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    Randolph School Community,

     

    As we shared on June 26, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJ DOE) released guidance for the reopening of schools. Prior to this announcement, the district was already preparing for multiple scenarios for re-entry to our school buildings with the hope that we would be able to resume in-person instruction in the fall. Our entire administrative team has worked collaboratively with local and state health officials to prepare for a safe reopening. Despite the progress we have made, there are still many questions related to how our schools may reopen. From the guidance we received, we know:

     

    1. Schools will reopen for in-person instruction in the fall.


    2. Students will be required to wear a face covering when social distancing of 6 feet is not feasible.

     

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also strongly advocates that all considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. The AAP emphasizes the importance of in-person learning and mentions the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020.

     

    We will continue to collaborate with state and local agencies to ensure that all plans for re-entry are compliant with state guidelines. Given the limited information we have received, we continue to develop multiple fluid plans that may be used if circumstances change before the start of the school year. While there is still uncertainty, we are confident in the district’s ability to be prepared for any scenario.

     

    There are three approaches being considered for reopening in the fall:

     

    1. In-person instruction for a full day, with all students:
    Our plan for in-person instruction for a full day would allow all students and staff members to return to school every day and follow a regular schedule while wearing a face covering most of the day.

     

    2. In-person instruction on a modified schedule, with all students:
    The second option, in-person instruction on a modified schedule, would allow for all students and staff members to return to school every day and follow an early release schedule while wearing a face covering for most of the day. In this plan the district may be able to offer childcare options.

     

    3. In-person instruction, with only a limited number of students in-person each day (hybrid):
    This type of plan is currently under discussion in districts throughout the state and would allow students and staff members to come to school in-person on a rotating basis. This plan would be implemented in a situation where we are not able to safely house and/or transport all students at the same time. There are several variations under a hybrid plan, and it may not look the same at all levels in the school district—elementary, middle, and high.

     

    No matter the structure of our final plan, accommodations would be made for students and staff with certain medical or other health conditions that preclude the use of face coverings. We would also implement additional physical spacing measures in classrooms, hallways, and other spaces and create additional time during the day to allow for handwashing, mask “breaks,” and physical movement between rooms. Any plan for in-person instruction with all students and staff in school at the same time would depend on receiving additional guidance from the NJDOE and other authorities. It is also important to clarify that Special Education programming would be based on each child’s IEP and may entail supplemental programming.

     

    Transporting students poses a particularly difficult challenge to restarting school operations in the presence of COVID-19. All students who ride a bus will be required to wear a face covering and families will likely be responsible for screening their child prior to allowing them on a bus.

     

    The NJ DOE guidance is clear that our school district must be prepared to return to virtual instruction at a moment’s notice. Our district facilitated parent stakeholder groups at both the elementary and secondary levels to gather feedback related to our virtual instruction in the spring. These plans are currently being reviewed and revised at all our buildings based on feedback from these groups and from our own experiences. Should they be needed again, we are confident we will have even stronger plans for virtual instruction.

     

    Our district has partnered with Hanover Research to put together a comprehensive survey to collect thoughts and concerns related to the different approaches briefly outlined in this communication. This survey was sent to all parents, staff, and 6-12 students. More information is available in the survey instrument. It is important to understand that we are still monitoring the situation and have not settled on any one plan at this time. We will look to have a finalized plan in place for dissemination by the start of August. Please know that this is an extremely fluid situation, and we thank you in advance for your understanding. I want to reiterate that the health and safety of our entire community is our primary concern in any plan that will be implemented for September.

     

    Thank you,

     

    Jennifer Fano, Superintendent

    Comments (-1)
  •  

    BOE Update

     

    The Randolph Board of Education is seeking candidates to fill the unexpired term of a board member who recently resigned. Interested candidates are expected to be interviewed at the July 21, 2020 regular Board meeting in accordance with the process set forth in Board Policy 0143 (available online). After a state mandated background check, the person selected to fill the term would take office soon after and serve through the Organization Meeting in January 2021. Interested candidates should send their cover letter and resume via email to Mr. Gerald Eckert, Board Secretary at geckert@rtnj.org no later than July 15, 2020. For more information, please click here:

     

    https://www.rtnj.org/domain/1319

     

    In addition, the Randolph Board of Education will have (3) three-year seats available and (1) one-year seat in its upcoming election on November 3, 2020. Interested candidates may file a nominating petition with the Morris County Clerk’s office by the deadline of 4 PM July 27, 2020. For more information and a copy of the petition, please click here:

     

    https://www.njsba.org/…/membership-…/school-board-candidacy/

     

    Qualified board candidates can download the information directly from the NJSBA website. The kit includes information about filing a petition, legal qualifications for candidates & other information such as the NJ School Ethics Act, important dates & other candidacy information.

     

    Comments (-1)

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