LITTLE EGG HARBOR, NJ - The families of students had the opportunity to participate in two zoom sessions on July 30, hosted by Superintendent Dr Melissa McCooley. At the beginning of the session, Dr McCooley referenced the  119 page reopening document was sent in advance of the noon and five pm reopening meetings; with 51 pages being the State of NJ requirements that the district had to build into the fall 2020 school plan. The meeting began with Dr McCooley reminding attendees that this plan is fluid based upon day by day decisions and state updates. This plan was made with consideration of sixty stakeholders who formed the Reopening Committee.

The overview broke down the difference between  Hybrid vs Virtual learning formats, with the Hybrid Model having students with last names beginning with A-L  attending Monday and Thursday with M-Z attending Tuesday and Friday, with Wednesday having all students virtual for cleaning of facilities. The plan for Self Contained Students, is to have families work with case managers to review their four-day schedule. It was noted that once schedules are sent out, families have options to rearrange. Rescheduling can be accommodated to fit the needs of families, as long as 50 percent occupancy in building is achieved. Ocean County Vocational Tech Students will have their shared and full time schedules confirmed once transportation is finalized.

For families who wish to enroll their students in the Virtual option, they will be assigned a teacher and will need to log into that class four days a week on their laptop to watch virtual instruction through Google Classroom. Teachers have the option to record class, so the student may be able to review. Dr McCooley notified attendees that a form will be available on the district website to select virtual or hybrid learning with a deadline by Aug 15. Follow up will then take place from the school and selections cannot be changed until January 1, 2021. Virtual Students will be allowed to participate in school athletics and events.

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The District's instructional expectations for students include access to individual Chromebooks, same expectations for an in person or remote learner, attendance will be taken daily or per class, assessments and grades will be given. Safety measures according to state and CDC guidelines include: contact less digital temperature taken upon entry daily, if student has records as having a temperature they will be checked again. If there have a fever, they will be put into isolation until they can be picked up. Masks and social distancing protocol will be followed, recess will not include playground areas, meals will be distributed as a grab and go service.

Staffing was also addressed, with Families First Coronavirus Response Act requiring employees with paid sick leave and expanded family leave due to COVID19; which could impact the school year.  The noon session ended with a Q & A chat session was fielded by Ms. Gina Frasca and John Berenato regarding several policy questions relating to mask and locker use, athletics and social distancing policies at lunch. A comprehensive reopening plan webpage is available at Pinelands School District Website