Demand WASD School Board Directors do their due diligence before any Health & Safety Plan amendments
On December 21, 2021, a majority of School Board Directors for Wellsboro Area School District voted to table the Resolution to Amend the existing Health & Safety Plan to eliminate universal masking within WASD schools. At the time of that meeting, the amendment to the resolution was proposed without any committee meetings among board members, no consultation with relevant local professionals or resources, and no board-directed teacher or student surveys or meetings conducted. This was one of the reasons discussed at the meeting for tabling the vote, with an emphasis on the need to make amendments to the Health & Safety Plan only AFTER careful consideration, and not haphazardly in order to pacify the personal demands of certain School Board Directors.
During the meeting previous to the Dec. 21 meeting (Dec. 15, 2021), a vote for altering the Health & Safety Plan was also delayed, with the President of the School Board discussing a need for hearing from "boots on the ground," mentioning specifically school principals and staff as well as relevant healthcare professionals. The word "compromise" was also used multiple times, indicating, at minimum, a discussion among the School Board Directors to come up with a well-developed, revised Health & Safety plan that might better address the needs and concerns from all sides of the issue. However, it was made clear by members of the School Board at the Dec. 21st meeting that none of those efforts took place before the Resolution to Amend was presented for vote.
This petition is to respectfully demand the fulfillment of WASD's School Board Directors' duty to do their due diligence when making any decisions that affect the "health and safety" of the students, teachers, administrators and staff within the district. Directors should work together to seek out appropriate counsel, form relevant committees for discussion of changes, and act in a responsible timeframe to ensure that any amendments to the Health & Safety Plan satisfy, reflect, and/or anticipate changes to the progression of Covid-19 and its local case rates; availability of local resources, preventatives, and treatments; DOH, PDE, CDC, etc. recommendations; Pennsylvania State funding and grant responsibilities; and all other relevant considerations.
Failure to make these efforts would be negligent and a dereliction of duty by Wellsboro Area School District's School Board Directors to operate in a way that best serves the district, its students and teachers, and the local community at large.
**For verification, since some board members believe petition results don't represent people who reside within our district, please consider leaving your basic address (street name and town) in the comments when you sign.