MORRISTOWN, NJ - All schools in the Morris School District will be closed from March 16 through March 27, announced Mackey Pendergrast Superintendent of Schools for the Morris School District.

Friday March 13 will be an early dismissal day for students and the Sunset Program will operate as normal, he said.

In an announcement to parents, Pendergrast laid out the plan for students. Monday March 16 and Tuesday March 17 will be non-instructional days, utliizing the two remaining snow days. Beginning Wednesday March 18, students will move to virtual instruction via the Morris School District Virtual Learning Hub.

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"We have been preparing for the past month to transition from the classroom to virtual learning, and our district is well-positioned to continue instruction at home during the extended closure.  This includes instruction and related services for special education students," said Pendergrast. "We have created the Morris School District Virtual Learning Hub, an online instructional system that expands upon our existing web-based platforms.  Teachers and students will continue to utilize Canvas (grades 6-12) and Google Classroom (grades K-5), as well as other district-approved online platforms, to deliver class resources, activities, and assignments."

"Our immediate objective is to ensure that remote online learning will be accessible, practical, and provide continuity of instruction for students at each grade level", he said.  "Our plan is to take advantage of the digital and non-digital tools that are already familiar to teachers and students. The Virtual Learning Hub will be accessible to all district families through the MSD website beginning Tuesday, March 17, by 5:00 PM.  Once the Hub goes live, you will receive a Swift alert with the link.  Following this, you will receive a communication from your child’s principal with further information on how to proceed".

Students who qualify for free and reduced lunches will be able to pick those lunches up beginning Wednesday March 18. There will be pickup locations at two district schools during the extended closure. 

"All after school activities and events--sports, plays, club meetings, evening classes and presentations, field trips, etc.--are suspended beginning Friday, March 13, until further notice, said Pendergrast.  "Rescheduling of events may or may not be possible, as we cannot predict what the landscape will look like in advance.  Please know that we understand how truly disappointing such cancellations are, particularly for those activities which have involved enormous dedication and time on the part of our students"

"I realize that the extended closure of our schools and the transition to virtual learning district-wide will disrupt the usual patterns of all of our lives.  You will, understandably, have many questions, and challenges are bound to arise.  This update offers our initial answers with the promise of more information to come as we launch the Virtual Learning Hub next week", he said. "These are indeed unprecedented circumstances, but as we have done in the past, we will learn together and create the conditions to ensure that our children and our community are healthy and successful".


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