Health, safety plans for Wilmington band approved

The Wilmington High School marching band will be staying home for its preseason camp this year because of COVID-19 precautions.

A Wilmington Area School District music and band teacher has mapped out an extensive plan on how marching band practice will proceed this summer.

Jonathan Nickel presented his strategy at a recent school board meeting.

“Mr. Nickel, great job on this,” Superintendent Jeffery Matty said. “You worked a lot on this.”

Nickel drafted a phase-in plan for students to continue practicing their instruments during the summer. He explained the drafting of the documents was a collaborative effort between music teachers from both Lawrence and Mercer counties.

“Safety’s the number one goal,” Nickel said. “(We’re going to provide) the best experience for the kids this season, whatever that may look like. Hopefully, we can have music in our community once again.”

Some of the plans highlights include:

•All students, staff and volunteers will need to sign a waiver in order to participate.

•All students, staff and volunteers will need to be screened for COVID-19 prior to practices, events and meetings.

•Staff, volunteers, dance line, drumline and drum majors will be required to wear face masks at all times.

•Students playing woodwind and brass instruments will be required to wear face masks when they are not playing.

•Since staff will maintain a list of who attends practices and performances, if a positive case is confirmed, contact tracing will be conducted.

Band camp will also be taking place, but on the district’s grounds from July 27 to July 31.

The guidelines for band camp include:

•All students, staff and volunteers will need to sign a waiver in order to participate.

•All students, staff and volunteers will need to be screened for COVID-19 prior to rehearsal.

•Students may be split into groups of 10 to 25 to reduced exposure.

•Outdoor instruction will be prioritized.

•Students will not permitted to leave campus during breaks, meals or any other time until dismissed by staff.

The band traditionally has held its camp at the Wesley Woods Campgrounds in Grand Valley but because it is unable to do that this year, camp fees will be reduced.

The procedure with how to proceed with band as well as classes and other extracurriculars when school is back in session will be announced by Matty once a plan is drafted.

Reporter

Maria Basileo is a news reporter. She covers Laurel and Shenango school boards and municipal government.

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