ROXBURY, NJ – Parents and guardians of students in Roxbury schools, now being presented with three options for the reopening of schools in September, have until July 22 to weigh-in on the choices.

Noon is the deadline that day for completing a survey that will be used by district administrators in deciding which of the three alternatives will be implemented.

All three scenarios call for school buildings to operate at 50 percent of their capacities and all require a level of virtual (remote) instruction. The options were spelled out in a message sent Wednesday by Roxbury Schools Superintendent Loretta Radulic.

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The first option calls for a.m./p.m. split sessions. The second calls for virtual instruction on all Mondays augmented by 4-hour-long in-person days in classrooms. The third alternative envisions virtual Mondays with full-day in-person days twice a week.

The three options are being offered in replacement of a prior plan, announced earlier this month, that called for having students to spend 2½ hours each day at school then return home for 1½ hours of virtual instruction. On July 10, Radulic announced that  the return-to-school plan announced July 1 was withdrawn after it met with opposition from parents.

“During this unprecedented time, we continue to work to attempt to discover the answers to impossible questions,” wrote the superintendent in her latest message. She stressed that all the proposed reopening options are "temporary."

Parents and guardians who need more information about the options, or who want to pose questions about them, can log-in via WebEx to one of three virtual meetings that will take place tomorrow (July 17), Radulic said.

A Decision by July 27

The links for those hour-long sessions are going to be posted on the school district’s website, said the superintendent. The 9 a.m. session will be for grades nine through 12; the 10:15 a.m. session will be for grades five through eight; the 11:30 a.m. session will be for pre-K through grade four.

“All comments and questions entered into the chat will be reviewed,” Radulic wrote. “A Frequently Asked Questions document will be available by July 24.”

She said the administration will announce its choice of reopening option at a special meeting of the Roxbury School Board on July 27. A link to that (virtual) board meeting, not yet available, should be published here.

“Once decided upon, this temporary solution will include the best option for our community and a virtual option for those who have underlying health conditions,” Radulic said. “It will include the re-assignment of some staff members. It will include a review of busing protocols, arrival procedures, classroom design, etc. The first step is to select a re-opening plan while recognizing that it could change depending on the health status of our state and community.”

No Guarantee

Even after an option is chosen, that decision is not cast in stone, warned the superintendent. She said the district might have to return to a complete shut-down of school buildings, as it did in March, if the township sees a “spike” in COVID-19 cases.

“This is where you can help us,” Radulic noted. “Through your vigilance, your continued implementation of healthy habits and minimization of social interactions and travel, we may be able to open and to stay open longer … What you do this summer to protect the health and well-being of your families can make a difference in what September will look like for our students.”

To read the superintendent’s letter and see the three options being offered, click here.

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