As a follow-up to Dr. Caputo’s Friday message, tonight is the Community Webinar on the Plans for Reopening Schools, beginning at 7:30 pm.
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16465588656,,81988151860#,,,,,,0#,,483047# or +13017158592,,81988151860#,,,,,,0#,,483047#
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799
Webinar ID: 819 8815 1860
There will be no courtesy / subscription bussing for the 20/21 school year. The bus registrations were down significantly this year due to the pandemic. Also, the State would require the district to pay a significant portion of the $450,000 contract with the bussing company if we renewed the contract and went remote for part of the year. Any parent who submitted registration with a check that was cashed will receive a refund after the August 25th board meeting or earlier if possible. Any parent who submitted registration and the check was not cashed will receive their original check back in the mail.
Good afternoon. I hope this email finds you well on a dark and wet Friday. Here are some updates:
· ACT, SAT, and PSAT: We are still planning to host these assessments as previously scheduled. We will reevaluate based on the public health situation in the fall.
· District goals – final report for 2019-20 can be reviewed here: https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/813028/Metuchen_District_Goals_2019-20.pdf
· MHS pickup information message from Mr. Peragallo: In order for students to receive books for summer assignments, parents/guardians and or students should contact the Content Area Supervisor requesting the books and materials needed. The material will then either be left in the Main Office and/or on a table or bench outside of the school to be picked up. Supervisor will inform student/parent of day/time for material to be picked up or if the materials are left in the Main Office, student/parent should call before coming to the school.
· Reopening planning
o If we need to go fully-remote at any point during the year, we will operate on an A/B day schedule at Edgar and MHS, as previously shared, and per the schedules that will be sent out from Campbell and Moss. In general the plan for fully-remote instruction will include teaching and learning from 10:00 to 3:00 with an hour for lunch, and time in the morning for extra help and meetings.
o Our hybrid plan will allow us to reduce our building occupancy to half. We will operate on an alternating week schedule of Roomers and Zoomers: one week in school (Roomers) and one week at home (Zoomers). These will be full days. We will announce groupings later in August but in general, we will begin the year alphabetically with the start of the alphabet in first. Accommodations will be made to ensure students from the same household attend the same weeks.
o There will be screening questions and temperature checks before anyone is permitted inside the buildings.
o Everyone will be mandated to wear face coverings in the buildings.
o We are partnering with the Borough on traffic and other concerns and with our community partners on issues such as child care options.
· Community webinar on the plans for reopening schools: July 29, 2020 at 7:30 PM. Please click the link to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81988151860?pwd=NkpVT3VFRFlyaE53UHZMdmQ2cGk4Zz09
(Passcode: 483047). You can also choose to call in. Mrs. Taylor will send the full invitation again along with next Wednesday’s mailer.
Thanks for the kind words you have been sending our way. We appreciate them more than you know. I will continue to keep you updated.
Maintain social distancing and wear a face covering. You are protecting your neighbors.
Good afternoon. As always, I hope this email finds you well.
Good news/bad news: Mr. McPeek has been appointed superintendent for the Alexandria School District, and will take over in September. We will work very hard to fill both the principal and assistant principal positions at Edgar prior to the start of the school year. Good luck, Mr. McPeek. We are proud of you!
Optional summer workouts and fall sports: Optional social-distant summer workouts began this week at MHS. The NJSIAA has delayed the start of the fall sports season and condensed the post-season. For details, read this: https://www.njsiaa.org/events-news-media/news/njsiaa-builds-return-play-plan-provides-updates-fall-sports-season
Stakeholder input to reopening plan - this week (summary): This week we continued our collaborative planning for the reopening of schools:
· On Monday, we held a community webinar with more than 450 participants: parents, board members, teachers, administrators, and probably more! Thanks so much for your time and input. We will hold another community webinar, mostly likely in late July.
· On Tuesday, we met with the Y to discuss enhanced partnering so that our parents would have additional child care options this fall.
· On Tuesday, we met with Borough officials to discuss traffic plans around schools considering that we will need to change our drop-off and entry procedures.
· On Tuesday night, the Board’s Policy Committee met to discuss a number of policies and regulations in need of review to accommodate remote and hybrid schedules.
· On Wednesday, we met with BASC to discuss enhanced partnering so that our parents would have additional child care options this fall.
