Public High – Woonsocket High Fri, 20 May 2022 22:02:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Public High – Woonsocket High 32 32 Virginia food banks seek help amid high inflation supply chain issues / Public News Service Fri, 20 May 2022 22:02:41 +0000

Virginia food banks are facing a perfect storm of problems. High inflation of daily consumer goods is driving up the cost of food for low-income families, while food banks struggle to overcome supply chain issues to keep their shelves well stocked.

Eddie Oliver, executive director of the Virginia Federation of Food Banks, which oversees seven regional food banks across the state, said that since many pandemic stimulus benefits have expired, the financial reserves built up by low-income families income began to decline.

“As families are squeezed, they are increasingly turning to food banks for help,” Oliver said. “Meanwhile, our operational expenses are increasing. So it’s difficult on many fronts.”

Oliver noted that the best way to support a local food bank is through financial support, which will help them cope with soaring grocery prices. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), food prices are expected to increase between 5% and 6% in 2022.

According to Feeding America, nearly a quarter of a million children in Virginia are food insecure, and nearly half of households receiving SNAP benefits have children.

In addition to supply chain issues and inflation, Oliver pointed out that the end of the school semester will also be an aggravating factor in the coming weeks.

“Access to school meals is coming to an end here as schools are about to close for the summer,” observed Oliver. “Meanwhile, we are seeing the highest inflation we have seen in decades, which of course disproportionately impacts low-income families.”

The USDA has extended free school meals to children throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but the program will end at the end of this school year. The Virginia Poverty Law Center reported that before COVID, more than 460,000 Virginia students received free and discounted school meals daily.

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UTSA professor awarded $150,000 from the Air Force for semiconductor research | UTSA today | UTSA Wed, 18 May 2022 09:39:40 +0000

UTSA’s mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to advancing knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement, and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center of intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property – for Texas , the nation and the world.

UTSA’s vision

To be a leading public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA Core Values

We foster an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusion, respect, collaboration and innovation are encouraged.

UTSA Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic-serving institution in a global city that has been a crossroads of people and cultures for centuries, values ​​diversity and inclusion in all aspects of college life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequality. UTSA, a leading public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery, and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.

Software tool invented by USF implemented worldwide to improve real-time transit data I USF News Fri, 22 Apr 2022 14:21:16 +0000

Public transit agencies in France and the state of California have begun using an open-source software tool created at USF that quickly detects errors in a transit agency’s real-time data – providing travelers with more accurate information through mobile mapping applications, such as Google and Apple Maps.

The General Transit Feed Specification Realtime (GTFS Realtime) has become the dominant open data format for public transit timetables and associated geographic information, allowing transit agencies to publish their data in a standard format that can be easily used by a wide variety of travel planning apps. .

The GTFS Realtime Validator tool was created by Sean Barbeau, Senior Mobile Software Architect for Research and Development at the USF Center for Urban Transportation Research.

“It’s exciting to see a tool we’ve developed being used to validate hundreds of transit data streams around the world,” Barbeau said. “This will help detect errors earlier, which will result in a much better experience for travelers using public transport.”

“The French National Access Point promotes high-quality open data, and the GTFS real-time validator helps make that vision a reality,” said Antoine Augusti, Senior Software Engineer at the French National Access Point for Transport Data. “Our team has already highlighted some errors and possible improvements with several transport authorities. This is a considerable advantage for citizens and people traveling to France.

GFTS Realtime serves as the counterpart to transit agencies’ GPS systems – helping to provide real-time updates on arrival times, location, and service alerts. Studies show that real-time transit information improves the reliability and efficiency of passenger travel through shorter perceived and actual waiting times at transit stops – providing an increased sense of safety – and reduce the learning curve for new users. Some transit agencies that deployed real-time information reported increased ridership and improved public perception, even though their service offerings had not changed.

Although public transport is more economical and profitable, Barbeau has found that users only consider it a reliable option if the transport agencies provide accurate data. He and his team realized that without the ability to identify and resolve issues in real time, errors often affect the system, resulting in reduced traffic.

