School Closure Update 6-1-2020

Message from the Superintendent: School Closure Update 6-1-2020
Posted on 06/01/2020
Message from the Superintendent: School Closure Update 6-1-2020

1 June 2020

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s):

We are in the twelfth week of the school closure, and, including this week, there are three weeks remaining until the end of the school year. We know families continue to find themselves navigating home routines, trying to maintain momentum, and balancing the pressures of their changed responsibilities. Our District’s trained professionals continue to be here to support you. If you have questions, just want to talk – with our without your child, or if you simply are interested in learning more, we have designed pathways for your choosing. Our District is offering OT Connections: Want to Talk? Want to Read? Want to Check In? This three-part support system is intended to give you opportunities to connect with our trained health and wellness professionals. You will find direct contact information for them, and you will be able to see the dates and times of our next sets of virtual check-in sessions. OT Connections will continue to offer additional resources and check-in sessions that span the upcoming weeks, as well as the weeks leading up to our anticipated return to school. Our home-school connection is critical – now and always! 

The principals have been and will continue to be communicating with you regarding pick-ups of students’ items and drop-offs of school items. They also will communicate with you about year-end activities, as they relate to particular grade levels.

We continue to await guidance on the use of school buildings during the summer months. This will impact the shape and form a Summer Skill-Booster Program will take. If an in-person program is a viable option, we would like to consider that before making a decision to plan for a fully virtual offering for all students. Once we know more about our programmatic options, then we will be able to solicit your interest in a participation survey and sign-up process. As you think about summer, you might find this article, Twenty (20) Ways Tech Could Keep Your Kids Engaged and Learning This Summer, of interest. It includes some activity and program ideas that vary by area and age range.

We were excited to hear the news from Governor Murphy that in-person, outdoor commencement ceremonies would be possible for schools, beginning 6 July 2020. However, we are waiting to hear that the outdoor gathering capacity increases above 25 people so that we have a better sense for planning purposes. This increase will only be done by the Governor’s Executive Order. Of course, no matter the capacity limit, any in-person summer events that are planned will have to follow the State’s guidelines and directives, which include social distancing, taking temperatures of all attendees, wearing masks, and limiting contact as much as possible. We will continue to think about what might be best as we wait for more updates.

Our Old Tappan and Northern Valley administrative teams, along with the Bergen County Department of Education, have already begun the planning for the re-opening of schools in September. Like all other school districts, we are planning for a variety of possibilities while awaiting detailed guidance from the Governor’s Office and the State Department of Education. At this point, we are anticipating key factors that might inform State decisions, considering a variety of scenarios, anticipating challenges that might arise, and developing a proposed timeline for finalizing and sharing our plans, all pending State guidelines and directives.

This surely continues to be a journey for all of us. I want to thank you for all you continue to do to support each other and our school community. We are so fortunate to have each other.

Be well. Remain strong and healthy. And, know that we are here to help you with anything you or your family might need.

Respectfully,

Danielle M. Da Giau, Ed.D. 
Superintendent of Schools
Old Tappan Public School District

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