NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The graduates will have their in-person ceremonies in a few weeks, but the format for the next school year depends on at this point unknown state policies and regulations. Superintendent David Miceli gave an overview of the end of the year ceremonies for Middle and High School Graduates at the Thursday, June 25 Board of Education (BOE) meeting. This was the first BOE meeting over Zoom. He also provided different scenarios of schooling once the new school year begins. Athletic Director Vincent Carangelo gave some information regarding summer training and fall sports.
High School Graduation
The graduation will take place on Thursday, July 9 at 7 pm on Lieder Field. Each student may have two guests. The rain date is Friday, July 10 at 10:30 am.
Middle School Promotion
The 8th grade promotion will be conducted in two sessions on Lieder Field on Wednesday, July 8 at 9:30 am and 7 pm in order to accommodate approximately 200 students, staff and parents within the 500-person limit for outdoor gatherings. Each student can have two guests. Rain date is set for Friday, July 11.
High School Athletics
Carangelo noted that typically the summer recess period begins on June 15. During the recess period coaches may have optional practices and conditioning sessions. The start of summer practices has been pushed back to July 13 with restrictions. The students will not be able to share any other equipment, except a ball. Additionally, students and coaches are subject to Covid-questionnaires prior to returning to play. Students with pre-existing medical condition will need a doctor’s clearance to play. Daily temperature readings and screenings will also be administered.
He also noted that the scheduled start date, August 10, for football and tennis may be delayed. The return to a regular fall sports schedule is pending state regulations.
Miceli explained that the district is waiting an announcement regarding the next school year from the state. Governor Murphy is likely to provide some information and guidelines on Friday, June 26. Meanwhile the district continues to make preparations for all possible scenarios which include school starting as normal as well as alternative remote and hybrid learning models. In addition, the district is evaluating what worked and what did not work during the online system utilized this past spring. The district is also preparing to seamlessly move from one learning model to another depending on the changing situation.
Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Supervision Jay Richter explained that the district is enhancing programs and curricula that may work better in remote settings, such as online platforms, video-conferencing and other digital platforms where students can connect with each other and the teacher. He noted that live video-conferencing appeared to work best in small group settings. The district will also work on the assessment system and grading to match the remote learning challenges.
Furthermore, the district is conducting teacher training so that they will be familiar with different online platforms. Richter noted that training is needed in many areas, including social-emotional learning, mental health issues and the trauma of Covid-19.
Additionally, Miceli announced that the extended summer school sessions will be carried out remotely this year. The district is also waiting for the final state aid amount.