Barbeau saw this happen while working with the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority to launch the OneBusAway app, as well as with the USF Bull Runner bus system and with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority.

USF now partners with the nonprofit organization MobilityData to maintain and further improve the software and standardize its use worldwide.

“In our mission to improve data quality and encourage the use of standardized data, we are proud to host and maintain the GTFS Real-Time Validator in the future, in collaboration with the GTFS community”, said Isabelle de Robert, High Quality Data Product Manager at MobilityData. “It’s a great addition to our existing tools, and we’re proud to see its impact on travellers.”

“CUTR’s commitment to open source software has allowed us to easily pick up, contribute to, and enhance the validator to deliver meaningful data to California’s more than 200 fixed-route transit agencies,” Hunter said. Owens, research data manager for the California Department of Transport. “We look forward to the continued partnership and use of the package as it transitions to its new permanent home at MobilityData, a global standards body.”

Barbeau sees this work as the beginning of improving real-time transit information.

“Transit agencies often don’t have the technical expertise to analyze these flows internally, so scaling resources like the GTFS real-time validator to the state level makes a lot of sense and ultimately saves public agencies time and money,” Barbeau said. “These tools could establish a baseline validation experience at more transit agencies, so we can have a data-driven approach to tracking improvement in real-time transit information over time.”

More UTSA Students Will Have Tuition Covered With UT System Endowment Support | UTSA today | UTSA Mon, 14 Mar 2022 13:32:42 +0000

The UT System Board approved the creation of the Promise Plus Endowment in February 2022. Funding for the endowment will also be in addition to previous investments the Board has made in UTSA over the past decade to help advance the institution’s goal of serving as a model of student success and an economic engine for San Antonio and Texas.

“We are committed to making a college education more affordable for more Texans by lowering the cost of a UT degree for qualified students,” said the chairman of the UT system board of trustees. Kevin P. Eltife noted. “This is an investment in our students, in public higher education, and in the state of Texas.”

Each academic institution at UT has a similar program that covers 100% of student tuition and compulsory fees, based on family income. Funds from these programs are typically used to supplement federal and state aid such as Pell Grants and TEXAS Grants.

“This action by the Board of Regents means even more Texans will be able to earn a tuition-free UT degree,” the Chancellor said. James B. Milliken noted. “The Promise Plus endowment ensures that our high-quality UT institutions will remain among the most affordable in the country.”

Other institutions that will benefit from the new Promise Plus endowment in the UT system are UT Arlington, UT Dallas, UT El Paso, UT Permian Basin, UT Rio Grande Valley, and UT Tyler.

UTSA recently earned the prestigious Carnegie R1 classification, indicating the university’s success in achieving significant benchmarks in research and scholars and the highest levels of excellence, innovation and impact. The classification also amplifies UTSA’s exposure statewide and nationally to attract and recruit world-class faculty and top students.

Search for suspects continues after student dies in shooting outside Oliver Citywide Academy – CBS Pittsburgh Thu, 20 Jan 2022 10:15:00 +0000

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The search for suspects responsible for the shooting death of a 15-year-old student outside a Pittsburgh school continues into a second day.

It comes after the student was shot dead outside Oliver Citywide Academy on the North Side on Wednesday.

Watch: KDKA’s Bryant Reed and John Shumway report:

Reports said two suspects walked towards a school van during the firing and opened fire, a Pittsburgh Public Schools spokesperson said.

The 15-year-old student, later identified as Marquis Campbell, was shot in the chest, police said. He was taken to hospital in critical condition where police said he died.

Read more:

All students were brought inside the building and the school was closed as a precaution, Pittsburgh Public Schools said. Police said the students inside were not in danger. The school reopened around 3:20 p.m. and began dismissing students before 4 p.m.

(Photo credit: Aaron Sledge/KDKA)

It’s unclear what the relationship between the two suspects and Campbell is, police said, but it is believed he was targeted. Investigators say Campbell and the driver were the only ones inside the van. The bus driver was upset but unharmed and was cooperating with police, investigators said.

