WARREN, NJ - The Watchung Hills Board of Education approved a comprehensive hybrid Return to School Plan which can be viewed Monday evening’s presentation in its entirety as the slides outline the major details of the plan. ALL parents/guardians are asked to submit a response regarding whether you are choosing the hybrid or 100% remote learning option no later than August 14, 2020. This response will allow the district to finalize cohorts and class schedules. Please login to the Genesis Parent Portal account to submit the request. All fall sports physical paperwork is due on Thursday, Aug. 13. The nurse will be in the front vestibule Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30-12 to collect all paperwork. 

Highlights of the plans are:

  • Students will be divided alphabetically into two cohorts.  Cohort A will attend in-person M/T, Cohort B will attend in-person Th/Fri. Cohorts will alternate attending in-person on Wednesdays. Students in ELL and LLD programs will attend school every day.  Cohorts will be finalized in the coming weeks once we know which students’ parents opt to have their children attend school 100% virtually. This information may impact the balancing of the cohorts.
  • When students are not attending school in-person, they will be participating in their classes virtually from home. All virtual learning will be synchronous,(students will be required to login to their classes from home) at the same time the classes are meeting in school.
  • The student school day will run 7:30AM-12:05PM , consisting of periods 1-4 or 5-8, rotating daily.  This schedule also includes a brief snack time for students.
  • Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings at all times, unless participating in an outdoor physical education class or engaging in snack time.
  • Parents will serve as the primary screeners for students of COVID-19 symptoms each morning prior to their departure for school. Additionally, parents will be required to submit a weekly screening form for each of their children via Genesis. Staff will be required to do the same for themselves. Temperature-taking kiosks will also be placed at our entrances to check temperatures of all staff and students upon arrival.

Additional details on cleaning practices and other protocols that were approved are included in Monday’s presentation slides. 

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You will receive more correspondence in the coming weeks.  Some additional details on newly implemented procedures related to health and safety guidelines will be provided, which include:

  • Arrival and dismissal procedures
  • Detailed guidelines regarding parents’ option to select 100% virtual learning for their students
  • Updates to Student handbook on student behavior and expectations
  • Course-specific procedures (changes to our past practices) for the Arts, Science, and Physical Education

The district will continue to refine the plan throughout August and are also aware that even after school resumes, they may need to make needed adjustments.

"We are committed to remaining as responsive as possible to changing needs and circumstances, and we will always keep the health and safety of our students and staff at the forefront of all decisions," said Elizabeth C. Jewett, Ph.D.
Superintendent. "As we thoughtfully navigate these unprecedented circumstances, please know how much I appreciate your patience and understanding. I wish you and your families a safe, healthy, and enjoyable remainder of the summer!"


School Reopening Teams

District Reopening Team - Dr. Elizabeth Jewett, Superintendent, Chair

Reopening Curriculum Team - Mr. William Librera, Principal, Co-Chair
Ms. Mary Ellen Phelan, Director of C&I, Co-Chair

Reopening Operations Team - Mr. Timothy Stys, Business Administrator. Chair

Reopening Special Education Team - Ms. Michele Deremer, Director of Special Services, Chair

Reopening Communications Team - Dr. Elizabeth Jewett, Superintendent, Chair