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HVRSD Update May 3, 2021
Thomas Smith
Monday, May 03, 2021

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we continue to move forward with our return to school planning. Our goal, since the fall, has been a return to full-day, in-person instruction, and the positive trends allow us to continue with our plan. As we begin Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3-7), it is important to acknowledge that we would not be where we are without the efforts of our staff. If you have a moment to write a quick note of thanks or appreciation to a teacher or staff member, I know it would be appreciated.

Although the current trends are promising, we must all remain vigilant to ensure the safety of our students and staff.  Remote learning will remain an option for interested families for the remainder of the school year. In preparation for our move to full day, in-person programming on May 17, we are making the following adjustments to our operating procedures: 

Change in daily screening /quarantining requirements

We will continue with our temperature screenings as students enter our schools and properly fitting masks must be worn at all times (unless eating or a structured mask break). Parents are no longer required to complete the daily online screening questionnaires (this does not include athletics or other extra-curricular activities).  For the safety of our students and staff, you are expected to monitor your child for COVID-like symptoms. Please do not send your child to school if they have any symptoms. Please remember that if your student has COVID-19 compatible symptoms, we must have a negative COVID-19 test result before they can return to school.

We are following the NJ guidelines for both travel and close contact quarantining.  Please let your school nurse know if you have traveled or have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive or is exhibiting COVID symptoms.

In-Person Attendance/Remote Learning Expectations

Our teachers need your support to ensure that we finish the year strong and make sure everyday is a meaningful day for our students.   In-person students must attend school in-person, every day.  In-person students who are not physically in class will be marked absent. 

For our students attending remotely for the remainder of the school year: All students must be on time, with their camera on, sitting at a desk, table, or in a similar learning environment, prepared to participate and work throughout the period.  Students will be marked absent and will not receive credit for the period if they do not follow these guidelines. Please do not allow your child to attend class from restaurants, stores, pool side, moving cars, or other distracting environments. This is disruptive to everyone in the class.

Transportation/Buses

We have received a few requests from secondary parents for transportation as we move towards full days. We are trying to accommodate as many requests as possible; however, space is very limited as we try to maintain social distancing on our buses. If you have signed up for a bus and are not using it, please let us know by completing this quick form. Please note: Masks are required at all times on the bus. Windows and ceiling vents will be open to increase airflow.  We are doing our best to maintain a 3 foot distance between students (siblings sit together), but given the seating configurations on school buses, we cannot guarantee there will not be close contacts. 

  

School Start Times

Over the past 18 months, our committee of parents, students and staff members worked diligently to review research, meet with experts, and facilitate focus groups. A tentative recommendation was made to the Board during the December board meeting; however, the logistics involved have proven more complex than we anticipated. After careful consideration we have determined that it is best to postpone any changes to our school start times for this September. The Board of Education remains committed to continuing their review with the hope of implementing changes for the 2022-23 school year. 

End of Year Activities / Calendar

Each school is finalizing their plans for all of our traditional end-of-year activities. We will continue to follow all COVID guidelines, so the activities may look a little different. Please be sure to visit our school websites, check the Focus, or view our email reminders regarding upcoming events over the next several weeks.

The last day of school for all levels is June 17.  June 16 and 17 are both early dismissal days.  We used one snow day this year (December 12), as a result, school is in session on Friday, May 28

Mental Health

We recognize that this has been a difficult time for many students, staff, and families.  Please take the time to speak to your children about their mental wellness and any issues they may be facing.  If you have any concerns, your child’s school counselor is your first point of contact. Our counseling department has developed a list of resources for families.  

Please join me in recognizing the tremendous efforts of our teaching staff, paraprofessionals, nurses, secretaries, custodians and administrators who have helped us achieve what was unimaginable a year ago. Their dedication to their students and hard work are the reason why we are able to return to school.