KDKA’s Jessica Guay spoke to Campbell’s family, who were upset some of them weren’t allowed inside Allegheny General Hospital to say goodbye because of COVID-19 protocols .

The police are looking for the two suspects. The couple are considered armed and dangerous, but the only description police could provide was that they wore masks and dark clothing and appeared younger.

“It’s obviously, for us, a tragedy every time someone is shot, but having a teenager in front of a school is something we don’t accept. We’re going to do everything we can with our investigative resources, all the tools we have to try to locate those involved and take them into custody,” said Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert.

oliver city academy

(Photo credit: NewsChopper 2/KDKA)

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey said he told police to commit all their resources to finding the killers and bringing justice to the “heinous and criminal act”.

A teacher told Pittsburgh Public Schools Acting Superintendent Wayne Walters that Campbell had been a student at Oliver Citywide Academy since third grade and loved the school.

“His smile was contagious and lit up a room. His sense of humor was infectious and the staff member said the staff were inconsolable at the moment because he loved him so much,” Walters said.

Walters said there will be support for students and school staff.

WATCH: Reporting by Jessica Guay

“As a former manager, I know that the possibility of an incident like today is what keeps us awake at night. This is not a place to rest, it is not a place of peace,” he said.

Due to the shooting, the school will be learning remotely until Monday, a spokesperson said. “Our thoughts are with the student injured in today’s incident and his family,” a statement read.

There was a heavy police presence outside the school before investigators began clearing the scene when the school reopened.

One person was initially arrested, but police say that person was unrelated to the shooting and have been released. Investigators know which direction the suspects ran after the shooting and are now looking at video footage.

“It can’t go unnoticed that we can’t lose sight of the main effect of what happened and that we need to make sure the funding goes to what really helps the families who have gone through this trauma,” said Councilman Bobby Wilson.

(Story continues below tweet)

Brighton Road closed to traffic between Marshall and California, Pittsburgh Public Safety said. It has since reopened.

Pittsburgh police and Allegheny County sheriff’s deputies are at the scene, as are K-9 police units, KDKA-TV’s Chris Hoffman reported from the scene.

(Story continues below tweet)

Pittsburgh Oliver Citywide Academy is a “full-time special education center serving students in grades 3 through 12,” according to the district’s website. It is described as “a highly structured school with a school-wide behavior management system to support positive behavior support plans for each student.”

A message from Superintendent Dr. LaTanya McDade Fri, 31 Dec 2021 14:45:42 +0000


A message from Dr LaTanya McDade

December 30, 2021

Dear PWCS Families, Employees and Community,

Hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable vacation. As we prepare for the return of our students and staff on January 3, 2022, the division is closely monitoring developments around the Omicron variant and the increase in positive COVID-19 cases nationwide.

PWCS will reopen on January 3, 2022, for in-person learning, as originally planned. Students who previously participated in our virtual program will also continue as planned.

As we continue to endure this rapidly evolving global pandemic, PWCS remains committed to providing education to our students, in person, in our school buildings. We know that in-person teaching is the best for students academically, socially and emotionally. It is clear that the negative impact the past 20 months of this pandemic has had on children, as well as the families we serve.

As we head back into the New Year, there is understandable concern about the new COVID variant and its impact. We will continue to implement and strengthen the mitigation strategies that are essential to curb the spread of COVID-19. Some of the approaches we take are as follows:

Mitigation procedures

It is essential that we all do our part to minimize the spread of COVID-19. First, it is strongly recommended that all eligible people be vaccinated against COVID-19, including by receiving a booster. If you or your child needs an appointment, please visit the Prince William Health District website or We will continue to work with the health district to secure additional vaccination sites in our schools. Additional information will be shared as these clinics are scheduled. Earlier this year, our school board approved a resolution requiring staff members to receive the COVID vaccine or be tested weekly. Currently, over 91% of our staff are vaccinated.

