HANOVER – School Nurse Collette LeClair and the Parents’ Association were celebrated for their contributions to the school community at the South Shore Tech School Committee meeting Wednesday, March 16.
“As of [the previous week], we’ve has 276 positive cases of COVID in the building for this school year,” said Principal Mark Aubrey of LeClair’s work. “You can imagine the number of negative [tests] that she and her team have had to deal with in the last seven moths.”
COVID testing and tracking is just part of LeClair’s job demands, he said.
“She’s the first level of medical attention for pretty much everybody in this building,” he said. “She triages situations. She deals with burns and cuts and other shop-related accidents. Most important, she is a good ear for our students.
Aubrey said the nurse’s office is a place where students can feel comfortable talking about any problems they are having.
“I came because I wanted to publicly say thank you to everybody for the past two years,” she said. “Man, it’s been a lot. … The care and consideration you’ve put into all the COVID policies that you’ve had to deal with in the last two years – it’s appreciated.”
To parents, she said it felt like “we went through war together,” with changing state guidance and she said she wanted to give every parent a hug for everything they put up with since March 2020, as well as what Superintendent-Director Dr. Thomas J. Hickey and the administrators went through to educate students in that period.
“If that’s what we can do in a pandemic, then the sky’s the limit,” LeClair said.
Aubrey lauded the Parents’ Association was provided an opportunity to outline what they do to support the school and programs as well as how they have adapted their fundraising efforts during the pandemic.
Erin Venuti, the Association’s current president – who has two children attending SST – said she had asked for an opportunity to report to the committee.
“I’d also like to thank [all the] parents, who support everything that we do, from fundraising to attending some of our events,” Venuti said, noting that after last year’s graduation, the group was left with just two members and faced rebuilding during a pandemic. She also thanked parent Mary Jo Stanzi, who has been a volunteer with the group for eight years while her children attended the school.
“One of the reasons I decided to volunteer was I felt the school gave so much,” Venuti said. “When I found out there were no fees for sports, I wanted to give back automatically and it just snowballed from there. … We are your ears, and kind of mouths, on the fields and on the car drives, at the bus stops [where] other parents are coming to us and we’re getting to know the students.”
They report back needs and opinions to the school committee as well as a funding program used to fund either professional licensing fees of students or as scholarships for college-bound graduates. The Parents’ Association is also planning to bring a speakers’ program back to the school after COVID and they host staff appreciation events.
“As much Viking pride and SST pride as we can put out there is what we’re trying to do and that’s what we hear from our parents and students,” Venuti said.
Aubrey said the School Council is also working on boosting the school in the community and to young families whose children may want to attend SST as well as class meetings, mentoring programs and curriculum and assessment discussions.
The committee voted to accept the terms and conditions for the initial compliance certification of the MSBA’s invitation to eligibility for the school to enter the lengthy process for the core program to modernize and expand the school.
SST has been applying to the program annually since 2015 and is one of 17 schools invited into the process this year. Plans for funding a feasibility study and appointing a building committee will be discussed in April.