At the October 11 Northampton Area School Board meeting, newly appointed member Kim Bretzik was sworn in; Bretzik was appointed to the board on September 27 following the resignation of Jennifer Johnson on August 9. She will represent Moore Township, and the boroughs of Chapman and Bath for the remainder of Johnson’s term.
Luke Shafnisky announced that the Bethlehem Area Vocational Technical School (BAVTS) will induct 25 NAHS students along with 48 students from three other schools into the National Technical Honor Society; this is the highest number of new inductees. The induction is set for Thursday, October 14 at 6 p.m. at BAVTS, 3300 Chester Ave. in Bethlehem.
BAVTS will also hold an open house on Wednesday, October 20 starting at 6 p.m.
In other business, school board members and district employees answered questions from the audience. Questions ranged in topics covering the mask mandate, bathroom closures, and most commonly, transparency with the public.
During the August 23 adoption of the health and safety plan, the board stated their mask mandate would be reevaluated in October. One resident questioned if the board is looking at the data and re-thinking the mask mandate. Another asked if the mask mandate will turn into a vaccine mandate.
The board offered no comment on the former issue, but superintendent Joseph Kovalchik stated that he has not discussed or considered a vaccine mandate at this time.
Another parent expressed concern that bathrooms were closed because of various issues with TikTok. Both the high school and middle school principals explained that bathrooms were reopened on Friday, after the schools found no property damage and the viral “slap a teacher” trend seems to have died down. Shafnisky explained that bathroom use is discouraged between classes, and that hall monitors will still be posted to keep an eye on everything.
NASD solicitor Steven Miller discussed the concerns with transparency. Executive sessions allow the board to privately handle issues, such as personnel and litigation; however, Miller stated that attorney-client privilege allows the school board to privately consult with their attorney.
The NASD school board will meet next on Monday, October 25 at 6:30 p.m.; all meetings will be held in the high school auditorium, located at 1619 Laubach Ave., until further notice.