It is also important to monitor yourself and your children for symptoms of COVID-19. To reduce the risk of spread, people with symptoms should stay home. PWCS daily home screening tips are available on our website.

PWCS will continue to require masks when we return to school after winter break. Thanks to masking, our schools will be:

  • Maintain a layer of mitigation for staff and students when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Dramatically reduce the potential disruption of the educational environment caused by student quarantines.
  • Give more students time to get vaccinated and more age groups to become eligible for boosters.
  • Reduce potential impacts on staff due to employee illness or quarantine.
  • Our masking guide has additional details.

In addition, PWCS also participates in the Virginia School Screening Testing for Assurance (ViSSTA) program of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), which offers COVID-19 testing to K-12 schools. The ViSSTA program supports screening tests for students and staff. Testing involves regularly testing asymptomatic individuals to identify asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases of COVID-19 with the aim of detecting cases early and stopping transmission. Additionally, through this ViSSTA program, we received and distributed over 11,000 eMed BinaxNow home test kits to staff and students ahead of the winter break. Although COVID-19 home test kits are scarce across the country, we have purchased additional kits that will be available by Friday, January 7, 2022, for distribution to students and staff with symptoms of COVID-19. .

We continue to work with the Prince William County Health District for additional testing options. For current availability of COVID-19 testing, please visit the VDH website.

Test to stay

PWCS has accepted an invitation to participate in a pilot program for the Virginia Department of Health’s Test to Stay (TTS) strategy. TTS is a practice of serial contact tracing and COVID-19 testing to allow close contacts associated with school who are not fully vaccinated to continue attending school during their quarantine period. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) is now advising schools to consider using TTS to minimize the impact of quarantine on students and limit school absences after exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the course of school K-12. We will keep you posted on this pilot as more information becomes available.


Sporting practices and events will continue in accordance with existing mitigation protocols. Please note that individual teams or events may need to be put on hold for the safety of all participants.

Updated CDC guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new guidelines for quarantine times, and we continue to monitor the data and science as it evolves. PWCS is working with the Prince William Health District and the Virginia Department of Health to assess the updated CDC guidelines. In order to effectively plan for the thoughtful implementation of changes aligned with the new CDC guidelines, our current health protocols regarding quarantine will remain the same until further notice. Employees and families will receive updated quarantine guidelines as they become available.

As the New Year approaches and as COVID-19 conditions evolve in the weeks to come, we will continue to communicate clearly and often about the actions we are taking. I appreciate your cooperation, support and patience as we work together during this difficult time to provide an effective and high quality education, while putting the safety of all students and staff first.


Dr LaTanya McDade

LaTanya D. McDade, Ed.D.
Prince William County Public Schools


Candidate Profiles Barnstable School Committee Election November 2 Fri, 29 Oct 2021 08:14:52 +0000


Candidates for the Barnstable school committee, Stephanie Ellis, Peter Goode and Andre King, responded to questions posed by the Cape Cod Times. Here are their answers, in alphabetical order. The three are vying for Tuesday’s election for two four-year seats. Two other candidates, Sara Gonzalez and Linda Letourneau, dropped out of the race after the ballots were printed.

Stephanie Ellis

Age: 51

Education: Master of Science / Nursing; certified family nurse practitioner

Use: Cape Cod Healthcare

Political experience: Elected member of the Barnstable School committee for 12 years

Other community service: Former Cape Cod Collaborative representative for the Barnstable School Committee; former member of the Marstons Mills / Cotuit school council; former board member of the Horace Mann 4/5 Charter School; Cape Cod Baseball League host family; volunteer administration of COVID-19 vaccine at Cape Cod hospital, winter / spring 2021; founding member of the Barnstable County Sexual Assault Response Team; Volunteer Boy Scout Troop 52

Why are you running What motivates you the most?

Simply put, I am running for re-election for the Barnstable School Committee because my job is not done. We are in the midst of a global pandemic as well as a search for a superintendent. I am the only school committee member who has seen a search for a superintendent from start to finish. During my 12 years on the committee, I have worked with four different superintendents and three different lawyers.

