School Closure Reminders and Update 4/3/2020

School Closure Reminders and Update 4/3/2020
Posted on 04/03/2020
Message from the Superintendent: School Closure Reminders and Update 4/3/2020

3 April 2020

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s):

As the third week of our school closure draws to conclusion, the teachers, principals, and I continue to thank you for your unwavering partnership with us. We are so fortunate to be members of a school community with supportive families who value education, creativity, courage, and collaboration.

Over the past three weeks, our temporary new-normal of social distancing, which encourages separation for safety’s sake, has forced us to find different ways of spreading joy.  The idea of being “alone together” truly has been brought to life within our school community. Students and teachers have connected through videoconferences; letters were written for CareOne healthcare workers and residents; students and staff participated in virtual spirit weeks; students shared online musical performances; teachers and principals shared video messages and read-alouds; digital gratitude walls have been erected; and positive messages are being written on driveways and sidewalks and posted in windows for all to see. As this closure continues, take notice of these joyful activities and participate in them, if possible. Create opportunities to spread joy and to celebrate even the smallest moments of happiness with your child(ren). We are always role-modeling!

April Break Activity Ideas:

Next week is April Break, 4/6/20 - 4/10/20. Although not the April Break you and your child(ren) had planned, consider the following activities for some family fun:

Let Books and Family Fun Take You Away!

Interested in Animals?

Try Learning Another Language!

  • Visit this site to begin exploring the world’s languages.  

Want to Play Music?

Science and Engineering at Home!

  • Enjoy at-home science and cooking experiments here.
  • Click here to code with Star Wars.  
  • Enjoy engineering challenges with things you have at home.
  • Always fun -- BrainPop (for Science and all subject areas!)

There is Always Time to Appreciate Art!

  • The National Gallery of Art offers a wonderful introduction to art and art history at NGAkids (Once you are able travel again, this Washington, D.C. museum is worth a visit!).  
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers amazing opportunities for children (in-person and virtually). MetKids is a great addition for at-home activities.
  • The Met’s Audio Guides for Kids features tours that are great for families.

Social Distancing

During April Break, the upcoming holidays, and beyond, it is critical that we 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 and gatherings, 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. In other words, you can give the virus to another without being sick yourself.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public space or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Always avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Summer Skill-Booster Program

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 published and highlighted in an upcoming communication.

On behalf of the Old Tappan faculty and staff, we miss our students! The teachers, principals, and I will be using this upcoming week to continue to plan and to engage in professional development opportunities that will help to augment the students’ e-Learning experiences. Please share hugs with your children from us, and let them know that we look forward to seeing their smiling faces online again on Monday, 4/13/20.

Stay healthy and safe,

Danielle M. Da Giau, Ed.D. 

Superintendent of Schools
Old Tappan Public School District

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