Superintendent's Blog

  • Update 4-1-2020

    Posted by James Albro on 4/1/2020 7:00:00 AM

    Today is April 1st, aka April Fools' Day.  This is a day when it is traditional to play good-natured tricks on each other, and share in a few laughs.  When I was a teacher I generally taught 11th and 12th grade students, and I really enjoyed trying to "fool" all of them with a surprise quiz or some other well-conceived trick that I hoped they wouldn't figure out.  Wouldn't it be great if all of the Covid 19 news we are hearing and precautions we are taking were all part of some elaborate April Fools' Day scheme?!  Sadly, we know that isn't the case and we are truly dealing with something that is very serious and certainly not a joke at all.  

    As always, I do have a few updates and points of information to share:

    April 17th:  You may recall that this is the date that the governor has indicated that he will address the school closures and perhaps indicate when they might end.  We are all anxiously awaiting the information he will share, as it will not only inform us as to when we will be able to return to school but also whether or not many of our end of year events, sports programs, and other activities will be able to take place.  

    Virtual Meetings:  We have begun making a lot of great use of our Google Meets application.  Teachers are meeting with administrators, I am meeting with my administrators and supervisors at least weekly, and more and more teachers have been using this platform to interact differently with their students.  I expect as our teachers learn and become more comfortable with this kind of instruction that our students will see it more and more.  

    Parent Communication:  Parents, please remember to call your child in as "absent" if they are not participating in instruction for the day.  You should call the absence line as you normally would on those days, and we will be able to tell your child's teacher that your child will not be participating for the day.  

    Chromebooks:  To date we have given out over 100 chromebooks to our students in grades K-12.  Anyone can request a chromebook if their child needs one to access their lessons daily.  PLEASE make your requests to chromerequest@wboe.org and we will make every effort to get you a chromebook.  I am prepared lend out EVERY chromebook we have in our buildings if it will help a students to access their education.  There is no sense for them sitting in a school where nobody can use them...right?  Once this crisis has averted parents will simply return them to the schools.

    District Resources:  My staff, like many essential businesses, is significantly reduced.  Our teachers of course are working from home.  We have begun rotating custodial staff in our buildings, trying to keep at least two home every day.  Secretaries are coming in to assist when we have need, but otherwise they are working from home checking phone messages and emails daily as well as tending to their normal duties.  Principals have been coming in and out of the schools to tend to some of their business, give out chromebooks, and meet (virtually) with students and parents.  The central office staff are alternating working from home and the office to keep district operations running.  Our technology staff is working primarily from home, but accessing chromebook requests and a flood of "help desk" tickets from teachers and other staff each and every day.  Thankfully I have been able to come in each day, and I couldn't be more pleased with how responsible and attentive my staff has been in all areas of school operations.  I'm a very lucky superintendent!

    We will continue to make every effort to staff our buildings each day of the week, but this is becoming more difficult each day as more and more people connected to our staff and their families are testing positive (or are presumed positive).  Like you, some of my essential staff will need to self-isolate from time to time as a precaution if they were exposed to anyone with Covid19.  For now we are well, and functioning as we need to.  Of course we all hope that this will always be the case!

    Until the next update, please be safe and healthy.  My best wishes go out to you and all of your families.

    Comments (-1)
  • On Thursday evening, March 5th, the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) provided new guidance regarding requirements for public health-related school closure, stating:

     

    "In the event a board of education is provided a written directive by either the NJDOH or the health officer of the jurisdiction to institute a public health-related closure, the board of education may utilize home instruction to provide instructional services to enrolled students. Any day in which students impacted by a public health-related closure have access to home instruction services provided consistent with the guidance in this memo will count as a day in which the board of education has provided public school facilities toward its compliance with the 180-day requirement in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-9."

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