I attended two national school board conferences which allowed me to deepen my knowledge. I presented at a conference in San Diego on the governance of the City of Barnstable and the collaborative relationship between the city and school funding.

I have extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of institutions that no other candidate has.

What is the most pressing problem in the Barnstable School District and how would you fix it?

Barnstable is a district with needs close to or greater than the state average. The Chapter 70 funding formula has always been tricky for communities like Barnstable.

I have met and spoken with our political leaders here on Cape Cod to continue to advocate for equitable funding for all Cape Town districts, especially Barnstable. The following are staggering statistics for Barnstable Public Schools (BPS) as of 2020 (before the pandemic):

â–º 23.6% of BPS students have English as a second language, the state average is 23%

â–º12.6% of BPS students are English Language Learners (ELL), the state average is 10.8%

â–º17% of BPS students have a disability, the state average is 18.4%

► 53.4% ​​of BPS students are classified as having high needs, the state average is 48.7%

â–º 36.7% of BPS students are economically disadvantaged, the state average is 32.8%

Barnstable’s diversity is what sets us apart from other neighboring or similar neighborhoods. Diversity is an asset that we have and that we fully embrace. We are committed to teaching the whole child and that requires funding.

The Barnstable Public School District has done a lot of work on socio-emotional learning. This work has proven useful during the pandemic, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

How do you differentiate yourself from other candidates? What sets you apart?

As previously stated, my institutional knowledge does not compare to any other candidate or current school committee member. I am not an educator. You might think that’s a disadvantage, but it’s actually an advantage. I have no conflict of interest in deciding policy, budget, or other district matters. Our ancestors originally designed elected governance as school committees run by lay people for a neutral and fresh look. During my 12 years as a member of the school committee, I have successfully approved budgets that have kept the district deficit free.

Peter Goode

Age: 67

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Framingham State College; Bachelor of History, Bridgewater State College

Use: Retirement; Barnstable Public School teacher for 32 years

Political experience: nothing

Other community service: Former volunteer coach for Barnstable Recreation; Volunteer Feeding the Homeless, Notre-Dame de la Victoire

Why are you running What motivates you the most?

The Town of Barnstable and the Barnstable Taxpayers have been very kind to me as a teacher in this town for 32 years, helping me raise my family in town. As a strong supporter of community service, being elected to the school committee would simply be my way of paying back those taxpayers.

As a recently retired teacher from Barnstable School, I am very proud of our school system. My teaching experience at Barnstable included teaching at the elementary level, college level and high school level. I have also taught in a variety of classroom settings including regular education classes, ELL classes, inclusion classes, and AP classes. If elected to the school committee, it will further extend my lifelong commitment to the students of Barnstable.

Peter Goode

I just want to do my part as a member of the school committee to address and increase all levels of student achievement: test scores, fairness gaps, graduation rate, college acceptance rate and encourage the development of career development opportunities, to name a few. I wish a quality education for all students at Barnstable and I would love to have the chance to do my part to achieve this goal.

What is the most pressing problem in the Barnstable School District and how would you fix it?

In my opinion, the most pressing problem in our school system is to keep our Barnstable students in the Barnstable school system. If I were elected, I would advocate for an exit poll of all parents who choose to take their children out of our system, which I believe we are not currently doing. I would compile this important data, make it public, and then tackle any consistent issues that arose out of this poll.

We have such great programs and opportunities here at Barnstable, from award-winning arts, music, theater and sports, to a wide variety of AP courses, to growing selections of business paths and career, to a dedicated and talented staff. I wonder why anyone would drop out of Barnstable schools. The decline in our listings is of concern to me and needs to be addressed.

How do you differentiate yourself from other candidates? What sets you apart?

I think my years of service in our school system and my diverse experiences at all levels of our school system stand out from other applicants and give me a unique perspective as a potential school committee member. As a former faculty member, I believe I can provide a “bridge” between the school committee and the schools.

