Message from the Superintendent April 1, 2021
Parent Update April 1, 2021
Dear Parents, Staff, and Students,
Update on the Transition to Four day In-person Instruction
We have had a successful transition to providing an opportunity for parents and students to receive a four-day in-person instruction in our Middle School and our High School. This is a tribute to our staff, administration, parents, and students. Since the transition began on March 22 for the High School and Middle School, we have received additional requests from parents to transition from remote and/or hybrid instruction to the four day model. At this time, we are compiling a waiting list for students and we have begun to address these requests on a case by case basis. I also want to assure parents that our teachers will continue to address the needs of those students who are continuing with remote learning.
Again, I would like to emphasize that students who are on a four day schedule must report to school or be marked absent. Unless there are extenuating circumstances approved by the building administrator, students cannot opt to go remote on a specific day.
As we approach the Spring Break, I want to caution our parents, students, and staff about the travel restrictions and the importance of quarantining when necessary. I understand that at this time, the weather is improving and everyone is anxious to get out from under the restrictions that we have been under for over a year. However, it is important that we do not take a step backwards in providing a safe in-person learning environment. The opportunity to provide in-person instruction is dependent on being able to maintain a safe environment for students and staff as well as having adequate staff available for the proper supervision.
We are looking at the potential for moving to a five day schedule at the end of April which coincides with the beginning of the fourth marking period. If that is the case, we will be considering eliminating the hybrid option and offering parents and students the choice of a five day in-person instruction or remote instruction for the remainder of the school year.
I will keep you posted on the progress of this transition after the spring break.
Vaccination Clinic at MTES
We have been working with the Ocean County Board of Health to designate our Manchester Township Elementary School as a vaccination site. On Friday, March 26, we were able to provide vaccinations for any staff who requested it. Additionally, we also offered this opportunity to the teaching staff at Lakehurst. On Saturday, March 27, the Board of Health opened the clinic for Senior Citizens by appointments. There were over 300 vaccinations distributed at this time to senior citizens. Our staff also volunteered to provide assistance at this clinic and also agreed to provide this assistance throughout the year. We are very fortunate to have a staff that continues to give back to our community. I also want to thank the Ocean County Board of Health for providing our staff and Ocean County senior citizens the opportunity to receive the vaccinations. We appreciate the many positive comments we received from the senior citizens who were able to receive their vaccinations.
Report of Positive COVID cases
Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to provide you with updated information on the recent reports of positive COVID cases in our district for the past two weeks, first from March 22 to March 26 and then from March 29 to March 31
For the week of March 22-26 there were eight students and two staff members from the high school, two staff members from Whiting and one staff member from M.T.E.S. who reported positive COVID tests.
For the week of March 29 through March 31 there was one staff member and two students from the Middle School, one staff member from M.T.E.S. and one district staff member who tested positive.
Any staff or students who were identified as close contacts are now on quarantine as per the requirements and as a precaution. All close contacts were identified and contacted and all cases were reported to the Ocean County Board of Health. All positive cases are isolated cases and none appear to be connected to in-school activities.
While we continue to receive reports of positive COVID cases, we are confident that these cases are related to outside contacts. We will continue to maintain our health and safety guidelines in all of our schools and it is imperative that as parents, staff and families, we continue to follow all of the safeguards including social distancing, mask wearing, avoiding large crowds, and washing hands frequently, both inside and outside of school. Our actions outside the school setting are critical to our plans for more in-person instruction in our schools.
Thank you for your continued support of our district and please take care and be healthy and safe and have an enjoyable spring break.
Superintendent of Schools