· On Wednesday night, two Board Committees (Extracurricular and Technology) met to discuss all things pandemic-related.
· On Thursday, our administrative team met, followed by a meeting of the Instructional Council, made up of teachers and administrators.
· And on Friday, our teacher-led district policy committee met to discuss many of the same items discussed at the Board Committee meeting.
Stakeholder input to reopening plan – next two weeks
· 7/20 – meeting of my parent advisory group
· 7/21 – virtual board meeting at 8pm; open to the public for comment on three different occasions.
· 7/22 – our District Leadership Team (DLT) / Restart Committee meets; DLT consists of board members, administrators, teachers, and parents
· 7/27 – Reopening webinar for staff
· 7/28 – board committees (curriculum and policy) meet
· 7/30 – Instructional Council meeting
· Weeknight during week of 7/27 (tentative) – community webinar
Timeline for reopening plan (key dates)
· July 31 – submit plan to the County office
· August 3 – share plan with the public
· August 11 – board formally approves the plan
· September 3 – first day of school
Here’s what you can do to prevent the spread of COVID19:
· most effective way = social distancing
· second most effective way = wear a mask
· in addition, you should wash your hands often, and
· keep surfaces and high touch areas clean.
Finally, a getting-old-update. Our son turned 20 this week. We are planning a beach day on Saturday, then some grilling at home on Sunday. Take time to enjoy your families this weekend. It goes fast.
Here’s a link to the transcript/written elements from the July 13th Reopening Webinar: https://5il.co/i8ic
Good afternoon. I hope this message finds you and your family doing well. Today I want to share some news about high school athletics and to update you on our reopening planning. But first, I just want to thank the MHS Class of 2020 and their invited guests. Everyone adhered to social distancing requirements and there was 100% compliance with face coverings order. Last night's ceremony was beautiful. Speeches were inspiring. There was such a positive energy. I am so proud to work in Metuchen.
Optional summer workouts: The NJSIAA today updated their tentative fall sports schedules. Practices can start on 9/14. Games 10/1 to 11/12. Post season 11/13 to 11/22. While the fall sports season is still very much in question, we are allowing our coaches and athletes to participate in optional summer workouts starting next week. Coaches have be trained in health and safety precautions. All workouts will be exclusively outside. There will be absolutely no access to the building. We know how much our coaches and athletes are looking forward to seeing each other in person, but once again, these workouts are optional.
In-person reopening planning: Every district is required to develop a plan for in-person learning. We will most likely run the Metuchen Public Schools at 50% student capacity in an alternating week schedule. In other words, one week the student would be in the building and the next week the student would be participating from home. We are making every effort to allow students, during their remote weeks, to participate synchronously with their teachers and their classmates in the building. Recently, I’ve seen this referred to as Roomers and Zoomers.
Remote instruction, if necessary: There is the likelihood that at some point next year, we may be required to pivot to remote instruction again. If we need to have remote instruction, here are our plans:
MHS: A/B day (periods 0-3 and 4-7); classes at 10:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 2:00; all teachers and students expected on each day; regular grading
Edgar: A/B day (periods 1-4 and 5-8); classes at 10:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 2:00; all teachers and students expected on each day; regular grading
Campbell: Four days of ELA, math, and science/social studies and one day of specials each week
Moss: Same as spring 2020: combination of at-home packets and small group video conferencing
Webinar: Please join us at 10:00am for a panel discussion including: Ed Porowski (representing our building administrators), Dr. Tania Herzog (Special Services and Nursing), Mike Harvier (Business Office), Justin Manley (board member and parent), Neyda Evans (math and instructional technology), Susan Paredes (teacher and policy committee co-chair). Here is the Zoom link to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89059811193?pwd=cEdhZjJyM1czOFFOaDZlMkRQK3lEZz09
. The format of the webinar will be panelists discussing the various aspects of the planning, followed by Q&A via the chat room, monitored by Mrs. Carolyn Taylor. If you can’t watch the webinar, you can always email questions ahead of time to Mrs. Taylor at email@example.com
. Plus we will be recording it for viewing later. We are required to share our plan with the community four weeks prior to opening day. Lots of work to do before that date, during August, and of course, adjustments to be made during the course of the year. We know this pandemic will continue for many months and stakeholder input and flexibility will be key.
