Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

Thank you for your active involvement, patience, and support during the first month of the 2020-2021 school year. Your dedication and continued commitment to the education of Nutley’s children is admirable, and appreciated. It has been quite a journey for all of us since March, and now we approach yet another phase of learning during this pandemic.

As the cooler autumn weather is upon us, the challenges to health and safety posed to us for ventilation due to the high heat index in August and September are no longer issues. In addition,100% virtual learning has provided the opportunity for our Special Services Department to do the many evaluations, initial and re-evaluations, and assessments of students who have been referred or are in need of specialized and related services in person. We have also continued to work collaboratively with the Nutley Township Department of Health and the district physicians to monitor local health conditions, including COVID-19 positivity rates, in order to determine when it is safe to advance to the next phase of reopening schools. As the district can now meet all health and safety standards for safe in-person instruction, it is our intention to begin the return to school with our youngest and our most fragile learners as detailed in the revised Restart and Reentry Plan presented and approved by the Board of
Education on August 19, 2020. From October 13 through November 16, we will phase in the return to the school buildings for all of our students and teachers, Pre-K to 12. Families that have chosen the 100% virtual option will continue engaging in virtual learning at home five days per week and not attending school in person.

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Special Education, Pre-K and Kindergarten

Our most vulnerable learners including self-contained special education students, Pre-K and Kindergarten students will return to the buildings on Monday, October 19. The schedule and form of instruction will be dictated by the available space and social distancing capabilities in each building.

Pre-K students will be divided into Cohort A (a.m. session) and Cohort B (p.m. session) to be held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Cohort assignments will be forthcoming. Exact times of the program to be determined and confirmed by the transportation department pending the busing schedule.

Kindergarten students will be following a hybrid schedule as well, with Cohort A attending in-person instruction on Monday and Tuesday from 8:30am-12:30pm and Cohort B attending in-person instruction on Thursday and Friday from 8:30am-12:30pm. All students will attend class virtually on Wednesdays. This schedule will allow for a more consistent delivery of instruction between in-person and virtual learners, and we hope to continue the patterns of learning that have been developed remotely over the past month. You should expect to receive details regarding cohort assignments and specifics for returning to the buildings directly from your building principal by Wednesday, October 7.

Special education self-contained students in grades 7 to 12+ may have the option to attend school for up to five days. Parents and guardians of students at the secondary level should expect to receive details regarding the specifics, including times and days of your child’s in-person instruction, to be communicated directly via your building principal and/or the Special Education Department by Wednesday, October 7.

In preparation for these students’ return, special education-self contained teachers, Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers, Child Study Team members, related service providers, K-12 school counselors and paraprofessionals for these students will return to the buildings on Tuesday, October 13. All other paraprofessionals will return as their students do. For this week prior to students’ return, staff will work virtually from the buildings/classrooms. Staff should plan to be in the buildings each day while school is in session and will hear more details, including the specifics for returning to the buildings at faculty and department meetings in October.

First and Second Grades
First and second graders will return to the buildings for hybrid instruction on Monday, October 26.

Students will be following a hybrid schedule as well, with Cohort A attending in-person instruction on Monday and Tuesday from 8:30am-12:30pm and Cohort B attending in-person instruction on Thursday and Friday from 8:30am-12:30pm. All students will attend class virtually on Wednesdays. You should expect to receive details regarding cohort assignments and specifics for returning to the buildings directly from your building principal.

All first and second grade teachers will return to the buildings on Monday, October 19, in preparation for this return. For the week prior to students’ return, staff will work virtually from the buildings/classrooms. Staff should plan to be in the buildings for five days per week and will hear more details, including the specifics for returning to the buildings, at faculty and department meetings in October.

Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Grades
Third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade students will return to the buildings for hybrid instruction on Monday, November 9. Students will be following a hybrid schedule, with Cohort A attending in-person instruction on Monday and Tuesday from 8:30am-12:30pm and Cohort B attending in-person instruction on Thursday and Friday from 8:30am-12:30pm. All students will attend class virtually on Wednesdays. Parents and guardians should expect to receive details regarding the specifics for returning to the buildings, including times and days of your own child’s in-person instruction, directly from your building principal.

All third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade teachers will return on Monday, October 26, in preparation for this return. For the time prior to students’ return, staff will work virtually from the buildings/classrooms.

