District reflects on reopening plan

The+Board+of+Education+discussed+how+students+and+faculty+felt+returning+back+to+school.+The+district+also+approved+three+new+clubs+for+the+2020-21+school+year%3A+the+Society+of+Women+Engineers%2C+the+STEM+League%2C+and+the+Technology+Student+Association.

Ilmie Xhaferi

The Board of Education discussed how students and faculty felt returning back to school. The district also approved three new clubs for the 2020-21 school year: the Society of Women Engineers, the STEM League, and the Technology Student Association.

Abby Shapiro, Ilmie Xhaferi, and Sarah Shapiro

District Superintendent Erik Gundersen said that the hybrid schedule is a “weird” way to begin the 2020-21 school year during the Board of Education’s virtual meeting Tuesday night held on Zoom

“I’ll be the first to admit [the hybrid schedule] is not a perfect solution to the situation that we’re in, but it’s a solid plan that would allow students who are back in the building and fully remote to learn,” Gundersen said. 

Gundersen said that students who are fully remote can still participate in athletics and curricular activities.

“Our athletics right now are slated to begin on September 14 as indicated by the NJSI. Right now, we’re expecting to begin on December 14,” Gundersen said. 

Changes to co-curricular clubs were made during the meeting, including the approval of three probationary clubs at PV for this school year: the Society of Women Engineers, the STEM League, and the Technology Student Association. PV technology teacher Danielle deQuintal and James Kennedy will be supervisors for these clubs. 

“We approved to have them enter into this probationary year [to] see how it goes, we see how well received it is, and if the activity and interest warrant [the clubs to] continue for the following year,” Gundersen said. “If there is interest, then the board will review that at the end of the year and it will become an official club.”

Kennedy and deQuintal found the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) to motivate girls in the STEM field, according to Gundersen.

“[SWE] is about [collecting] information for what future careers will look like for women engineers,” Gundersen said. 

Gundersen said the STEM League is an organization where the advisors and students go to individual schools as a “periodic competition” throughout the course of the school year. 

“It’s not to the level of Robotics with the after school dedication. There [is] a classroom component and an afterschool component where students are out there competing with other STEM students in mostly Bergen County,” Gundersen said.  

The BOE also approved the Pascack Valley Regional High School District Emergency Response Plans for PH and PV for the 2020-21 school year. 

“There are changes to how drills are done but social distancing during drills is adhering to make sure students are safe from the pandemic as well as being prepared for the unfortunate event of something tragic happening to the school building,” Gundersen said. 

A new curriculum was also approved, including Honors Research in Innovation & Design. 

“This [year] is going to be hard to get through, but we are all in this together,” Gundersen said.