Opportunities for community participation in reopening planning:
Monday, June 13th at 10:00am via Zoom webinar
Tuesday, July 21st board meeting at 8pm. The public is encouraged to participate via Zoom.
August board meetings are scheduled for 8/11 and 8/25.
Or as always, email me, call me, or reach out via social media!
Have a nice weekend.
Good afternoon. I hope this message finds you well.
On Thursday, July 9th we will celebrate the graduates of the MHS Class of 2020. The entire ceremony will be livestreamed. We encourage you to tune in. Only the graduates plus two guests each will be seated on the field. Social distancing and face covering requirements for everyone will be enforced. Remote summer programs begin next week. Contact us if you have any questions. We continue to work to develop a reopening plan for the Metuchen Public Schools. We are required to share that plan with the community four weeks prior to the first day of school. This week, I met with individual board members and administrators, in addition to teachers on our Instructional Council. Next week, I will hear from parents, students, board committees, and our District Leadership Team. And on July 13th there will be a webinar with a panel. The public will be invited to participate. Look for details in next week’s message. The state has required that all districts develop a plan that includes in-person instruction, probably with reduced capacities in the buildings. There is also the likelihood that at some point next year, we may be required to pivot to remote instruction again. If we need to have remote instruction, we have tentative plans in place:
· MHS: A/B day (periods 0-3 and 4-7); classes at 10:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 2:00; all teachers and students expected on each day; regular grading
· Edgar: A/B day (periods 1-4 and 5-8); classes at 10:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 2:00; all teachers and students expected on each day; regular grading
· Campbell: Four days of ELA, math, and science/social studies and one day of specials each week
· Moss: Same as spring 2020: combination of at-home packets and small group video conferencing
Have a happy holiday weekend. Please wear a mask, maintain social distance, and wash your hands frequently. Thank you.
Good afternoon. I hope your first week of summer has been fun and relaxing. I will continue these weekly updates throughout the months of July and August in order to keep you up-to-date on our planning for the fall.
· Lunches: Our lunch delivery system will continue through the summer for all students in need, regardless of free and reduced lunch eligibility. Please reach out to be added to our list. Our schedule during the summer will be slightly modified. We will be delivering two meals on Mondays and three meals on Wednesdays.
· Important summer dates:
o As of this week, all district fields and the high school track are open to the public again. Groups must follow the normal facilities usage procedure. Please be smart about social distancing to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
o Governor Murphy plans to reopen playgrounds on July 2nd. We will follow suit and open the district playgrounds on the same date.
o Our Extended School Year program will be remote from July 7th to August 13th. Our intervention program and the Metuchen Summer Institute courses will also be remote.
o Optional summer workouts for high school sports teams are allowed to take place starting July 13th. Mr. Cathcart and the coaches will follow all available guidelines for these workouts. These are optional and student-athletes are not required to attend. Please use your best judgment.
o Fall sports practices are tentatively scheduled to begin August 3rd. This date and the possibility for a fall sports season is still very much in question. Stay tuned.
o Special education in-person testing is tentatively scheduled to resume on August 3rd with additional safety measures in place. Dr. Herzog and the Child study Teams will be in contact.
o We will update our essential employees list and consider the return of 12-month employees in early to mid-August.
o There will be no indoor camps or indoor rec sports this summer in order to protect the health of our essential employees who have been working everyday on site since the shutdown in March.
· Mr. Cohen made his initial report on race, racism, and social justice at the June 9th board meeting. Each month we will update the public at a board meeting. (The email version of this message has the full text of Mr. Cohen’s remarks from his first report.)
· Reopening guidance from Trenton: Today, Governor Murphy released guidance on reopening of schools. We received this information at the same time as the public. We will be carefully reviewing the information as it will help us to further develop our plan in Metuchen. I will provide updates each Friday and discuss our progress at the July 21st board meeting.
· And finally, our website. We have migrated our website to a new platform. Same address: metuchenschools.org, but with a new look and improved functionality. I invite you to check it out. And while you are there, please review the updated summer homework assignments. Have a great weekend. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and maintain social distance. Thank you.
Please note that our school fields and high school track are open to the public. Playgrounds will open on July 2nd. Please be safe.
