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Crestview leadership preparing for summer

NEW WATERFORD — Students may begin returning to Crestview soon for some activities after the board of education approved summer enrichment programs and athletic practice guidelines for the upcoming months.

The board approved the summer enrichment intervention for the middle school from Aug. 10-14 and Aug. 17-19. Elementary students could return even earlier with their summer enrichment program July 20 -Aug. 13.

Superintendent Matthew Manley said the goal is to put together some form of in-person summer school programs, but these are pending approval for school functions to begin.

Even sooner, coaches and athletes will be able to begin non-contact practices at the school. The board adopts the COVID-19 guidelines for athletics, pending the approval of those guidelines by the county health department.

Following questions about the guidelines, Manley said this is the guidance the schools are getting from the state and several athletic directors, but there are some concerns.

One such concern raised by board member Preston Straney concerned breathing well while wearing masks and working out in the weight room.

Dr. Edward Miller said it makes more sense for those waiting around between sets to wear the mask, while the person lifting may be able to take it off.

The concerns continued as they talked about spotters, but Manley said the guidelines state there should not be spotters. Miller said he would like clarity on this for students and the school should set good examples for them.

Manley said he will ask Health Commissioner Wes Vins for clarification on some of this guidance, including about wearing masks in the weight room.

Another board member, Doug Dattilio, asked about whether the students will be provided masks by the school.

Manley said the school was going to have to provide masks and if the school guidelines are for everyone to wear a mask, the schools will need to be providing them in the fall for everyone entering the school building.

“There is no perfect answer here,” Manley said. “I wish I had one for all of you.”

Missy Wellman questioned whether having student athletes fiddling with masks on and off in different situations was not going to contaminate them.

Miller said the Center for Disease Controls reported last week some earlier concerns that the virus lives on surfaces and can easily infect people through physical contact with objects such as masks may not be as great as they once thought. Instead, Miller said it appears a simple cloth mask can decrease the probability of becoming infected by 60 to 80 percent.

High school and middle school assistant principal Dan Hill said he had spoken to athletic director Paul Cusick, who said instead of working out in the weight room, he is more interested in getting the students working out on the track, possibly using some weight training equipment outdoors. Miller pointed out some open-air tents might be a way to provide some shade.

Also at the special meeting:

— Crestview’s board also approved substitute custodian Anthony Sebastian for the remainder of the summer and into the fall.

— Deputy Sgt. Michael Helman was added to the list of sheriff’s deputies available to help at the school. Helman helped with the senior parade held earlier this month.

— The board went into executive session to discuss employment contracts and personnel.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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