KENILWORTH, NJ - Please see the latest update from Kyle C. Arlington Superintendent of Kenilworth Schools.
Dear School Community:
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the profound sense of sadness that I know many students and teachers are feeling as a result of the news that we will not be returning to school this year. This update was written with that sensitivity in mind and also with the dual purpose of providing some logistical information as well as sharing news worthy of celebration, starting with:
Teacher Appreciation Week
This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week. There’s still time to send a note of encouragement or thanks to a teacher who has impacted you or your child. Thank you to our PTOs who helped to honor our teachers in special ways this week.
A middle school teacher shared with me a note she received from a family, and the simple expression articulates a profound sentiment in its celebration of teachers: “Thank you for your dedication, hard work, and commitment. We are grateful for your time, your patience, and your passion. Despite these challenging times, you continue to step up to the plate and give your students your all. We appreciate you.”
We realize that there are some logistical considerations that need to be figured out now that students won’t be returning to school this year, including such matters as the cleaning out of desks and lockers, the returning of books, accounting for Chromebooks, in some cases the returning of sports uniforms, etc. We are actively working to create a plan for this work. I respectfully request that you do not contact your child’s teacher about such matters. Information and a schedule will be shared by your building principal in the upcoming weeks that prioritizes organization as well as health and safety protocols.
May 15th: A Flexible Friday
Next Friday, our teachers are planning for a “Flexible Friday”. The day is designed to help support both students and teachers who need efforts to help them either re-engage or stay connected with distance learning. Teachers will be using the day to allow students to catch up on work or engage in enrichment activities. It is still a day of school and attendance should be submitted. Your child’s teacher will be sharing more. In the words of a colleague who I value very much, it’s an opportunity to PAUSE, BREATHE & REFRESH.
Regarding High School Graduation
I’m thankful that Principal Chibbaro and Assistant Principal Lott have facilitated several conversations about possibilities for graduation. Additionally, I’m equally grateful for the faculty advisors, Ms. Harrison and Ms. Warchol, along with the members of the PTO - particularly PTO members of senior students - and their aligned commitment to ensuring our seniors have a special end-of-year experience.
At this time, the Governor’s executive orders do not allow for a traditional ceremony as we know it. So while it’s disappointing to some, we are actively planning for a virtual graduation. Thanks to the work of the administration, class advisors, and PTO parents, we are also planning for some special elements to the graduation to hallmark it as one to remember.
However, we are also committed to a more traditional follow-up ceremony. Whether that happens later in the summer or even in the Fall will depend on what relaxed social distancing requirements are.
To be clear: we’re planning for a virtual graduation because we have to. We’re planning for a follow-up ceremony because we want to. When and how that ceremony will happen will be governed by when and how restrictions are lessened sufficiently enough for us to do so.
Principal Input Survey
I anticipate that at its upcoming meeting, the board of education will accept the resignation of Brearley Middle-High School principal, Ms. Chibbaro. I admire Ms. Chibarro’s knowledge of teaching and learning and have been impressed with her fastidious work-ethic. I wish her well in her future endeavors. As we engage in a thoughtful search process for her successor, I encourage you to share your input about the traits and experiences of our next leader. You can share that thinking here.
In Closing: Let’s Celebrate Good News!
As we look to share ways to celebrate Brearley High School’s Class of 2020, I’m pleased to share a growing list of colleges to which our soon-to-be graduates have been accepted.
Additionally, If your senior wants to share plans for life after Brearley High School, whether it's college, a trade school, or the military, I encourage him/her to fill-out this form. These spotlighted seniors will be featured on our high school’s Instagram page: @Brearley_Bears.
Finally, our Kenilworth Shouts Out! Campaign is off to a strong start. If you’d like to share your child’s success, highlight a teacher’s effort, or extol a community member or worker, please consider filling out this form. Or, you can email your shout out to: email@example.com.
I wish everyone, particularly all of our moms, a great weekend and Happy Mother’s Day!
Kyle C. Arlington
Superintendent of Schools