SPRINGFIELD, NJ — Yesterday evening, Superintendent Michael Davino released an open letter on the Springfield Public Schools Website.
In the letter, Davino went over the timeline for graduation, along with the new end date for the school year and other information. The full text of the letter is below:
Dear members of the Springfield Public Schools community,
First and foremost, I trust you and your families are doing as well as you might under these very trying circumstances. For those of you that are struggling with different issues that seem beyond your control, please seek assistance or guidance from the variety of resources that we have posted on the district website and identified through these messages. If necessary, do not hesitate to contact your child's guidance counselor for assistance. Please know that all such communications will be held in confidence to protect your privacy
By now, most of us are aware that school buildings and facilities are closed to all non-essential activities. This recent extension of Governor Murphy's Executive Orders Nos. 104 and 107, along with Administrative Order No. 2020-12 from Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, State Director of Emergency Management continue restrictions through June 30th, 2020. We have been instructed that since these orders remain in effect until further notice, only virtual graduation ceremonies can be planned at this time. (Copies of the referenced orders are linked below)
Having anticipated such directives, I would like to assure everyone that our principals, teachers, and staff have been working on different ways to conduct appropriate ceremonies in a "virtual" environment. I am aware of several suggestions provided by parents and students regarding these events. All such suggestions are being considered within the context of our capacity to implement them and how the suggestions may fit within the narrow parameters we have been required to work within.
As these plans are finalized, our principals will communicate specific information for each school, including updates on the current timeline of events:
June 16, 9 AM: FMG Awards Ceremony
June 17, (Time TBD): JDHS Senior Awards & Sports Awards
June 17, 4 PM: FMG 8th Moving Up Ceremony
June 18, 1 PM: Jonathan Dayton High School Graduation
Also, the Board of Education approved the following changes to the district calendar: June 19, 22, and 23, 2020, will be give-back days as a result of unused snow days. As such, please be advised that the last day of the 2020 school year will be Thursday, June 18th, 2020.
Principals will also be communicating with you about procedures regarding laptops and retrieval of any personal belongings that may have been left in the school buildings when in-person classes were suspended in March.
I appreciate the disappointment associated with such limitations, and while recognizing that the prohibition on in-person ceremonies is designed to protect the safety and well being of everyone, it doesn't make the inability to celebrate together sting any less. We share the disappointment, in particular, of our seniors and their families who have looked forward to their JDHS Graduation for so long. Please know that we are working to produce a ceremony that will meaningfully and appropriately celebrate their success at JDHS.
As a district, we are evaluating several remedial and mandated programs that occur during the summer and will have guidance for those programs as soon as the details become available. Unfortunately, we currently do not appear to be able to conduct the "Summer Enrichment Program" / "Summer STEM Camp" programs for the summer of 2020.
As we approach the end of this very different 2019-2020 school year, I want to thank the entire Springfield Schools community, including our wonderful faculty and staff, as well as our dedicated parents and, of course, our students, for the work they have put in to ensure that our educational mission continues unabated. I would like to extend my gratitude to The Board of Education for their support in the approval of our emergency plans and their insight, as parents, during the developmental process. I would also like to express our gratitude for the heroic efforts of our health care workers, first responders, and everyone else on the front lines of this pandemic.
I wish everyone good health.
Michael A. Davino
Superintendent, Springfield Public Schools