I can also differ from other candidates in my belief that our next superintendent should very well come from our own school system. Our nationwide research has yielded a carousel of superintendents that only last a few years. It would be beneficial, I believe, if our next superintendent already had roots in Barnstable, where we have strong and qualified candidates in our system and in our community.

My strengths lie in the fact that I have years of experience working with superintendents, administrators, teachers and students. I promise to do my part to help continue to provide a quality education for every student in Barnstable Schools.

André King

Age: 39

Education: Charter Oak State College in Connecticut

Use: STEM Academy Sandwich

Political experience: Volunteer (Kip Diggs, State Representative / Barnstable 2nd District)

Other community service: member of the NAACP Board of Directors, Cape Cod / Barnstable branch; Member of the Board of Directors of the Sports Hall of Fame

Why are you running What motivates you the most?

I am running for the Barnstable School Committee to serve a school district and community that have positively impacted my life. As a graduate of Barnstable High School and an educator with Barnstable Public Schools, I know firsthand the district’s commitment to academic success and the continued growth of students. What motivates me is the desire to recognize the dedication and achievement of the students and educators of Barnstable Public Schools.

André King

Being in the classroom on a daily basis, I have knowledge of school policies and practices, with specific insight into how they play out in real time. I believe this perspective represents a valuable resource for the Barnstable School Committee, helping its fundamental role within our district. As a former student and educator, I am fully invested in the success of Barnstable Public Schools.

How do you differentiate yourself from other candidates? What sets you apart?

I differ from other applicants in that I am a current educator working with students and families on a day-to-day basis. I am in the classroom instructing students, designing lesson plans, and corresponding with parents as the school year progresses. What sets me apart is that I understand how district policies play out in real time and can approach these discussions from the perspective of current experience.

Working at Barnstable High School last year, teaching hybrid courses, fully distance and in person, I have witnessed the resilience and commitment of students and staff. I introduced myself every day, adapted effective strategies, and collaborated with colleagues to complete an unprecedented school year.

I will bring that same perspective and attitude to the Barnstable School committee.

What is the most pressing problem in the Barnstable School District and how would you fix it?

The most pressing issue facing the Barnstable School District is the selection of the next superintendent. I would address this problem by joining the ongoing research process focused on selecting an educational leader who recognizes the strengths and assets of our district; and can leverage those resources to create positive change. As the region’s largest and most diverse school district, Barnstable stands out in the Cape Cod educational landscape. Student retention and diversity in education are two focal points for our next superintendent.

When I attended Barnstable High School, the number of students enrolled was over 2,000 for grades 9-12. Today, the number of students enrolled is around 1,800 for grades 8-12. Our next Superintendent must reaffirm that students can achieve their highest goals of academic, athletic and vocational readiness at Barnstable. public schools.

In addition, classrooms that reflect our community are essential to the progress of the district. With Massachusetts continuing to lead the country in public education, the data is conclusive that a diversity of educators accelerates the success of all students. Barnstable’s next superintendent must prioritize diversity in education, to advance student outcomes and retain more learners.


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Hudson Valley lifeguards in high demand at the start of the 2021 season Mon, 14 Jun 2021 09:04:20 +0000


to play

City and county park officials have rushed into 2021 to find lifeguards for this summer’s water season as they prepare to fully open their facilities this weekend.

It comes as teens and young adults assess summer employment opportunities, which could include pool side jobs in the Hudson Valley that pay up to $ 16 an hour to start.

For example, in Clarkstown, recruiting continues for up to 15 lifeguards to fill the schedule of the city’s three aquatic sites, with its Germonds Park and Congers Pool opening full-time on June 19 and Lake Nanuet Beach opening. the following weekend for the summer.

The hunt is on, with paid advertisements in local newspapers, awareness campaigns in local schools and signs posted around the city.

Clarkstown pays $ 14 an hour, which is higher than Rockland’s minimum wage of $ 12.50.

