Ogdensburg school board discusses district’s pandemic response plan
BY MATT LINDSEY
North Country This Week
OGDENSBURG — The Ogdensburg City School District Board of Education held a public hearing Monday night and discussed the district’s pandemic response plan.
The pandemic plan was added to the revised school safety plan that includes a section on the district’s pandemic response plan, according to Superintendent Kevin Kendall.“It really gives the district clear guidance as how to function and operate in a pandemic situation, which we find ourselves currently in,” he said.
The pandemic plan will be part of the safety plan that the school board will adopt each July, the super said.
Board members were given a chance to offer their opinions on the plan.
“I can’t say enough bad about this,” said Board member Michael Myers. “Every time I read it, it just bothers me.”
Myers called into question language in the plan that calls for school officials to track cases of sickness, including suspected cases of influenza. He said it “drives me nuts'' thinking about privacy and HIPAA issues.
“We’re giving a report to a bureaucracy that, I already said, thinks we are not essential anyway, now they determine if we have a pandemic on suspected cases … I just, it drives me crazy,” he said.
Board President Ronald Johnson encouraged Myers to speak further with the superintendent over his concerns with the plan.
Elizabeth Testani, board member, asked about the language in the plan that outlines the decision-making process on staying open when there is a confirmed COVID case in the district.
Kendall answered that the protocol is the same that they follow now.
“You’re assessing how widespread the case is to determine if a closure is required at that point in time,” he said.
Officials determine how many students and staff came in contact with the positive individual, and decide if they can still function for in—person learning.
The hearing lasted a few minutes and there was no public comment. No action was taken.