I hope you are well and that your children are enjoying a healthy summer vacation. The schools posted Summer Assignments at the beginning of the summer, so now would be a good time to ask your kids how they’re doing with this work so that you’re not nagging, pleading, cajoling, and all those other parenting behaviors we love so much.
Governor Murphy’s daily briefing on Wednesday of this week communicated his firm stance that schools should re-open in September. This was followed up with Executive Order #175 which clearly outlines the steps districts must take if they are unable to address the minimum standards outlined in The Road Back. Our Return to School Plan addresses the standards and our work now is devoted to assigning students to classes, refining school procedures, and strengthening our instructional practices for remote and in-person learning.
I am recommending adjustments to our school calendar which includes:
Wednesday, September 2 will be a ½ day of school for Cohort A students.
Thursday, September 3 will be a ½ day of school for Cohort B students.
Friday, September 4 will be a Virtual Friday Day for all students.
November 3 (Election Day) will be a full Virtual Day for Cohorts A and B.
November 5-6 (NJEA Convention) will be school days and those days off will be applied to extend the December winter break.
We feel that these changes will provide for a smoother beginning to the school year for our staff and students. Recapturing the November days allows for consistent instructional weeks and offers a lengthier break in December.
As you prepare for your children to return to school, please remember that you will need a reliable thermometer for daily temperature checks. While we will have masks for students who forget to wear one, I am certain your children will feel more comfortable with a mask that they have chosen themselves and have worn before. Masks with valves are not allowed. A face mask with an exhalation valve doesn’t help protect others. The valve makes it easier for you to exhale, but it also lets germs out into the air. When it comes to protecting others, a mask with an exhalation valve is like not wearing one at all. “Gator” masks are also not acceptable. Children with a medical condition that prohibits them from wearing a mask must provide a physician’s note to the school nurse.
Information from the health experts and our state government is changing regularly. I will continue to communicate weekly with you to keep you apprised of our situation and plans for re-opening school.
With best wishes for your safety and good health,
Barbara Sargent, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools