School committee meeting moved to police station

Tuesday’s School Committee meeting will be held at the Abington Police Station’s conference room.

Since the new Abington Middle/High School opened in 2017, in-person school committee meetings have traditionally been held in that building’s library or auditorium. 

However with the state currently mandating masks in all school buildings, School Committee Chairwoman Wendy Happel said she moved the meeting to the police station, which doesn’t require visitors to wear masks. 

“I’d like to give parents and all in attendance the option to choose,” she said. 

The large meeting room in Town Hall – the Cotter Room – was already booked, Happel said. 

“[T]he other rooms inside that building are too small for us so the next best option was the room at [the Abington Police Department],” she said.  

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. The agenda includes a public comment period, unfinished business, and reports from the superintendent, athletic director, director of curriculum, director of student services, and assistant superintendent. 

All four other school committee members said they didn’t know the meeting location was being moved until they received their meeting agendas.

“The decision was made by the chair, Wendy Happel, to hold it there,” said committee member Chris Coyle. “I wasn’t aware until receiving our agenda today. I think the Middle/High school is the best location, with Town Hall as an alternative. I did hear that Town Hall wasn’t available on Tuesday evening.”

“The [chairwoman] sets the location,” said committee member Julie Groom.

State Education Commissioner Jeff Riley in August issued a mandate requiring students, staff, and visitors to wear masks while in school buildings until Oct. 1. At that point, school buildings can drop the requirement if at least 80 percent of the staff and students in the building are vaccinated.  

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