Aug. 24, 2021 Letter to Parents/Guardians
Dear Parents and Guardians:
As the school year begins this fall, students in New Jersey will be fully returning to in-person learning. To ensure that your child and all New Jersey students are protected against COVID-19 once schools open, here are a few steps you and your family can take in the weeks ahead.
Get your child vaccinated: Everyone 12 years-old and up is eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. The FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19 and remain the leading way to protect your child, your family, and your community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all eligible students be vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccinations for 12 through 17-year-olds require 2 doses, so for the best possible protection against COVID-19 and the highly transmissible Delta variant, students should be scheduled for their first dose as early as possible.
Get yourself and other household members vaccinated: Students are best protected when those around them are also protected – especially if they are under the age of 12 and cannot be vaccinated themselves. To protect yourself and your child ahead of the first day of school, please get vaccinated as soon as possible and encourage others in your household and community to get vaccinated as well.
Vaccines are free for all, immigration status will not be asked, and health insurance is not required.
Have those who are not vaccinated get tested for COVID-19: If your child cannot be vaccinated (<12 years old) or is not vaccinated, we encourage you to have them tested for COVID-19 before the start of school. This will reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering schools and disrupting students’ learning and, if done early enough, may allow for any period of isolation to be completed prior to the first day of school (if needed after a positive COVID-19 test result).
Be sure to mask up: When students, teachers, staff, and families correctly and consistently wear masks they protect themselves and others. This is especially important as of late, given the more transmissible Delta variant. All students, staff, and visitors in K–12 schools will be required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, for the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.
Thank you for your help in supporting a safe return to school for our students in the fall!
To find a COVID-19 vaccination clinic near you:
· Visit the NJ COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Finder
· Call the NJ Vaccine Call Center at 855-568-0545
· Visit the vaccine section of NJ COVID-19 Information Hub
For additional information please visit the NJ COVID-19 Information Hub (covid19.nj.gov) or call 211 or 1-800-962-1253 with COVID-19 questions (available 24 hours / 7 days a week).
Safety protocols for entering and leaving a classroom
Guidelines for Safe Reopening
1) Universal and Correct Wearing of Masks
At the end of the 2020-2021 school year, Cumberland Regional was requiring masks to be worn by all persons inside the school building. Procedures are in place to deal with students and staff who fail to wear the masks correctly. We will continue these practices if masks are recommended by the Department of Health, the Governor’s Office, and/or the Department of Education.
2) Physical Distancing
Class sizes and number of students are being monitored to allow for social distancing. When that is not possible, we are utilizing larger instructional spaces. Lunches are the greatest concerns. Therefore, we have included an additional lunch period in our daily schedule to allow for social distancing.
3) Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
Effective handwashing is encouraged throughout our school for students and staff. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer has been made available throughout the building. While masks are required, respiratory etiquette is maintained. If masks become optional, etiquette will be reviewed with all persons in the building.
4) Cleaning and Maintaining Healthy Facilities
Our entire ventilation system was upgraded in 2019. We also upgraded to stronger filters for our system. Most rooms are on their own filtration system. The building is deeply cleaned each night, which includes fogging. Doors, counters, tables, and most surfaces are cleaned multiple times per day. This all will continue during the 2021-2022 school year.
5) Contact Tracing
Our school is equipped with both a quarantine and an isolation room. They are supervised by our nurses. Our nurses also work with the county health department to complete all contact tracing. Impacted individuals are contacted immediately, and appropriate quarantining periods are enacted.
6) Diagnostic and Screening Testing
All testing is done by outside agencies. Notification comes through our county health department. We stay in close contact with that department to expediate all results, and actions needed. We will continue this practice and procedure during the 2021-2022 school year.
7) Efforts to Provide Vaccinations
Cumberland Regional has worked with our county health department and local health care partners to hold vaccination clinics here at the school for anyone interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. We also share via email all opportunities for vaccines within our community.
8) Appropriate Accommodations for Children with Disabilities with Respect to Health and Safety
Our nurses, in consult with our child study team, have reviewed all students with disabilities with respect to health and safety to ensure safe delivery of instruction. We are working with families to determine the best course of action for the 2021-2022 school for safe delivery of instruction. We maintain an open line of communication with said families to ensure fidelity for both safety and instruction.