Good afternoon. I hope this message finds you and your family well. Today is Juneteenth—a day for celebration and remembrance that should be part of our collective knowledge of freedom struggles in this country. 154 years ago today, slavery for Black Americans ended. May our educators and youth continue the fight to ensure that we deliver on the promise of freedom for every single person. Our school fields and track are now open for use by the public. Please be safe. Thanks for a great school year. Please know that we work all summer and are here for you. Feel free to reach out via phone, email, or social media. Congratulations to our kindergarteners, fourth graders, and eighth graders, all who will changing schools next year. The virtual field day and the promotions exercises at the schools were fun and very enjoyable. I’d like to offer a special wish for future success to the members of the MHS Class of 2020. Please tune in tonight at 6pm for their virtual graduation. As a reminder we will also celebrate these graduates with an in-person ceremony for the graduates plus two guests each on July 9th. The entire celebration will be livestreamed at 6:30pm that evening for everyone else to watch. I will continue to share with you my messages during the summer. I will update you on the progress of reopening schools, following the ever-changing guidance from the state. I will use email plus social media and reserve the text and call features only if I need to share timely information that might demand your immediate attention. As we head into summer, please remember that we still fight against COVID-19. The pandemic will not end until there is herd immunity or until we have a vaccine. All gatherings pose some level of risk of community spread. Wear your face coverings, keep your social distances, and wash your hands. Finally I’d like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in your extended families. Thanks and stay well.
Good afternoon. I hope this message finds you and your family doing well. At this Tuesday’s board meeting, Mr. Cohen led a deep and honest discussion of race and racism. We will continue to listen and report out updates each month throughout the summer. I presented an overview of our plan for reopening the schools in the fall. This will be a huge undertaking that will require the input and expertise of all of our stakeholders. We don’t know yet if the Fall will be in-person, remote, or some hybrid of the two. The buildings remain closed except to designated essential employees. For health and safety reasons, I intend to keep the all the buildings closed through July. The school fields and track, for now, also remain closed. Our summer instructional programs will be remote. That includes our special education Extended School Year, our new summer intervention program, and the Metuchen Summer Institute. We know many families are still struggling from the economic impacts of the pandemic. We have applied for a waiver that would allow us to continue to deliver lunches, throughout the summer, to any student in need. All students will also keep their loaned devices and hot spots for the summer months. Speaking of the summer months, our mostly-optional summer homework assignments will be posted by next Tuesday. I am sure that many of our students will want to take advantage of these opportunities. Here are some important events happening next week: Moss drive-through kindergarten graduation will happen on June 18th. Campbell virtual field day is June 15th. Edgar eighth grade drive-up promotion will be on June 17th. And we will celebrate the MHS class of 2020 with a virtual senior awards program on June 15th, diploma pickup and graduation photo opportunities all week by appointment, and a virtual graduation ceremony on June 19th. In addition, this week the Governor announced that the outdoor gatherings limit would increase to 500 in July. With this news, and with the approval of the mayor, police and OEM, we applied to the state for a July celebration of the graduates. This celebration, pending state approval, would allow the graduate and two guests to sit together on the football field. While no other spectators will be invited, the entire program will be livestreamed for everyone to watch. Stay tuned for tentative details from Mr. Peragallo. If and when we are granted approval, we will share that news and make our celebration plans official. These traditional activities are very nice and allow us to celebrate our children. Remember though that we are in the midst of fighting covid-19 and systemic racism, in a historical time. I am still committed this weekend to protecting my neighbors. I am going to wear a mask to stop the virus. And I’m going to listen, learn, and speak up to stop racism. Mask up and speak up. Have a great weekend.
Collaborative Plan for Reopening the Metuchen Public Schools.
Please click on link to access plan: https://5il.co/h246
The School Performance Reports reflect the New Jersey Department of Education's commitment to providing parents, students and school communities with a large variety of information about each school and district. These reports can be used as a tool to help evaluate whether all students have equitable access to high quality education. Please visit https://rc.doe.state.nj.us/SearchForSchool.aspx
to search for the reports regarding Metuchen Schools.
The contract between the Board of Education and the Teachers Union expires on June 30th. Please read this letter updating the progress of negotiations: https://5il.co/h1rj
The Metuchen Public Schools stand with those in the Black community who face the pain and despair of racism. To read Metuchen District's statement on racism and current events, please click this link: https://5il.co/h1q6