Selectmen Disappointed With Superintendent Brand Disallowing Town’s Rec Department From Using School Buildings For Programs This Spring

WILMINGTON, MA — At this week’s Wilmington Board of Selectmen Meeting, Selectmen publicly questioned School Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand’s decision to continue to disallow the town’s Recreation Department from holding programs and activities inside school buildings.

“Dr. Glenn Brand has confirmed that the School Department will maintain its current approach with respect to not allowing visitors into the schools for the balance of this academic year,” Hull told Selectmen in a memo. “He has noted that the CARES program, which typically runs in April, will not run this year. Dr. Brand is concerned about whether the custodial personnel will have the ability to fully clean and disinfect the schools each night after programs conclude for the health and safety of staff and students entering school buildings the following day.”

Hull reminded Selectmen that Recreation Department programs were first suspended from school buildings in early March of 2020 at the outbreak of COVID-19.

“We are hopeful that if the number of COVID cases continues to trend in the right direction, and dissemination of the vaccine ramps up, that there will be an opportunity to use the schools for summer programming,” added Hull. 

“I respectfully want to disagree with [the Superintendent’s] decision,” responded Selectman Greg Bendel. “I have zero concern as to whether George Hooper and the Public Buildings Department can disinfect and clean the schools. They’ve done a phenomenal job since last March proving just that. I have the utmost confidence in that crew.”

“The students, in addition to missing out on school, are set to miss out on pickelall, yoga, cooking lessons, pottery, sports 101, kinder soccer, and – potentially as we get closer to the summer – Tiny Tots & Playground Club. Those are programs that are very, very important in keeping our young people active,” continued Bendel. “I find this very concerning given that we saw a report from our Health Director tonight which she indicates that numers continue to decline… It’s my understanding that the Health Director would have no prolem with our young people taking part in these fine recreational programs. My humle opinion is that the kids have missed out on enough. They belong back in the classroom. And they should be able to take advatntage of these recreational opportunities.”

“I can’t speak to all the specifics as to why the Superintendent has made the call. I presume he’s taking a cautious approach,” responded Hull.

Selectmen Kevin Caira and Gary DePalma suggested George Hooper be involved in an upcoming discussion between Brand and Recreation Director Karen Campbell on the matter.

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