Staff should plan to be in the buildings for five days per week when school is in session. More details, including the specifics for returning to the buildings, will be shared at faculty and department meetings in October.

Elementary Specials’ Content Teachers
All elementary special content teachers (Art, Music, Physical Education, World Language, Library/Media) will return to their respective buildings on Monday, October 19 and teach virtually from the classrooms.

JHWMS and NHS
All JHWMS and NHS students, grades 7-12, will return to the buildings for hybrid instruction on Monday, November 16. Time and cohort information will be forthcoming. Parents and guardians should expect to receive details regarding the specifics for returning to the buildings, including times and days of your own child’s in-person instruction, directly from your building principals.

All JHWMS and NHS staff will return on Monday, November 9, in preparation for this return. For this week prior to students’ return, staff will work virtually from the buildings/classrooms. Staff should plan to be in the buildings for five days per week and will hear more details, including the specifics for returning to the buildings, at faculty and department meetings in October.

English as a Second Language/English Language Learning Students
ESL and ELL students will return to the buildings for hybrid instruction with their respective grades beginning on Monday, October 19. Based on available space and social distancing requirements students may have the option to attend school for additional days. The ESL/ELL department will communicate with parents if this is an option, and provide any additional information. Parents and guardians should expect to receive details regarding the specifics for returning to the buildings, including times and days of your own child’s in-person instruction, directly from your building principals.

Elementary ESL Teachers will be asked to return to the buildings on Tuesday, October 13, to support the students as they phase back in. ESL JHWMS and NHS staff will return on Monday, November 9, in preparation for this return. For this week prior to students’ return, staff will work virtually from the buildings/classrooms. Staff should plan to be in the buildings for five days per week and will hear more details, including the specifics for returning to the buildings, at faculty and department meetings in
October.

Please keep a few things in mind as we move towards these dates:
● The week of November 2 is a two-day week. The district is closed for the Presidential Election on Tuesday, November 3 and for Teachers’ Convention on November 5 and 6. During this week, Cohort A will attend in-person on Monday, November 2, and Cohort B will attend in-person on Wednesday, November 4.
● The week of November 23 is a three-day week. The district is closed for the Thanksgiving recess on Thursday and Friday. During this week, Cohort A will attend in-person on Monday, November 23, and Cohort B will attend in-person on Tuesday, November 24, and virtual instruction will take place for all students on Wednesday, November 25 until 12:30pm
● For a parent/guardian to change their selection from the 100% virtual or the hybrid option, please go to the Parent Portal at your earliest convenience to make this change. This option will only be open until midnight on Monday, October 5 as changes impact cohort assignments.
● Please remember that masks, social distancing, daily completion of the screening tool, thorough hand washing and staying home when you are sick continue to be imperative to fighting COVID-19, and other illnesses.

● Please note that if you choose to travel to a state, outside of New Jersey, which requires a 14-day quarantine period, please plan to be back to New Jersey two weeks prior to your scheduled return to school. A list of the states can be found here.

● For any staff requiring accommodations or a leave of absence, visit the Human Resources COVID-19 Section of the website and complete either an Accommodation Request Form OR a Leave of Absence Request Form AND also a HIPPA Release form. Submissions are due, with a medical note, on Friday, October 9 to humanresources@nutleyschools.org.


Additional information regarding meal distribution and any possible emergency childcare options will also be forthcoming.

The Reopening plan as stated above is our intention. As necessary, we will revise based on real-time data and information from the New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Department of Health, Nutley and Essex County Departments of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Factors that will
continue to be considered will include the numbers of positive COVID 19 cases and transmission rates, and the availability of teachers, instructional, and support staff. Moving to advanced phases of the district’s Reopening Plan with the intent of expanding the number of days or hours of instruction consequently increases classroom population densities, and reduces social distancing opportunities and therefore must be in compliance with the State, Department of Education, and CDC guidelines in effect at the time the decisions are being made.

Again, we appreciate your support of the Nutley Public Schools and your patience with the limitations and requirements. Each of us has been impacted in numerous ways in providing the best possible education for our students, while also mitigating the significant health and safety concerns presented for students, staff, and the community. We recognize and acknowledge the efforts of all involved, and look forward to ontinuing to work together as we introduce each next phase of our plan.

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Glazer

Superintendent Nutley Public Schools