August 2020 Update
Dear SBJC Families,
Since Governor Murphy’s June 26 announcement that all New Jersey Public Schools would open in September, many SBJC families and faculty have been working together for weeks on end to ensure that our schools would be able to safely open their doors. This will surely be a school year like no other, but I can say with certainty that our district teams have risen to the occasion to provide a plan that puts your child’s well-being at the forefront of our reopening.
There is no perfect option to opening schools. I am aware that some districts are opening their schools, some districts are not opening at all, and some districts are opening only certain grade levels while having others go virtual. There are pluses and minuses to each approach. Our Restart Committee knew all too well that virtual learning and therapy is not the most beneficial approach to educate children with extraordinary challenges. And so we believe that the most prudent course of action right now is to open our schools--with precautions like universal masking, PPE, and social distancing--in an effort to provide students with an in-person learning experience for as long we can.
I wanted to reshare the following information with you to make sure that we are all on the same page:
- The first day of school will be Tuesday, September 8, 2020. We will follow a single-session schedule for the first two weeks of school.
- Following the first two weeks of school, the Restart Committee will reassess the needs of our children and our schools in order to make a decision to switch to a full-day schedule.
- Parents who opted for their child to learn virtually will have the opportunity to opt their child back in to in-person learning on October 16 and November 30.
- We have secured adequate amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE) that shall be available, accessible, and provided for use by students. You are more than welcome to send your child in with their own face coverings, but please know additional face coverings will be available in our schools.
- You will be asked to fill out daily screening sheets regarding the showing symptoms of your student and those that they live with. We ask that you fill them out every morning and hand them to your students bus driver or bus aide if using bussing, or hand it to the designated staff if dropping your student off.
- Upon arrival at school, kiosks or non-contact thermometers will be used for temperature screening of all students and staff, as well as the completion of verbal questionnaires.
- Our faculty and staff will be trained in all aspects of safety.
School-based information will be sent to you from your child’s school principal on how your specific school will function on September 8. All of our buildings have a Pandemic Response Team in place to address issues and concerns specific to that building. These building-level plans have been included in our district-level plan, which can be found on our website: https://www.njsbjc.org.
This upcoming school year will surely be unlike any other, but if we all continue to work together we can ensure the safety of our students and staff. Our Restart Committee will continuously convene to adjust our practices and make changes that benefit our students. As you know everything can change hour to hour, day by day. We will communicate with you if anything changes.
We look forward to welcoming our students back into the classroom.
Dr. Michael Kuchar