Closure Update and Reminders 3-27-2020

Closure Update and Reminders 3-27-2020
Posted on 03/27/2020
Message from the Superintendent: Closure Update and Reminders 3-27-2020

27 March 2020

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s):

Yesterday, in a press briefing, Governor Murphy shared that school would not re-open before 4/17. It would be at that time, at the earliest, that he would re-assess the state of COVID-19 in New Jersey and begin to make a decision about re-opening school, in consultation with the Department of Health and the Department of Education.

In other words, e-Learning will continue next week (3/30 - 4/3); we then have April Break with no e-Learning (4/6 - 4/10); we will continue with e-Learning after April Break (4/13 – on), until further notice.

Our dedicated and talented faculty will continue to provide for the continuity of instruction through e-Learning Activities. Many of our teachers have moved to virtual teaching, with live instruction and discussion, and the feedback has been overwhelming positive. Our sophistication with e-Learning is sure to continue to develop over the coming weeks, as we all gain more experience with it. Thank you for your patience with us!

Regardless of our actual return-date to school, I will be developing an initial interest-survey about a possible in-District, no-fee, skill-booster summer program for all grades. This initial interest-survey will be highlighted in an upcoming communication.

New Jersey State Testing:

The New Jersey Department of Education recently applied for a testing waiver from the Federal Government, and it was granted. New Jersey schools do not have to administer the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA) in Grades 3-8 this spring. Yesterday, I was informed that students who are enrolled in high school courses will be given opportunities to take their end-of-course NJSLA tests in the summer or in the fall to fulfill their high school graduation requirements. We do have middle school students taking Algebra I and Geometry – both high school courses – and we will communicate more information to their families, as we learn more about the end-of-course test administration.

Student Wellness and Adult Wellness:

As the weeks of this school closure carry on, you might find that you or your child would like to speak with someone from the school. Maybe that which seemed manageable at first is becoming increasing overwhelming for you and your child(ren). If this is the case, or if your child just wants to talk with someone other than the teacher(s), please do not hesitate to contact us. Our principals, counselors, and nurses are available. Also, I am in the Board Office every day from 8:00 AM – 12 noon.  

Here are some wellness resources you might find helpful:

  • Awning is a customized stress-management app for students and adults, which was developed by two Bergen County schools’ alumni. It has been introduced and shared at several local high schools; students and staff members have found success with the tools that it offers. A link to the app, which is currently free, can be found here.
  • Here are social-emotional activity ideas for middle school students.
  • Here are social-emotional activity ideas for elementary school students.


Social Distancing
:

I keep repeating this information because it is so important that we all remember it.

  • You and your child(ren) must continue to practice social distancing –- remaining 6 feet from others. The more we do now, the sooner we will be able to return to school and to our routines.
  • Joining together for play-dates, inside or outside, may only cause the situation to worsen. We all need to do our part to help “flatten the curve” of this outbreak.
  • You may be carrying the virus and not know it. Even if you or your child(ren) do not show symptoms of COVID-19, you could be a carrier of the virus to others. So, you can give the virus to another without being sick yourself.


Weekend Activity Ideas
:


While you and your family continue to practice social distancing this weekend, here are some links you might want to explore:

  • I came across this site, which offers a compilation of free online college courses. A number of courses have already started, but the list, arranged by category, is definitely worth exploring. You or your upper-grade middle schooler might find something interesting, even if just for exposure! This might be an exploration for April Break, too.
  • If your child is interested, here are free, downloadable and printable coloring pages and books, curated by The New York Academy of Medicine, from libraries, archives, and cultural collections around the world.
  • Travel to the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton, NJ, and learn about the barracks, which served as a military barracks during the French and Indian War and served a variety of purposes for the British and American soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Visit their March exhibits: When Women Vote and Necessary and Proper for the Public Good: World War I  


Each day is a new day; please do only what you are able to do. Remember, we are here to support each other. Thank you for your continued understanding, patience, and collaboration.

Be well,


Danielle M. Da Giau, Ed.D.

Superintendent

Old Tappan Public School District

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