Published in the April 16, 2019 edition

WAKEFIELD — The first true test of the town’s single polling place will be next Tuesday, when residents cast votes in the 2019 municipal election and the Galvin Middle School holds class until 11:20 a.m.

There have been three elections held at the centralized Galvin location since the move to one polling place was approved in February 2018. Not one of them occurred while kids were attending school.

Extra measures have been taken to guarantee voters can cast ballots easily and Galvin students and staff are safe, according to Town Clerk Betsy Sheeran.

More police will be on duty both inside the middle school and outside, particularly when class starts and when students are released early just before 11:30 a.m.

Also, Galvin staff will park offsite and will be shuttled to the facility.

Polls in the Galvin cafeteria are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Galvin families received the following message last week from Principal Adam Colantuoni:

As we head into the April break, I want to share information regarding the voting day that will take place on the Early Release, Tuesday, April 23rd.

I have been working closely with town officials and the school department to ensure that student safety is the number one priority for the community. I have outlined our plan below for your information.

• Voting Location: Voting will take place in the cafeteria and all residents will enter the Galvin through the Community Entrance of the school. Students who have Music or PE will not travel to this side of the building and their teachers will meet students at another location for classes. It is an early release schedule, classes on these days are approximately 28 minutes long.

• Security: We will lock the doors at the two points that connect the cafeteria and community lobby to the rest of the school. We will provide a police detail and staff presence at both of these locations to ensure that voters and students are not able to interact.

• Breakfast and Lunch: Breakfast and lunch will be served out of the Learning Commons. Students will be able to access breakfast as usual. The lunch menu will be Lisa’s Pizza and if students choose to purchase lunch, they will pick it up in the Learning Commons during their assigned lunch time and report to their homeroom. Lunches on early release days are 15 minutes long.

• Arrival: The morning drop off routine will look different to accommodate voters entering the campus who need access to parking. There will be no barrels on the main road in front of our school. There will be a police detail directing traffic and supervising the crosswalks. If you typically enter from Main Street and use the loop, please continue pulling forward to the front of the school and have students exit the passenger side of your vehicles. This will be more clear on the morning of the drop-off.

• Dismissal: Students will exit the building through the main entrance side of the school at the typical dismissal time of 11:20 am. If picking up from school, please be mindful your typical spot to meet your child might not be available depending on available parking. A suggestion you may want to consider is arranging a secondary pickup spot somewhere near the school.

It is difficult to predict how much additional traffic there will be both at drop off and pick up. We appreciate ahead of time, your patience and caution while entering and exiting the campus, both during drop off and pick up.

Our administrative team has worked closely with our staff to plan for the day and we will be closely monitoring the school throughout the entire early release timeframe. I have full confidence that we will be able to work with our town officials and the community to keep our students safe and engaged in their learning while school is in session.

Please feel free to follow up with any questions you may have.