“It’s a real challenge this year,” said Elaine Apfelbaum, the city’s park and recreation superintendent, who has worked for Clarkstown for 40 years. “I had loads of applications. This year, I have exhausted all the applications for the book.

The problems faced by Apfelbaum in Clarkstown have been shared, to varying degrees, by park officials across the Hudson Valley. Westchester County was so short of lifeguards this year that it has lowered the eligibility age from one year to 15 and will pay first year lifeguards $ 16 an hour. That’s on par with what New York City will pay this year.

Last year’s COVID-19 restrictions complicated matters in 2021, which limited training opportunities and slowed the pipeline of new hires who would return this summer.

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Westchester Parks, which wants to have around 150 lifeguards for its four pools and beaches at Playland and Croton Point Park, still needs 25 more lifeguards to staff its aquatics program this summer, said Peter Tartaglia, the first deputy commissioner. county parks.

The search for Westchester lifeguards would be even more difficult, were it not for the 2021 closure of the Playland Park swimming pool, which is under construction, and the closure of the beach at Glen Island Park in New Rochelle as New York State retains the county park parking control. a lot for a COVID testing site.

“This is the first year that we are lowering the age to 15,” Tartaglia said. “We will train them with experienced guards, so that they learn the ropes and are not alone. There are a lot of children looking for work.

Rigorous training essential

On a blustery Thursday night near the Anthony F. Veteran Park Aquatic Complex in Greenburgh, Aquatics Director Greg du Sablon trained 13 lifeguards in lifesaving techniques for the upcoming season.

Du Sablon started rescuing 25 years ago at a private pool, then moved to Westchester County, where he worked at Srain Ridge, Croton Point Park and Willson’s Woods.

He was passionate about the pool deck, putting them through a multitude of training drills, urging them to stay focused and do whatever it takes to save a swimmer in need.

“It’s good Brady!” He said to a recruit trying to master a rescue using a float tube. “Put your head under the water and get through it!” “

When another recruit executed a save with finesse, du Sablon praised his success.

“It was so great,” he said. “It was so fluid.”

Novice lifeguards in Greenburgh are paid $ 14.50 an hour, slightly above Westchester’s $ 14 minimum wage.

Among those who refreshed their skills was Ajani Isles, 19, a student at SUNY Oswego, now in his fifth year at the Veteran Park pool.

“Everyone loves to go in the water when it’s hot,” Isles said. “And I want to make sure everyone is safe.”

Certification standards may differ from municipality to municipality. In New York, lifeguards must be at least 16 years old, able to swim 50 meters in 35 seconds and have at least 20/30 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other, without corrective lenses.

In Westchester Parks, there is no vision requirement and recruits have up to 45 seconds to swim 50 meters. They must also swim 200 meters in less than 3 minutes and 45 seconds.

In Greenburgh, you must be able to retrieve a brick from the bottom of the deep end of the pool, 13.5 feet below the surface; and stand the water for two minutes.

Greenburgh also reduced the length of his untimed swim from 500 yards to 300 yards.

“We have become less focused on swimming really great, with the demands of time and long distances,” said du Sablon. “We follow what the Red Cross demands. “

Parks officials in the town of Carmel in Putnam County and the town of Ramapo in Rockland say they are ready for the summer.

In Ramapo, Michelle Antosca, director of parks and recreation, said the city appears to have a full list of its three water sites – Camp Scuffy and the Spook Rock and Saddle River pools. Training for his next season took place over the weekend of June 12. Ramapo pays $ 13 an hour at swimming pools.

“We’re still hesitant to have enough lifeguards, but we’re less panicked now than we were last week,” Antosca said. “But you never know. Someone might find another job that suits them better. You can never rest on your laurels, so we’re always looking.

The bottom line is that while the rescue may seem like an easy job, Antosca said it takes considerable focus and endurance to keep that focus in the heat of the day.

“It’s a big responsibility to be sitting in this chair,” she said. “You need to stay focused on all the people in and around the pool, without being distracted. ”

Follow David McKay Wilson on Facebook or Twitter @ davidmckaywils1.


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