not understanding our current plan. Thanks for your time."

RESPONSE:  Please see responses from Public Comment dated 9/14/20.  The District has been monitoring various aspects of Remote Learning.  We will continue to review what has been working and what remains a challenge to make changes accordingly. 

5. Allison Conti: "Although I don’t believe that schools should necessarily be closed ( I respect both sides) not having in person BOE meetings is sending a confusing message to the community at large. Those needing to go virtual can, but when can expect to see in person and public welcome? Thanks for your time."

RESPONSE: The Committee on Open Government recently posted this decision: It says that if the Board is going to have an in-person meeting, the public should be allowed to attend. However, if you are unable to accommodate anyone who might want to show up (i.e. the room has a limited amount of space for social distancing), or you anticipate more than 50 people being present, then you must also live stream it.  Meetings conducted with public present would necessitate a health and safety process including temperature screening, having masks available, and hiring the adequate personnel to maintain and monitor social distancing, as well as extra custodial staff to clean up and disinfect. At this time the Board continues to conduct virtual meetings. 


1. From Angela Hanlon: I would like to offer my input on the WCSD distance learning for the 9/21 board meeting.  Distance learning is failing my children who are in 7th and 5th grade at Van Wyck and Gayhead Elementary.  Please see my below points:

-My husband sent an email to superintendent, board of ed and staff and never received a response.

-JR high school teachers are ending classes after 15minutes. They are also posting videos and NOT teaching. Classes are already shortened from 45min to 25min.  Now some are shortened to 15 minutes.  What can you possibly teach and or learn in 15min.

-We have NOT received textbooks for Junior high school subjects. No communication was given from van wyck and I have made phone calls inquiring.

-I had to request textbooks & workbooks for my 5th grader. 

-Van wyck spent $1.70 for a mailing about applying for free lunch. Waste of taxpayers money.   They can mail this but not schedules? I took a picture of it.

-Gayhead had more turnover losing our beloved principal Mr. Gerson.  He was an vast improvement from Mr. Olavarria who lacked in leadership and interest in our children.

-Teachers are requesting parents do NOT listen to lessons. How am I able to support my child without listening especially if we do not have textbooks to follow along.

-My daughter has to print out all of the google docs for Junior high. That is an expense that the school should provide.  I pay over $8300 in school taxes. We should be supplied all dittos and documents for kids weekly and should NOT have to print.  I would gladly pick up these documents at Van Wyck weekly.

-Teachers are NOT communicating with parents, but rather with the children’s email addresses.  My 10 year old does not communicate via email.   

-Teachers computers keep glitching and freezing. Kids computers are doing the same resulting in missed lessons.

- Teachers should not be teaching from their homes.  This is NOT acceptable.

-Both my children are stressed and unhappy with distance learning.  They feel like failures the first week and half.

This is a disgrace.  Wappingers Central School District is a disgrace.  You are not giving us a sustainable option.  Kids will suffer even more than they already have.  Our taxes are being raised in the process. Mr. Carrion and the Board of Education should be ashamed of themselves.  They had six months to work this out and they came up with this plan at the 11th hour.  You should see the school ratings for the schools within our district.  They have received abysmal scores. My kids cannot continue to learn this way because they are NOT learning.  If other districts can find a way to be back in school so can we. Wappingers is taking the easy way out.

RESPONSE: Please contact the building principal if there are issues or concerns with remote learning.  Staff have been provided with specific guidelines and expectations regarding remote learning.  If these expectations are not being met, the first course of action is to inform the principal and they will look into the matter to determine the next steps. 

As per the National School Lunch program website “Schools send school meal applications home at the beginning of each school year.” (

While this may seem like a wasted expense it is a federal requirement that all families have equal access to this opportunity and application.  As the District cannot guarantee email or website access to all families/guardians we must mail these applications.  To ensure that we have reached every possible student that needs this opportunity, we will continue to mail these applications.

2. I have a son in the first grade. Please provide details about how/whether virtual schooling will change for the k-2 students who will be remaining full virtual while their peers switch to hybrid. Will they still be guaranteed 20 minutes of synchronous learning time per subject? Will their teachers be changed? Will class sizes remain comparable? 


Laura Sperling

RESPONSE:    Please refer to the Parent's Guide to Hybrid/Remote Learning for additional information.