"I just want to say for the record that our teachers are doing an exceptional job. They are learning new strategies every day. They are enthusiastic. When you see them in the classroom they are engaging with their students and I have to tell you in my entire career I've never seen a group of professionals adjust to the challenges that they encountered last spring and for this school year and they really do need to be commended they are just doing an exceptional job and the community should be very proud of the teachers that they have in the classroom." said Holmdel Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lee Seitz
HOLMDEL, NJ - In what many call the 'platinum standard' in how public schools should be reopening, the Holmdel High School and Satz School will extend its full in school mornings to now encompass the entire day - with lunch. This will begin March 8th in order to fully engage parents and staff in the process, according to the Holmdel Superintendent Dr. Seitz.
The cutting edge partnership between the teachers union, helmed by Denise King and the Holmdel Board of Education, presided by Vicky Flynn has resulted in every single school in Holmdel back to full day in person education across the board.
In a state where the fight on school openings has raged with organized labor, union leader King has traveled a different path for local kids and their families. After extensive safety planning totaling over a million dollars and planned well in advance, her members have gone back to in person work with the appreciation of an entire community. Her membership advocacy coupled with evidenced based science is bearing fruit with Holmdel Public Schools being one of the few public schools that are fully open.
Other towns, such as Montclair, remain mired in what many believe is a losing fight to stay on a remote platform. The pandemic is receding, the science and Governor Murphy call for in school education and many communities, such as Holmdel, have accelerated the call to the classroom.
Virtual choice is still an option for families so inclined per state guidance.
However, in Holmdel, with their peers now pouring back in on the 8th for full day in person instruction, Holmdel High School is about to look, well, normal again and likely full of freshman through seniors. It is particularly impactful to the Senior Class of 2021 which, based on the partnership between the board of education, the administration and the teachers and support staff, the district is fully back in the business of in person education. The Satz school is also expecting a full rush of students now that they can see their friends and teachers all day. Seniors better make sure their parking spot is still available!
Dr. Lee Seitz made the announcement during the regular board of education meeting on Wednesday February 24th. He was particularly appreciative of the commitment of the employees of the district.
Said Seitz, "Across the board whether it be students teachers staff administrators, things are looking really good in terms of COVID-19 - with the increasing availability of vaccinations, I'm very hopeful they will decline further, and we will have the opportunity to be able to bring more and more students back to school."
And then came the news that was music to the ears of the community. "On March 8th we will be able to offer our students a full day of in person instruction at Satz and Holmdel High School. We have figured out a way to provide lunch - very simply we will use the commons area and the pit next to it as well as a portion of the new gym to provide lunch and in doing that students will sit at a student desk that is protected by a plastic shield and of course adequate cleaning protocols will take place to ensure that that is a safe environment for our students."
Detailed information to parents is planned for Thursday and Friday so families can plan ahead. During the public comment period the teachers were singled out, in a big and positive way, by the Superintendent.
"I just want to say for the record that our teachers are doing an exceptional job. They are learning new strategies every day. They are enthusiastic. When you see them in the classroom they are engaging with their students and I have to tell you in my entire career I've never seen a group of professionals adjust to the challenges that they encountered last spring and for this school year and they really do need to be commended they are just doing an exceptional job and the community should be very proud of the teachers that they have in the classroom." said Seitz
For Denise King, she joins the ranks of union leaders who partnered with the school community on behalf of her members to ensure that students and teachers are safely back in school as expected in America and certainly, the State of New Jersey according to guidance from Governor Murphy and the CDC.