CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Superintendent Michael LaSusa has sent out a letter via email informing parents that all Chatham schools will operate on a two-hour delayed opening on Monday, March 9.

All morning pre-school and kindergarten sessions are canceled. 

LaSusa explains that the reason for the delay is to give the teaching staff extra "dedicated time" to gather instructional material in case the district is forced to close schools to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

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LaSusa's letter to parents:

Dear Parent,

All Chatham schools will have a 2-hour delayed opening for students on Monday, March 9.  AM pre-K and AM K sessions are canceled.

The reason for this delayed opening for students is to enable our staff to have additional, dedicated time to collaborate to curate instructional resources in the event the district must close due to the spread of Covid-19.  

On Thursday evening, the Department of Education issued guidance to all school districts outlining the process that will be used to provide online instruction to students in the event of a closure.  I am attaching this guidance document below.  Please note that the decision to close due to a health-related event is made by the Department of Health.  I have been in contact with our two local Departments of Health since Thursday, and they are closely monitoring the latest developments and coordinating with the state and our municipalities.  

This delayed opening will not change the school calendar for the rest of this week; the early dismissal scheduled for this coming Friday will remain in place.   I recognize that any abbreviated school day causes inconvenience to families.  However, having this time will enable us to continue to prepare for a possible closure.  I would rather overplan now than be under-planned should conditions change quickly.  Additionally, we have been fortunate thus far this year in that we have had a very mild winter: our only school closing occurred in November and our last delayed opening took place on December 17. 

Guidance Regarding Requirements for Public Health-Related School Closure.pdf 

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we continue to prepare for this unusual set of circumstances.


Mike LaSusa