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WCSD school board vote keeps instruction as is

At the Whitehall-Coplay School Board virtual meeting Oct. 12, the board voted to table a motion by board member George Makhoul to modify Whitehall-Coplay School District’s health and safety plan.

The board held a special education/student activities committee meeting Oct. 8 to discuss the topic in preparation for the Oct. 12 meeting.

The proposed motion would have allowed a vote for an alternate education model to have all students in grades K-12 who choose in-person learning to return to school Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with Wednesdays remaining virtual. Makhoul’s motion permitted students to remain virtual if they chose, and the superintendent would have the discretion to amend the school model in the event of insufficient staffing.

Board member Tina Koren motioned to table Makhoul’s proposed modification, and William Leiner Jr. seconded it. Nichole Hartman, William Fonzone Sr., Wayne Grim, Leiner and Koren voted in favor of tabling the motion. George Williams, Joseph Shields, Patty Gaugler and Makhoul were opposed.

In a 5-4 decision, the current health and safety plan remains unchanged until the board elects to vote otherwise. The hybrid model the district is following at this time will continue into the second marking period or until another vote is held, possibly at the December board meeting.

“I feel like we can’t be coming back every month making another motion,” Whitehall-Coplay School District Superintendent Dr. Lorie Hackett said. “Tonight’s decision was supposed to be made for the next marking period to give the administration, parents and students direction for the next marking period.”