KENILWORTH, NJ - Please see the Coronavirus update from Kyle Arlington, superintendent of schools.

March 9, 2020

 

Dear School Community:

 

I want to share updates on our health and wellness efforts related to the Coronavirus.  

 

I have been actively monitoring the guidance provided by the CDC as well as the NJ Department of Education and NJ Department of Health.  Additionally, I have been in communication with our County’s Executive Superintendent and my superintendent counterparts across Union County.  These conversations have been productive and critical in our district’s efforts to engage in thoughtful planning. I was especially glad to connect with Kenilworth’s Health Officer who reviewed, and approved of, our district’s precautionary measures, as well as my correspondence and updates.  

 

Here are some important notes, procedures, and reminders going forward.

 

School Closing Update from the DOE:

The Department of Education published a notice with Guidance Regarding Requirements for Public Health-Related School Closure.   The NJDOE will count home instruction-like activities including direct services, online instruction, or any other means developed by the district to meet the needs of its students as part of the required 180 days of school.  However, we should note that this allowance of home-instruction, which may include distance-based or online learning, only counts towards the 180 days if we are directed by a public health agency to close schools and not when we self-elect to close schools for preparatory measures.  Related to this concern, please note the following:

  • An internal, district Task Force is in the process of meeting to make specific plans for distance learning in the event of a school closing.

  • In order for us to consider the potential for virtual learning as an option for distance learning, we are asking families to complete this survey by Thursday, March 12, 2020.

  • Our teachers will be using our upcoming March 18, Professional Development half day to collaborate on strong, meaningful plans in the event of a school closing.  

Continued Reminders: 

  • We have amplified our efforts to sanitize and clean our facilities by following standards for enhanced cleaning and disinfecting using EPA-registered products proven to kill both seasonal viruses and the Coronavirus.

  • In the event a child is returning to school after having traveled to an area of the world, within the past two weeks, that has been highly impacted by the Coronavirus, per the Department of Health, we insist families contact their school’s principal and nurse.  We will work with these families to identify support via the appropriate timeline and clearances for re-entry into school, with an eye on keeping our entire school community safe.

  • Please only notify the school district about your own child/children who have recently traveled to a country impacted by the Coronavirus. We cannot discuss the health concerns of other students due to confidentiality restriations.    

Preventative Measures:

  • Please keep sick children home. 

  • Cover coughs and sneezes.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before eating and after using the bathroom, sneezing or coughing.  

  • Hand sanitizing solutions are not as effective as, nor a replacement for, vigorous hand washing.  

Please Keep in Mind:

  • There are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in our local community.
  • School closings are considered a last resort, not a preventative measure.  

  • While we should expect nationally the number of cases to rise, we should not correlate our district’s level of preparation with alarmed or increased concern.

  • Unless otherwise directed by the Department of Education/Health and the NJSIAA, in the event of a state-mandated school closing, all athletic events and extracurricular activities (including field trips) will be canceled. 

  • The circumstances around the Coronavirus requires us to wait a few weeks to send definitive word about the use of our give-back days as a result of unused snow days.  

I will continue to provide ongoing updates as they become available.  Thank you for your efforts in keeping our school community healthy and well.

 

Sincerely,

Kyle C. Arlington

Superintendent of Schools