FULTON – The Fulton City School District Board of Education met virtually last night, January 12, and discussed staff vaccination and a review of students’ social emotional health and academics for 2020.
The district is currently learning remotely and plans to resume in-person classes Tuesday, January 19.
Superintendent Brian Pulvino gave an update and informed the board the district is in the process of preparing for the ability to rapidly test the students for COVID-19 using the BinaxNow test.
He also discussed the school staff’s eligibility to get vaccinated.
“We’ve heard that a lot of our teachers, our staff members are signed up to get,” Pulvino said.
Christopher Ells, the district’s COVID-19 coordinator/athletics director, said he has been working with the county health department, who reviewed the site of GRB High School as a county-wide vaccination site this Saturday tentatively. As soon as the site is approved, it will appear on the state website when signing up for the vaccine.
This would not just include FCSD staff, but any person eligible for the vaccination in the 1A or 1B groups.
“[The health department] has got to make sure that they have enough doses in order to open a full day clinic,” Ells said. “We still are waiting for the amount of vaccinations to come in. Very frustrating for the health department as they are not getting the numbers that they really need in order to vaccinate our community. And some of those vaccinations are going to bigger counties around the state.”
Daniel Carroll gave a presentation discussing the pandemic’s effect and the impact of remote learning for the district’s students. The district monitors students’ social-emotional well-being using an assessment system (BIMAS 2). For K-6, teachers provide the ratings for their students based on their observations of them and for 7-12, the students self-assess.
“About 22% of our [K-6] students are falling into the high risk category conduct; 5% for negative affect; and 5% for cognitive attention,” said Geri Geitner. “The good news there is that 95% of our students have minimal or low risk for in those categories.”
She said 78% of the K-6 students are assessed as socially functioning in the typical level or is an area of strength, and 76% are assessed as academically functioning in the typical level or is an area of strength.
For the 7-12 students, they self-reported 2% as high risk for conduct, 15% for negative affect, and 13% for cognitive attention. For their level of social functioning, 34% expressed concern. For their level of academic functioning, 15% expressed concern.
Geitner said this assessment is consistent with what is being seen in the region and across the country by other districts who use the same assessment system.
Attendance was another aspect the board discussed and compared to last year. In 2019, the K-12 attendance rate was 95% and in 2020, it was 93.5%, which did not show a significant change. However, when looking at students’ absentee numbers individually, more students are chronically absent in 2020 than in 2019.
Academically, more remote-only learning students are struggling to pass all their classes than students in the hybrid model.
“We don’t need to wait until June 2021 to know that the pandemic has had negative impact on student achievement here in Fulton, here in Oswego County, and across the country,” Carroll said. “We know it now and it’s our responsibility now to begin that planning for when we come out of this.”
The full meeting can be viewed here and the agenda to the meeting can be found here. The next meeting will be live streamed on the FCSD Communications YouTube channel Tuesday, January 26 at 6 p.m.
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