July 31, 2020
Dear Students, Parents and Faculty & Staff,
During this time of uncertainty, the Cumberland Regional School District is dedicated to maintaining a student-centered approach to reopening for the 2020-2021 school year. With that in mind, we will work to ensure the safety of students, staff, and families while maintaining high expectations for all.
School leaders throughout New Jersey have been working tirelessly to develop reopening plans in accordance with the State’s Restart & Recovery Plan: The Road Back. While our work at the Cumberland Regional School District will continue for the duration of summer, I wanted to share our plans as soon as possible so that our families can plan accordingly. Please understand that these plans have not yet been reviewed by the Department of Education for compliance. Therefore, in this very fluid world we live in, our plans may change.
In September, schools will reopen in a hybrid learning environment. This means that we will provide a combination of in-person and virtual/remote instruction. Our formidable challenge has been to strike a balance between implementation of the CDC’s Health Guidelines and Considerations for Schools while maximizing in-person instruction. We must also give parents the options to choose full remote learning as an option. More information on this option is available on our website.
We are working with the County Health Department and focusing our attention on the three guiding principles promoted by the CDC and State and Local Departments of Health, as well as our school physician. The guiding principles driving our reopening decisions and program restructuring are as follows: (1) implement social distance guidelines of 6’ or more, wherever practicable; (2) wear face masks; and, (3) engage in protocol and practice that promotes proper hand washing hygiene. While we will devote considerable time, energy, and resources to implementing these medically endorsed guidelines, we recognize that our success will largely depend on human behavior, and we are asking for the patience, understanding, and cooperation of all stakeholders to protect the health and well-being of our staff and students.
Face mask or neck gaiters will always be required in the building for staff and visitors. They will be required for students at all times social distancing is not practical. This includes while on buses, any time students are up from their desks, and any time they need to interact with staff or other students. Please know that the District will not be providing masks to students and that the purchasing of masks will be the responsibility of our parents. NJ.com recently published an article entitled, “You need to ‘mask train’ your kids before schools reopen….Here’s how to do it.” I share this article to assist our parents/students in the preparation of wearing masks (or neck gaiters) throughout the school day as “mask endurance” will be a serious challenge for students. Students refusing to wear face masks will be excluded and placed on fully remote learning.
In an effort to maximize social distancing measures, we have divided our school population into two cohorts – A and B. Students will be assigned to cohorts based on class schedules. We are also attempting to keep siblings in the same cohorts. We believe this measure will help assist families in developing schedules, especially for parents who need childcare from older siblings. There may, however, be some need to change chosen electives to ensure that siblings are placed in the same cohort.
PEP and ELL students will be in a four-day cohort.
Cohort Reporting Sequence
Cohort A will report in-person on Mondays and Wednesdays. They will attend their classes remotely on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at the regularly scheduled times.
Cohort B will report in-person on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They will attend their classes remotely on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the regularly scheduled times.
PEP and ELL students will attend in-person Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. They will attend their classes remotely on Fridays at the regularly scheduled times.
Full Remote Option students will attend classes all five days remotely at the regularly scheduled times.
Our Conditions for Learning and Learning and Leadership committees have taken the safety of our school family very seriously. We have safety plans that include one-way hallways and ramps, multiple entrances for students’ arrival and dismissal, nightly deep cleaning, common surface cleaning throughout the day, mask protocols, and contact tracing. Students and staff will self-survey each day before entering the building via Genesis, and temperatures will be taken before anyone enters the school. If you are not feeling well, please stay home and attend your classes remotely! Attendance will be recorded whether attending in person or remotely. We will be working with the Cumberland County Health Department to respond to any positive cases. Contact tracing will occur, and notifications will be sent to all appropriate persons.
The first-semester school day will consist of three blocks of in-person instruction from 7:30 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. Monday-Thursday as listed above. Fridays will be fully remote. Lunches will be distributed before students leave for the day and will include meals for remote days. Students attending full remote will be able to pick up their lunches for the week on Mondays. The second-semester schedule will be determined by health conditions and state mandates.
We have revised our school calendar to provide one more professional development day for our staff at the beginning of the school year. Students’ first day will be for Cohort A, September 9, and for Cohort B, September 10. Graduation will not change unless we have significant weather-related closures. An updated calendar will be posted to our website.
Student/Parent Training for Technology
Workshops will be offered for parents and students on Microsoft Teams and other platforms and applications used in remote learning. All students will be given a Chromebook for the year to be used in school and at home for remote learning. Resources also will be provided for any household lacking connectivity. Please check our website and social media pages for dates and times of the trainings.
School Reopening questions, concerns, or thoughts can be submitted to the building principal at email@example.com or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In closing, thank you to all those who volunteered their input in this challenging time. As a reminder, you can continue to monitor updates on our website at www.crhsd.org. Should you have any questions that require immediate attention, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
In response to the current COVID-19 outbreak, school office hours are limited to 8:30-11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays until further notice.
Due to COVID-19 and guidance from the State and CDC, we are working hard to create an opening plan that will ensure the safety of all students and staff. This has delayed our scheduling of students. We hope to have schedules out by late August. Please check our social media pages, website, and Genesis for updates.
Please note there has been a change to the start of the fall sports season. Please see our Athletics page for more information. Sports sign-ups and physicals are now being accepted in anticipation of having a fall sports season.
Effective June 25 and until further notice is given, meetings of the Cumberland Regional School District Board of Education will be held in person in the Cumberland Regional High School Media Center, 90 Silver Lake Road, at 6:00 p.m. The Board of Education meetings will no longer be accessible via teleconference. All applicable State guidelines regarding maximum occupancy and safe practices will be in effect. Meetings will be open to members of the public, who may access the Media Center from the Main Entrance and are asked to adhere to all requested safety measures.
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