North Schuylkill Board of Education

Message from the North Schuylkill School Board

September 17, 2021

The North Schuylkill School District had wished to proceed with the School Board meeting in a manner in compliance with applicable masking mandates. The District will follow the letter and spirit of the state masking order as best as practicable. Certain attendees of the meeting refused to wear facial coverings and did not state a health condition or disability for not wearing a mask, nor did they bring with them any type of alternative to use, and refused to leave when politely requested. To avoid law enforcement intervention, the meeting was postponed. North Schuylkill understands that mask use is a hot button issue. The school board and administrators are here for the students - not to advance any political agendas. A new meeting will be scheduled in the near future to reconvene the business of the district. For those individuals who wish to attend who state that they are unable to wear a mask due to a health condition or disability, you may attend by video and/or telephone conference as a reasonable accommodation for your stated health condition or disability. The instructions to log in remotely will be provided on the school website at least one day prior to any scheduled board meeting.

Please understand that the North Schuylkill School District’s decision to require masks in school is based solely to keep students in the classroom. The Department of Health does not require students to quarantine if masking guidelines are followed. This decision is not based on debate, personal or political beliefs and will not be in the future. Our students’ best chance and learning success is in classrooms and we intend to continue to provide those opportunities.

By not masking, more children could be subject to quarantine contrary to the goals of keeping students in in-school learning. As a consequence, it could also compel some parents or guardians to stay home from work should their child be quarantined. Regardless of the basis and support for the Executive Order, our School District will abide by and adhere to DOH mandates to keep students in school. We will set an example for our students outside of school hours as well.

While we are aware of the positions for and against masking or having choices – our decision was made with the best interests of the students to keep them in school. We also believe it is in the best interest of our District’s taxpayers to use funds towards education rather than potential costly litigation. Any challenge to the Executive Branch Order should be taken up with the Governor, state agencies, departments and the legislature.

As a School Board, we’d like to get back to governing the District’s business – to continue to educate our students. However, for those who wish to provide brief comment for the board’s consideration at the next rescheduled meeting, the Board would appreciate, to the extent you have common interests, that a spokesperson be designated to address the Board for your group. Any written materials for consideration should be dropped off at the high school front office in a box labeled “FOR BOARD MEETING” along with the name, address, and affiliation to the school (i.e., parent/guardian of student, district taxpayer, etc.) with ample copies to distribute to all board members at least two days in advance of any scheduled meeting. Those attending any future meetings which are to be held in person will be required to register their name and address before entry, and comply with state masking order as well as NS Board Policies and Health and Safety Plan. Any person who wishes to address the board must adhere to board policies including stating their name and address, plus affiliation with the school district (i.e., custodial parent or taxpayer) before speaking. Those attending virtually by video and/or telephone must preregister to attend remotely at least one full day in advance, and if wishing to address the board must indicate same at the time of registering to attend. The meeting will not be live streamed or posted on social media. We appreciate compliance to uphold decorum of the public meetings.

Board Meeting Information

When: September 21, 2021 at 07:00 AM Eastern Time

Where: Register on Zoom

Agenda: Click Here

The North Schuylkill Board of Education

The North Schuylkill Board of Education meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM in the board room located at the Junior-Senior High School. Committee Meetings occur the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 PM. Please check local newspapers for changes to the schedule and special sessions.

Charles Hepler - President

Board of Education Member Since: 2011

Email: chepler@northschuylkill.net

Roy Green - Vice-President

Board of Education Member Since: 2011

Email: rgreen@northschuylkill.net

MaryAnne Woodward - Treasurer

Board of Education Member Since: 2015

Email: mwoodward@northschuylkill.net

Thomas Fletcher - Member

Board of Education Member Since: 2013

Email: tfletcher@northschuylkill.net

Douglas Gressens - Member

Board of Education Member Since: 2013

Email: dgressens@northschuylkill.net

Michael Kiehl - Member

Board of Education Member Since: 2019

Email: mkiehl@northschuylkill.net

Suzanne O’Neill - Member

Board of Education Member Since: 2017

Email: soneill@northschuylkill.net

Janine Simms - Member

Board of Education Member Since: 2013

Email: jsimms@northschuylkill.net

Glenn Weist - Member

Board of Education Member Since: 2013

Email: gweist@northschuylkill.net

Brian Urban - Solicitor

Serving the School Board Since: 2018

Merri Lynn Craig - Secretary

Serving the Board of Education Since: 2003