BERNARDSVILLE, NJ -- The Somerset Hills School District has joined the vast majority of districts in New Jersey that will shut their doors and implement "distance learning" practices in response to health risks posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The closures go into effect on Monday, March 16, and, as of now, are planned to last at least through the completion of spring break, which runs from April 6-10, with an unused snow day on April 13.
The official letter on the district website that was sent to district families reads:
The number one priority of Somerset Hills School District and Bedminster Township School is the health and well-being of our students, teachers, and staff members. Though we are not aware of any confirmed cases of Coronavirus in either district, we have been proactively preparing to continue delivery of instruction through distance learning. The NJDOE has indicated that if we have a plan in place for consistent instructional services while closed, such days will still count toward our 180-day requirement.
Public health officials continue to advise that social distancing is the most effective strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We recognize that school closures will create challenges for our families and our community, but we also recognize our responsibility to address this public health concern. In consultation with local health officials and in an effort to meet this responsibility, we will be closing our buildings and implementing a distance learning plan effective Monday, March 16, 2020 through spring break. All field trips, school events, and activities are also postponed, effective Monday March 16, 2020. The district’s Professional Development time on March 13 will provide teachers with time to prepare for this unprecedented situation.
This was not an easy decision, and we appreciate your anticipated support and understanding. Between now and Monday morning, we will follow up with the details of our distance learning plans and expectations for students. During the school closure, we will continue to maintain regular communication with our local public health officials and with our learning communities. Thank you for helping us keep our community safe.
Dr. Gretchen Dempsey Ms. Jennifer Giordano
Superintendent of SHSD Superintendent of BTS