RED BANK, NJ: September is around the corner and that means the school years about to begin.
“Our Leadership Team, Restart Committee, and Board of Education are collaborating to provide the safest possible environment for our students and staff while maximizing in person instructional time.
Our overall plan reflects guidance provided by the New Jersey Department of Education, Center for Disease Control, New Jersey Department of Health, and the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission as well as feedback received from family and staff surveys.
It currently includes 7 distinct stages so that we are capable of seamlessly responding to any changes regarding the health pandemic.
Today, we are sharing the most likely scenario for September and the main elements we hope to implement assuming things remain unchanged,” said Dr. Jared Rumage, Superintendent of the Primary and Middle Schools.
Schedule Overview & Technology Devices
- As of today (Wednesday, July 29, 2020) our intent is to open schools for students at Stage 3. While this is our plan today, it could very easily change based on guidance from local health officials and directives from the Governor and/or Acting Commissioner of Education.
- In Stage 3, students are divided into Cohort A and Cohort B.
- Cohort A attends school for in person instruction on Mondays and Tuesdays and participates in Virtual Instruction on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Friday.
- Cohort B participates in Virtual Instruction on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and attends school for in person instruction on Thursdays and Fridays.
- Our plan is to place families with multiple children throughout the District in the same cohort. This will allow you to plan for child care in advance.
- As an example, a class that typically has 22 students would have 11 students for in person instruction. This will significantly reduce interaction and capacity in classrooms, hallways and buses while providing the in person instruction that we all know is so important.
- All in person instruction will be based on a Minimum School Day schedule for students. This schedule will provide additional time to sanitize all areas on a daily basis. It will also allow for a more intense cleaning schedule on Wednesdays which is a break between Cohort A and Cohort B. Preschool through Grade 3 student dismissal time will be 1:25 PM and Grades 4-8 student dismissal time will be 1:00 PM.
- On Virtual Instruction days, students will have assignments to complete under the direction of a teacher.
- All students from Preschool - Grade 8 will participate in Virtual Instruction on Wednesdays. This will include live content, pre-recorded content, whole class meetings, small group meetings, small group intervention and/or enrichment as well as independent practice. More information will be provided in late August.
- On days students are assigned to Virtual Instruction, teachers will have the opportunity to check in with students at a designated time. Based on feedback, we feel it is important for every child to connect with their teacher(s) daily.
- Students enrolled in our self-contained Preschool Disability Program (PSD), Learning and Language Disability Program (LLD) or Multiply Disabled Program (MD) will attend school for in person instruction on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays. These classes will be fully virtual on Wednesdays.
- We plan to distribute Chromebooks with protective cases in early September to all students in Grades K-8. More information will be provided in future updates. If you are in need of WiFi, visit www.internetessentials.com.
As part of our plan, the Red Bank Borough Board of Education approved a revised 2020-2021 School Calendar (click HERE to review). The revised calendar includes 180 days of student instruction and we will continue to follow a trimester schedule. The starting date for ALL STUDENTS is now Monday, September 14, 2020. The delayed start provides several benefits:
- Six professional learning/preparation days for staff. These days are typically spread throughout the year.
- Time to distribute information and materials in lieu of our traditional September Packet Pickup.
- The opportunity to learn from the earlier start dates in other local districts.
Extra Curricular Activities & Athletics
We believe these experiences are critical, now more than ever to the social and emotional well-being of our children. While our desire is to reinstate a full array of extra curricular activities, before/after school programming and athletics, please note that all of these areas are currently on hold for September. Once we can ensure a safe return at Stage 3, we will revisit these areas and proceed.
- Cloth masks will be required for all students on buses and in school until further notice.
- Staff will be required to wear cloth masks and face shields.
- Exemptions will include staff/students with medical conditions, students with disabilities, and circumstances in which appropriate social distancing can be guaranteed.
- Students should provide their own school appropriate cloth face covering. If they forget their face covering, the district will provide a disposable version for the day.
General Health & Safety Items
While our plans are subject to change, below are some points to consider. These small steps will help in the fall, regardless of the type of plan we implement.
