NEWTON, NJ—The Newton Public School district released a letter about their plan for the reopening of school come September. Superintendent Kennedy Greene said in the letter the district is planning a hybrid model with both in-person and remote learning. 

According to the letter, which was signed by Superintendent Kennedy Greene, Newton has been thinking about how to protect its students and is asking for parents’ thoughts as well. 

The district will be sending out surveys to families, staff members and middle and high school students.

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“We need to hear from you about your experiences, how you are feeling about school reopening in the fall, your family’s health, and what your needs may be,” Greene said.

There are health standards that need to be followed based on the National CDC guidelines and plans from the state. According to the letter the important standards are:

  • Staff and students staying home when they are sick
  • Daily health screenings by trained employees
  • Frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing
  • Physically/socially distanced classrooms and other learning spaces
  • Face coverings for staff, students and visitors
  • Regular messaging emphasizing how to prevent spreading illness
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of all classrooms, restrooms, buses, touchpoints, etc.
  • Isolation based on symptoms with contact tracing for confirmed cases

The letter addresses not only physical health, but also the effect months of distancing has had on the students’ mental health.

“A key component of our district reopening plan will be to assess and address the social, emotional and mental health of our students using multi-tiered systems of support,” Greene said.

“As for teaching and learning, there will be no opportunity to return to a pre-COVID normal until a vaccine is fully deployed, which may happen by Fall 2021 at the earliest,” Greene said in the letter.  “So, we must plan for hybrid instruction as a preferred model for 2020-21 and remote instructions: for students whose parents choose not to send them to school and if a viral reemergence occurs.”

Greene has encouraged anyone who has questions or concerns at this time to contact him directly by email at kgreene@newtonnj.org or by phone at 973-383-7392.

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