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Message from the Superintendent Re: Reopening
Message from the Superintendent Re: Reopening
Andrew Kearns
Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Throughout the months of June and July, NB’s Reopening Task Force (RTF) has been meeting to strategically plan for the “The Road Back” (TRB) to school in September.  Throughout this process, the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff remain our focus and top priority. The Board of Education and this administration continue to work collaboratively with our faculty and community to develop our reopening plan for the 2020-2021 School Year.  The information we’ve gathered from previous surveys has served us well and has significantly informed this task.  At this time, the strategic plan is taking shape and NB’s RTF now seeks additional information that will be critical to the successful completion of the reopening model.  

With social distancing guidelines in place, we know that a hybrid instructional model will be the strategy implemented in New Jersey.  We also know that Governor Murphy has announced that families will have the option to select a 100% remote learning model for their student.  

The initial parent survey indicated that approximately 25% of parents preferred a 100% remote learning program.  To follow up on these data, and to finalize the logistics of our plan, the RTF needs your input.  This survey requests each family to commit to in-person hybrid or fully remote instruction for the first marking period only.  To assist families in making this decision, several steps were taken.  First, on Monday, July 27, the Reopening Task Force presented the Board of Education with specific details of the Reopening Plan and this presentation has been recorded and the recording is now posted on our website “NB’s Strategic Plan for a Safe and Successful School Year” for review. Next, in response to specific concerns regarding the 100% remote learning model, the district is producing a video discussing the 100% remote learning model.  This video will be posted on the district website on Wednesday, July 29th. 

At this time, NB’s RTF is asking for each family to select the learning model they will select for their student(s).

Option A (Hybrid): Under this option, the student will participate in the hybrid learning program.  This is a partial in-person and partial virtual model of instruction.  Students will be expected to wear masks while in the building. Your student will be assigned to a “Blue Team” or a “Grey Team”.  Each team will attend classes in-person for approximately 4 hours per day, two days per week.  Students on each team will participate in remote instruction on the days their team is not in-person.

Under Option A, the intent is to plan a two-phased approach where in Phase I the student attends school for in-person instruction in the morning, for approximately four (4) hours, and returns home for remote learning in the afternoon. This portion of the day includes student work on assigned tasks and individualized assistance with teachers. In Phase II of this option, the school day(s) that your student is scheduled for in-person instruction will increase to a full day.  

We will move to Phase II in this option if the health and safety of the faculty and students indicate the appropriateness of extending the school day to a full day schedule with lunch.  It is our desire to possibly move to Phase II in mid-to late November.  

Under Option A, if in-person after school activities are being offered, your student will have the opportunity to participate in the in-person after school activities on the day(s) he/she is on campus for in-person instruction.   

Option B (Remote): Your child will participate in the 100% remote learning program. Although participating remotely, your student will be required to participate in the scheduled instruction.  NB will provide the 100% remote learning model in accordance with state guidelines.  There will be virtual activities available.

Following the July 27 Board meeting, the RFT will work to finalize the plan and prepare final recommendations for the Board of Education to consider at its August 10th Board Meeting.  

To complete the final instructional model in a timely manner, NB’s RTF is asking parents to make this very important decision on or before Wednesday, August 5.  Please understand that this decision will be for the first marking period only (through mid-November).  At that time, the Board of Education will be reviewing the status of the district’s hybrid model of instruction, assessing strengths and weaknesses of the model, and considering appropriate revisions that would strengthen the model for students and faculty.   In addition, families will once again be surveyed and given the opportunity to select the hybrid or remote model for their student.  

To complete the survey, please log in to PowerSchool, select ‘Forms’ on the left side, then select ‘Reopening Our Schools’ to complete the survey. Be sure to submit and complete one per student.

A response for each student is needed by Wednesday, August 5th at 4:00 pm. 

Sincerely,

Dr. James Sarruda

Superintendent of Schools