Message from the Superintendent 1-10-2022
January 10, 2022
Dear Parents, Students and Staff,
I hope each of you had a joyful and Happy New Year.
As we have returned to school from the holidays, unfortunately, we have had a large number of COVID positive cases and close contact cases reported from both students and staff. This has also occurred throughout the county and our area is now designated in the red area which is a very high activity level. We have been monitoring the situation and, although we have had to make several adjustments, we were able to hold classes in person in all of our schools. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the administrators, staff, parents and students for their flexibility and cooperation in dealing with this situation. I would like to especially commend our school nurses who have performed exceptionally throughout this whole crisis. We will continue to provide in-person instruction for our students as long as we have a safe environment. This is a priority. However, I am asking our students and staff to bring their computer devices home to be prepared in the event the situation changes. We will have students and staff returning as they fulfill their quarantine obligations and are no longer showing any symptoms. Hopefully, we will begin to show a decrease in the number of positive cases as more students and staff return. However, this situation will continue to be monitored.
Several questions have been brought up in regard to quarantine times as well as moving to remote learning in the event of inclement weather.
First, any day where school is cancelled due to inclement weather cannot be used as a virtual day. Although this was allowed last year, it is not permissible this year and will not count as part of the state 180 day requirement.
Second, there has been some information from the CDC which appears to conflict with the requirements followed by schools. The following is some clarification.
Isolation for covid is not 5 days for our schools. Due to the high activity of the virus, we will continue to follow conventional isolation and quarantine timeframes (10-day isolation/exclusion; 7 or 10-day quarantine/exclusion with and without negative testing).
As I mentioned previously, there is a significant increase in the number of positive cases and at the same time there is an increased demand for testing and difficulty finding a testing site and/or testing supplies. Our school district is investigating the possibility of providing an opportunity for students to be tested for those parents who wish to have this available for their children. This would be purely voluntary and only for those parents who wish their child to be tested. A permission slip would be needed and we are looking at the specifics of this process. There has been a recommendation for a test needed for students and staff participating in extracurricular activities in very high risk areas but this has not been mandated at this time. Students would only be tested with the permission of their parents and are not required in any way to be tested. This testing, if we move forward, would be done by the same testing company that tests our staff and again would only be for those students whose parents have approved this option.
We will put out a survey shortly to determine if there is any interest in having students tested voluntarily.
Additionally, one of our school nurses supplied information regarding the website for no cost covid testing for NJ residents. This is the website: learn.vaulthealth.com/nj.
We are all going through a difficult time with this situation, however, as a school district and a community, we will work through this and there is no question we will get through this through the cooperative efforts of our staff, parents, students and community. We will keep you updated with any changes.
Thank you again for all of your support for the district.
Superintendent of Schools