FLORHAM PARK, NJ - Helen Keller once said, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” And indeed, when the COVID-19 lockdown occurred, many doors in the Florham Park School District literally closed. Yet, many other doors have also opened.

Recently on May 14th, the Florham Park School District released its latest communications and updates, among which include a planned delivery service of student materials to their homes, and recollection of the delivery boxes used for the return of school items (library books, athlete jerseys, etc).

“The district understands the many responsibilities being placed on families right now, and we cannot thank them enough for their support,” said Superintendent Steven Caponegro. “Therefore, we wanted to make this process as seamless as possible to assist our students and families during this time. Similar to Amazon, we will be communicating dates/times for our box drop off of student items, and then later in June for the pickup of items that belong to the school. The district did not want to discard of any item belonging to students, since many of these items can be reused and is an added expense for our families to repurchase.”

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Parents of Florham Park students have responded very well to such delivery services, such as Darea Hastie, whose child attended Ridgedale Middle School.

“Just like everyone else, when COVID-19 hit, we had no idea what life would look like, let alone how we would do ‘virtual learning’ from home,” said Hastie. “We are very grateful for all the time and preparation that the Florham Park School District put in before leaving school in early March. Every detail from making sure all of the kids were set up properly with technology, to communicating with teachers, zoom calls, to deciding how kids will retrieve items left at school were communicated clearly. We as a family are very appreciative of all the hard work and care our that teachers and administration have put in over these last few months in such uncertain times.”

Jen Adochio, another Florham Park parent, and a teacher at Briarwood Elementary, was also happy with how the school district has handled the virus crisis. “Distance learning has its challenges, but the Florham Park School District goes above and beyond to engage their students and work with the parents in every way they can,” said Adochio.

“It is amazing to see the grade level teachers collaborate with a daily learning plan containing videos and activities for each subject. Knowing my daughters are continuing to learn each day due to all of their hard work and dedication proves comfort during this difficult time. It was so great to hear that the student items left at school are being packed and personally delivered to our homes. All we have to do is empty the box and fill it with any items that need to be returned. It is a perfect, stress free plan that is being carried out by the wonderful staff in our district! I honestly cannot praise the teachers and administrators enough for all of the continued hard work they do each for the children in Florham Park!”

Also recently, the school district released a video on their website, featuring a presentation on tips and strategies for student wellness, such as developing routines and functional workspaces, taking breaks and having fun, building child independence, supporting learning, using time wisely, creating a community during social distancing, monitoring social media, signs of anxiety and how to handle it, resources for crisis management, coping with grief and loss and above all staying positive.

Superintendent Caponegro himself could not be prouder of his school staff and community as he and others prepare for deliveries and other initiatives.

“It has certainly been a team effort,” said Caponegro. “During these difficult times, it is comforting to know that our teachers, service providers, and admins are there for the students and their families, as we all try to be as flexible as possible since every family’s situation is different. Due to the pandemic and parents working with their children during distance learning, the district wanted to provide the ability for them to remain at home and still receive their child’s belongings, and at the same time, return school materials. Therefore, the district purchased and labeled boxes for each student and we will use our transportation department to deliver student materials from their desks and lockers to their front door, and then with the same individually labeled box, the district will pick up the box at the end of the academic year with materials that must be returned to school. The district is trying to assist families in any way possible during this time. Though this is just a small gesture, many families have already contacted me indicating how much they appreciate this.”

 

For COVID-19 updates and information, visit the Florham Park School District website at

https://www.fpks.org/.