I hope this letter finds you making the most of these last weeks of August. The district is preparing for a positive and safe return to school for all students in September. All schools have scheduled special orientation programs for new students and last year’s remote learners to welcome them to the school setting and reacquaint them with our educators. There is a lot of positive excitement building about being back in school.
We have a lot to be proud of. There were many districts in NJ and nationally that never opened for students – or opened for only the last few months of the 2020-21 school year. Parsippany schools opened on time, were consistently open, and ended the year with a full-day schedule. We provided several summer programs for our students to strengthen their literacy, math, and social skills. And, most importantly, we kept children at the center of our decision-making.
Even with those accomplishments, it is understandable that this new school year may still hold some concerns for you. COVID hasn’t dissipated as we hoped it might. The Governor’s Executive Order 251 requiring masks for all individuals in public, private, and parochial/charter schools has created unfortunate dissention in communities. We have created a new Question/Answer document to address some of the questions you may have about the start of the year. The full Return to School Plan will be reviewed by the Board of Education at the end of the month and posted to the district website.
All of us are here to support you and your children. Please speak with your school principal or school counselor should you need special assistance. We are returning to school with a renewed commitment to our mission and our students. Let us help and support each other in this important work of teaching and learning.
Wishing you well,
Barbara Sargent, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools