August 17, 2020

Dear Nutley Parents and Staff,

On August 12, Governor Murphy signed an executive order that school districts that cannot meet all health and safety standards for safe in-person instruction may begin their school year with 100% virtual learning. While our draft plan reflects the extensive research and thorough planning the district has done to meet the health and safety standards, identify the necessary protocols and procedures, including those for hygiene and social distancing, we are still challenged in several areas under the requirements for
general health and safety, particularly ventilation, and those that ensure the delivery of general and special education, and related services to students with disabilities.

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The Nutley Board of Education (BOE) is requesting the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) to permit the district to use the Option (1) 100% Virtual instructional model for students for the first marking period, and trimester of the 2020-2021 school year. Option (1) was detailed in the draft reopening plan submitted to the community on August 4 and available on our website. The BOE will resolve to approve a modified plan for a phased reopening of schools and the resumption of in-person learning, that also supports a safe return of students and staff to district school buildings. The vote will be at the next public meeting of the BOE on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 5:00 PM. This will be a virtual meeting. The link to the meeting and instructions for participating via live streaming will be available for Wednesday. This will address any limitation on the number of participants imposed by Google Meet. Please submit questions in advance at: publiccomments@nutleyschools.org 

If schools are approved to open 100% virtually on September 8, we are also looking to provide emergency child care for any of our families who have no other options for students in grades K-6. This information is being developed and will be shared at the August 19 BOE meeting.

We did not come to this decision lightly. If approved, we will communicate more details regarding the expectations for staff and students and the way we hope to phase in our in-person reopening. The choices families made on the Real Time Parent Portal for 100% virtual or hybrid instruction will be used when the buildings re-open. The portal will remain open until Friday, August 21 for families to make or confirm their choice.

It is challenging work to make decisions in a landscape where the guidance changes daily, and we are aware of the difficulties this uncertainty creates for your own planning. Thank you for your continued patience, flexibility, and support as we navigate these unprecedented COVID-19 times. We remain, #NutleyStrongerTogether!

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Glazer