HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ -  One contentious issue was put to bed, but two others were the main focus of the Thursday evening’s Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education meeting that was held virtually.

The proposed shared services agreement between the Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education and the South Hackensack Board of Education pertaining to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Helfant working to also cover South Hackensack will not be happening, according to Helfant.  The shared services agreement covering Special Education and the Business office and Technology will remain unchanged.

However, the back-to-school plan and the alleged Facebook post of Board of Education member Rob Faussette drew several comments from residents during the public hearing.   Faussettee has stated that his account was hacked

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During Helfant’s report he noted that after two meetings held with parents, Wednesday the New Jersey Department of Education Commissioner released the following guidance

“Given the change in instructional options, I will extend the submission date to no later than July 31, 2020.  I am recommending until next week before submitting your plan, (this is in regards to the re-opening plan) to ensure it meets all the checklist components.  Please keep in mind that your school community must provide access to the schedule of in-person and virtual/remote instruction at least four weeks prior to school.”

“All reopening plans will be reviewed at the County Office and then submitted to the New Jersey Department of Education. As such, the DOE requires that the submission format be strictly adhered to.  I will provide guidance to submitting plans once the checklist is available.”

“I do want to report to the public that as of 7 pm … the checklist has not been sent to any districts,“ Helfant stated.  “There is no explanation of the additional instructional option, and we have no structure or template for the re-opening plan at this time.” 

Helfant noted that after the meetings he held with parents virtually, there still approximately 30 questions he did not get to answer at the time.  He stated that a video, answering those questions were put on the district website.

He stated he will update the community next Wednesday concerning the re-opening plans once the new checklist is received. Additionally, they are developing detailed plans as to what the virtual day on Wednesday will look like and will be reviewing them with the teachers next week, and then with the community.

Helfant then addressed Board of Education Trustee Rob Faussette, stating that he did file a police report, and that “there is a detailed investigation that is occurring. Essentially he filed a report for an investigation that would investigate himself, and anyone else involved."

“I would also like to make brief statement about the district, myself, and the district as whole in no way shape or form, at any time in the past, present or future support any dehumanizing, degrading actions or behavior towards anyone.  The district, well before things before we see in the media today, both nationally and locally, before any of that, we have always celebrated diversity in the district… and we will continue to do that. “ 

He noted that would be his only statement on the matter for the evening as it was an ongoing investigation.  

Helfant spent the next one hour and fifteen minutes answering questions submitted through the chat box online to Helfant.  In addition to clarification of various parts of the re-opening process, there were concerns raised by a parent wanting masks required to be worn in school by students. 

Helfant noted that the school is not requiring students to wear masks when at their desks and maintaining social distance from other students and teachers. He also noted that teachers would be required to wear masks at all times. 



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