Three Village adds remote instruction to school district’s emergency plan

Three Village adds remote instruction to school district’s emergency plan

Ward Melville High School. File photo by Greg Catalano

Three Village Central School District will codify a plan for pivoting to remote instruction in case of future emergencies that cause school shutdowns, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. 

Jack Blaum, the district’s security and safety coordinator, introduced the new framework at the annual organizational meeting of the Board of Education on Wednesday, July 5, as an addition to this year’s District-wide School Emergency Plan. 

The plan already includes language to handle the health risks of a contagious disease pandemic, but it now offers guidelines for administrators, teachers, staff, students and families in case a need for remote learning arises again. It also lays out a framework for technological readiness. 

These protocols bring the district in line with new state regulations requiring these plans to account for emergency remote instruction. 

“This plan serves as a framework to ensure that learning can continue seamlessly for our students,” the plan reads, adding that due to the dynamic nature of public health emergencies, it “is designed to be flexible.”

Superintendent of Schools Kevin Scanlon pointed out that readiness for remote instruction in case of emergency shutdowns would not replace snow days.

The safety plan as a whole covers emergency drills, response plans and security protocols, as well as bullying prevention and a plan to recognize changes in behavior or mental health of students.

Blaum said that it is “a 10,000-foot view of what we do,” explaining that more detailed procedures for each building, such as rendezvous points, are kept confidential. “We don’t want to make that public,” he added.

Blaum indicated the District-wide School Emergency Plan is available on the district’s website for public review and comment for at least 30 days before it can be formally approved during the August BOE meeting. He said he would answer suggestions and questions sent to the email address [email protected].

The meeting marked the official start of the 2023-2024 school year for the BOE. Re-elected trustee Jeffrey Kerman was sworn in, as were newly elected trustees Karen Roughley and David McKinnon.