RANDOLPH, NJ- The following is an Aug. 18 BOE meeting summary provided by Randolph Township Schools, not the official minutes:
"This executive summary is not the official board meeting minutes. The official minutes are typically approved by the board and posted within thirty days of the meeting and are available on the district website."
The district restart committee and building crisis response teams have continued to meet as they have received feedback from staff and parents specific to the reopening of schools in September. Superintendent Jennifer Fano reviewed the district’s restart and recovery timeline from July 31 – August 17. A summary of the basic health and safety measures that are in place at all six school buildings and on school buses was provided. Ms. Fano advised that the district will continue to update its frequently asked questions document, available here:
The district received some specific inquiries regarding social distancing and ventilation. The NJ DOE Road Back document and the CDC provide some guidance as well as flexibility for school districts on these two topics. Ms. Fano shared that the district is adhering to all established guidelines for both of these important issues. Classrooms will be set-up with 6” of social distancing and the district will not be able to permit regular movement throughout the classroom in order to maintain this distance. Business Administrator Gerald Eckert, Assistant Business Administrator Stephen Frost, and Director of Facilities Andy Hurd have been working diligently to assess the ventilation systems in every building to ensure the district meets and/or exceed guidelines. All ventilation systems district-wide were reported to meet acceptable air quality standards.
Ms. Fano shared Executive Order 175 which permits school districts to begin the school year via remote-only instruction if they cannot adequately meet critical health and safety protocols outlined in the state’s school reopening guidance:
“Districts who need to delay the implementation of in-person instruction will be required to submit information to the Department of Education (DOE) describing the health and safety standards that they are currently unable to adequately meet, how they will address outstanding issues in a timely fashion, and a proposed timeline for reopening physical school spaces to students and staff for in-person instruction,” Ms. Fano said. “We are currently able to meet the social distancing and ventilation requirements, and we are monitoring our ability to staff unanticipated leaves of absence and will continue to monitor this situation.”
Ms. Fano shared graphs outlining how many families chose fully-virtual instruction. It was reported that the majority of parents have chosen in-person learning. Photos of several classrooms were shared showing social distancing measures in place.
Mr. Eckert shared that Governor Murphy signed executive order 177 which states that all registered voters will receive vote by mail ballots. Number 5 of Executive Order 177 mandates that all public schools shall be closed for in person instruction on November 3, 2020. Mr. Eckert advised that the Randolph Township Clerk will inform the State that there are no plans to utilize the schools in Randolph as polling locations, and ask if our schools can be open for in-person instruction on election day since they will not be used as polling locations.
The principals from each building each gave an overview of the steps the district has taken to support diversity and inclusion across the district.
For a full overview of everything that was discussed, please review the PowerPoint presentation on the district’s website in the link below:
The Board of Education accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Soni.
Soni later in an email to TAPinto Randolph said, "I am facing the classical collision in time for extraordinarily busy people who try to serve as volunteers and support other significant efforts. As of right now, I have to correctly orient my priorities and values between my family life and professional career. Still, I am proud of the time spent and the contributions made to this Board. I'd like to thank my fellow board members, Ms. Fano, and the district administration team for everything they did to support me through my tenure on the Randolph Board of Education."
Applications for the vacancy will be due on September 4 to Mr. Eckert. Interviews will be held on September 15.