- In conjunction with our custodial and maintenance staff, we are developing plans and ensuring we have all necessary resources and equipment to implement an intense cleaning schedule on a daily basis, including evenings and weekends.
- During times when access to soap and water is not available, students will utilize hand sanitizer. Students five and under will be monitored while using this product. We ask that children under five not carry their own personal bottle of hand sanitizer.
- While we hope to provide hand sanitizer, we anticipate asking families to donate large bottles (8-12 ounces) for general use. Please be aware of the numerous product recalls listed HERE.
- Please ensure you have a working thermometer. Parents will need to screen their children for fevers and other symptoms daily. Students will likely be screened upon entry to the school and during the day as needed. Students with a confirmed fever or any other COVID-19 related symptoms will be isolated with supervision until they are picked up by a family member.
- All Water Fountains will be turned off until further notice, however, the water bottle filling stations will remain accessible. Students should bring CLEAR PLASTIC bottles to school on a daily basis for water only.
Future Surveys (Virtual Instruction & Transportation)
- We anticipate sending out a family survey regarding transportation and virtual instruction.
- Our transportation survey will ask families to indicate if they would like to opt out of bussing for the 2020-2021 school year. We realize some families do not participate and knowing this in advance will assist us in planning.
- Our virtual instruction survey will only be required of those families choosing to participate in FULL virtual instruction, Mondays through Fridays. The Governor has now provided this option to families. Please note that if agreeing to participate in FULL virtual instruction, you may only opt back in at the end of each trimester (December 11, 2020 or March 19, 2021).
- Our desire was for families to be fully aware of our anticipated opening model (Stage 3) prior to survey distribution.
September Packet Pickup Date
- Our annual September Packet Pickup has been cancelled. In future updates we will inform families when information such as Cohort/Teacher Assignments, Bus Information, etc. will be distributed. Thank you for your patience.
Once again, we will be guided by the advice of local health officials to determine the safest course of action based on local circumstances, which will change as the public health landscape evolves. The health and safety of students and staff is our number one priority and has guided all decisions regarding the District’s plan. It will be imperative for you to do your part to support a safe and healthy school environment. We expect behaviors that will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 such as encouraging students to stay home when showing signs of illness; encouraging the practice of hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette; and requiring the use of face coverings. Each school day, students should be evaluated at home for symptoms and remain home if necessary. Additionally, students should be encouraged at home, as they will be in school, to wash hands with soap and water frequently. Finally, students should always wear a cloth mask when social distancing is not possible.
Please continue to practice social distancing, make good choices and enjoy the summer. You can expect our next Community Update on or about August 12 which will contain additional information regarding September, including meal distribution. In the meantime, continue to Dream BIG, stay safe and be well.
PLEASE READ THE IMPORTANT UPDATES BELOW.
- “Grab and Go” Breakfast and Lunch - All Children 18 or Younger
- Food Services are open Mondays and Thursday from 8:30-11:00 AM at RB Middle School - English/Spanish.
- Summer Learning Opportunities
- Visit our Virtual Learning Website for resources.
- Preschool and Grades K-8 Registration
- Click HERE for registration information for NEW Preschool - Grade 8. Please share with prospective families.
- Any student currently in the Red Bank Borough Public Schools does not need to register.
- If you are relocating within Red Bank or have moved out of Red Bank, call 732-758-1510.
- Counseling, Health and Educational Services
- In the event your child needs support in the area of counseling, mental health or health during this time, contact Mrs. Hurd at 732-758-1520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Parents of Special Education students with questions or needs are encouraged to reach out to their case managers, related service providers or Mrs. Hurd at 732-758-1520 or email@example.com.
- Visit our State & Federal Resources section for important information.
- General Information
- Questions? Call 732-758-1500 and leave a message. Here is other important Contact Information.
If you enjoyed this article please “Like” and “Follow” us on the TAPinto Red Bank Facebook page, and sign up for our daily e-news so you’ll never miss what’s happening in Red Bank!
And please share this article with your friends and family!