SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- After providing a preview of the reopening plan for the academic year last Sunday, Scotch Plains-Fanwood SPFK12 district superintendent Dr. Joan Mast emailed parents on Friday just after 9:00 p.m. with the full details of what school will look like in September.

The plan, 58-pages in length, came with an introductory letter from the superintendent detailing how the reopening will happen. 

I feel empathy for the unique challenges that parents have had to face since March because Covid-19 has greatly disrupted school sessions. The pressure on working parents who need to find solutions to support their child’s hybrid and virtual learning just adds additional burdens to what has already been a ‘crisis of limits’.
-- Dr. Joan Mast

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Earlier this week, a group of parents started an online petition encouraging Dr. Mast and the Board of Education (BOE) to return to 5-days of school each week. Dr. Mast addressed the topic in her letter on Friday evening: 

At this point in time, the full-time 5-day option is not available due to current NJ public health and safety concerns.  -- Dr. Joan Mast

The detailed Scotch Plains-Fanwood Restart and Recovery Plan addresses the following:

  • Conditions of Learning - Health and Safety Standards
  • Protocol for High Risk Staff Members
  • Promoting Behaviors that Reduce Spread
  • Classrooms, Testing and Therapy Rooms
  • Transportation Information 
  • Hybrid Return to School
  • Virtual Online Instruction
  • Full-Time Return to School 
  • Student Flow, Entry, Exit and Common Areas 
  • Screening, PPE, and Response to Students and Staff Presenting Symptoms 
  • Protocol for Returning Staff and Students
  • Protocols in response to a positive case of COVID-19 
  • Contact Tracing
  • Facilities Cleaning Practices
  • Facility Staff and Proper PPE 
  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
  • Meals
  • Activity Breaks and Physical Education 
  • Field Trips, Extracurricular, and Facilities Use

In her cover letter, Dr. Mast assured parents that, as the year goes on, the BOE will continuously monitor and evaluate the current plan and will pivot and adjust its approach in response to the existing available health data and direction provided by the NJDOE and the Department of Health.

The district will always make decisions prioritizing the safest environment for everyone. Please know that we all want the same goal: to ultimately have our students and our staff back in school full time for in-person learning.
-- Dr. Joan Mast

Virtual district discussions on the Restart Plan will take place for the Elementary level at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11, and for the Middle School and High School levels at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12. These meetings will be open to parents/guardians, and will provide an opportunity to discuss any questions regarding the Restart Plan. Details on how to join these virtual meetings will be emailed on Monday, Aug. 10.

The complete Scotch Plains-Fanwood Restart and Recovery Plan can be downloaded here. The outline of school schedules can be found on pages 35–40. TAPintoSPF will continue to monitor educational develops as the start of the school year approaches. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. Sign up for our free daily eNewsletter and “Like” us on Facebook and Twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.

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