Members of the Oakdale Joint Unified School District school board met on Monday, June 8 at 6:30 p.m. via live-streaming on YouTube. Those with a public comment were able to call into the meeting as well.
Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the board session is that Oakdale schools, and fellow schools within Stanislaus County, will be meeting in person for the coming school year. Superintendent Marc Malone went over a few new policies and encouragements for students as they return to school, presumably in August.
“If you’re sick, stay home,” he exhorted students and staff. “We are going to have to re-address our blue collar work ethic where you go to school or go to work whether you’re sick or not ... at least for the next year, that thought process is going to have to change.”
There are a few more changes that will be made to each school, noted the superintendent. There will be sanitizing stations available in all classrooms, masks are encouraged and can be provided (though they are not required, as some health circumstances cannot accommodate masks), parents will be encouraged to check students’ temperatures before school, schools will have a quarantine room available, among other protocols. Malone explained that further protocols will be announced soon.
“School has never been a risk-free environment,” Malone continued. “We’re going to be as proactive as we can for the virus.”
Before the in-person classes were officially approved, other options reviewed by the board included going totally online or doing a split-schedule Monday through Thursday, with different groups of students attending two out of the four days, with online class for all students on Friday.
Not directly discussed, though adopted, are some changes to the 2020-2021 Student Conduct Code. This includes further details on what is considered bullying or harassment as well as a new protocol that forbids students from recording instructional activities at school without the prior consent of the teacher and principal.
The meeting ended with the announcement that two seats available on the board of trustees will be up for election on Nov. 3. The board also traditionally does not have a July meeting, but Malone said that there is a possibility of one being scheduled if any protocols change regarding meeting in person for the new school year.