Glens Falls Reverses Course on Authorization of Return Home Activities | Local


GLENS FALLS – Glens Falls High School is hosting comeback events this Saturday – a reversal from two weeks ago when school officials refused to accede to the students’ request, citing the high number of COVID-19 cases.

According to the Skye Heritage District spokesperson, there will be a powder flag football game and classroom tug of war events outside after the 4 p.m. soccer game. Events depend on the weather.

School officials responded to the concerns of a large number of students and community residents who showed up at the Glens Falls school board meeting on October 18 to make their views known.

Heritage refused to call it a reversal.

“It’s always been an ongoing conversation between students and administrators, based on specific pandemic metrics at a given point in time. Discussions started long before the board meeting and have continued until today, ”she said in an email.

“We keep reviewing options because we want students to have special experiences to feel that sense of camaraderie, and we need to protect our children in all the options that school has to offer. We’ve always been open to finding new or different ways to safely celebrate, and we’ll have this same conversation until COVID dissolves, ”she added.

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At last week’s reunion, student Kate Barclay told council the students met with both Superintendent of Schools Paul Jenkins and High School Principal Tammy Silvernell and their application was denied.

“They are concerned that events will cause a spike,” Barclay said. “We still believe that more accommodation can be made to find a compromise.”

Barclay said students are looking forward to these events and are generating a lot of school spirit. She realizes that the main mission of the district is to ensure the safety of the students, she said.

“We hope to be able to start somewhere with these events, so that, in time, we can go back so as not to lose the academic spirit of these events before it is too late,” she said. declared.

Junior Eloise Duggal, President of the Student Council, said the vast majority of students are willing to make the necessary accommodations to host events, which she called a fundamental part of the high school experience.

Senior Nick Westfall said people are focusing on physical health and he understands COVID can have a very bad effect on families and loved ones, but he believes mental health is just as important.

He cited statistics from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Medical Association, which found that one in four high school students said their mental health had deteriorated during the pandemic.

In addition, reports of overdoses among young people between the ages of 13 and 18 have increased in the country. He said there must be more activities for the students after school.

“They are going home with their thoughts during a depressing time and have little to do,” he said.

Superintendent Jenkins said the district’s biggest concern is making sure students are safe.

Around this time last year, Warren County only reported a handful of COVID cases. On this particular day of the meeting, there were 36 new cases and 279 active cases.

“We’re in a different situation, but we fully understand where you’re from and what you’ve been through over the past year and a half,” he said.

Jenkins said he promised the district would reconsider the matter, but could not give a deadline.

Glens Falls School Board President Timothy Graham said he has been hosting homecoming events for almost 30 years.

“This is not fair. It is absolutely not fair. This virus is not fair. There is no manual on how to act against it. We do not have these parameters,” did he declare.

Graham said the most important thing is to protect students, especially the younger ones who aren’t vaccinated. The district wants to keep the students in school.

He said the district wanted to get a good idea of ​​what it was getting into before opening up.

A resident pointed out that the South Glens Falls Central School District had had a reunion the week before, including a powder-flag football game and many different activities. Another person said the students were seated in the stands without masks.

Jenkins called this “unfortunate”.

“It’s not the way we operate, but we will be publishing our guidelines for winter sports. There will be similar restrictions, ”he said.

The South Glens Falls Central School District said in an article posted on its website that the power flag soccer game took place on October 15 with juniors competing against seniors. The students also participated in the first-ever fall reunion festival, hosted by high school class officers. The event featured pumpkin painting, arts and crafts, games, and food.

South Glens Falls Schools Superintendent Kristine Orr did not respond to a message Monday asking for comment on the ride home.

Queensbury High School is also hosting a homecoming festival. It will take place on the Saturday after the football game around 4 p.m. The event will include music, food trucks, dancing and games. Students must purchase their tickets in advance.

Director Damian Switzer said the festival is replacing dancing and will allow students to safely gather outside.

Michael Goot covers politics, crime and the courts, Warren County, education and business. Contact him at 518-742-3320 or [email protected]

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