By MADDY VITALE
From partnering with the community to improve students’ school experience, to creating better health and wellness programs to a new district website, the Ocean City Board of Education discussed many plans for this year during Thursday’s meeting.
Board of Education member Jacqueline McAlister heads the Curriculum and Student Affairs committee. She, along with other board members, met recently and went over a plan to reach out to the community.
She said the committee wants to find ways to “involve the community with our schools.”
McAlister explained that the goal is to join with community members to “directly benefit the outcomes for our students.”
“We have a wide array of people in our community who are very accomplished and interested in our schools,” she noted in remarks at the school board meeting. “People have done wonderful things in the community and really want to help.”
During the next school board meeting in October, McAlister said that there will be further discussion about how to partner with the community.
Along the same lines, Board of Education member Cecilia Gallelli-Keyes, chairwoman of the Health and Wellness committee, discussed partnering with the community, specifically for the students’ health and wellness.
“I would like to see that, too,” Gallelli-Keyes said referring to partnering with the community for the students. “Maybe someone in the community can offer yoga classes — anyone we can partner with in the community to help relieve stress.”
She also noted that she and other school board members on the committee toured the intermediate school’s wellness center and will set up tours of the primary and high school wellness centers as well.
Among other topics discussed Thursday were the district’s buildings and grounds.
Board of Education President Chris Halliday laid out some of the improvements and some issues.
Members of the Buildings and Grounds Committee met on Sept 13 and discussed how everyone “did a great job getting ready for the school year, but surprises are inevitable,” Halliday said.
Halliday explained that there were some issues in the first week of school that were rectified.
“We had a switch in the primary school go,” he said, adding that it resulted in a warm building. The air-conditioning needed “to get back up and running.”
“In the meantime, trained professionals were able to get the chillers working at some capacity to make it comfortable. When certain classes were cold and others warm, they triaged,” Halliday said, pointing out that fans were used to circulate the air from the cooler rooms into the warmer ones.
That same week, the high school suffered a power outage.
“Atlantic City Electric came in,” Halliday said of the outage being fixed.
But while awaiting the repairs, Halliday said school staff “did a good job triaging.”
Among other topics discussed at the Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting were security upgrades and a big milestone, he noted.
This past summer, through a five-year grant, the district schools were all changed over to LED lighting.
Also on the agenda was an announcement about a new school district website that will be more user-friendly for school staff, students and parents.
Board member Disston Vanderslice is in charge of the District Communication Committee.
“All of our platforms will work in a cohesive system,” he said.
Vanderslice explained that the new website, which should roll out in the next few months, will have live feeds, custom mobile apps, lists of events, lunch menus and homework assignments. Administrators will be able to use it as well.
“I think it will be something we can be very proud of,” he said. “I think everyone in the community will be happy with it.”
For more information about Ocean City schools visit oceancityschools.org.