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April 17, 2020


Dear Nutley Families, 


The COVID-19 crisis is a stressful time for all members of our community, impacting each of us in different ways. We empathize with our school community members, as we acknowledge that we are all facing both collective and individual challenges, often related to social isolation, losing our ability to participate in our usual activities, worry about the health of family and friends, and financial hardships. Tragically, a growing number of us are coping with grief and loss of loved ones as well. Know that you are not alone and that help is available. 


Our School Counselors will continue to provide support to students by appointment between 9am-2pm. Your counselor can also provide referrals to community resources to meet your family’s identified needs.  Please see the School Counselors’ contact information below.  Email your counselor to schedule a time to connect via phone or Google Meet.


The School Counseling website is continually being updated with resources. Please visit our Wellness Resources page to access this information, including both immediate response and coping resources during COVID-19, those specific to grief and loss, as well as general wellness resources and a list of individual, family, group, agency and sliding scale providers in our area.  


If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center or text MHA to 741741 at the Crisis Text Line. PerformCare Child Mobile Response can also be contacted by a parent/guardian to respond to an urgent situation by calling (877) 652-7624. Our Wellness Resources list (attached) also includes additional hotline and online resources that you can access at any time.   


We invite you to stay connected by joining our K-8 or NHS School Counseling Schoology Groups where our counselors are posting positive messages, videos, wellness tips, activities and information. Instructions on how to join are also found on our Wellness Resources page.  You are welcome to reach out to me directly for assistance. Our school community is still here, working hard to find new ways to support you. The collective perseverance and resilience I have seen from staff, students, families and community members has been remarkable and truly embodies what it means to be #NutleyStrongerTogether!


Be well,


Meredith Gerckens



Nutley Public Schools Counselor Contact Information: 


Nutley High School

Lisa Cassilli (Student Assistance Coordinator)

Persis Aviles (I&RS and Testing Coordinator)

Lauren Birnbaum (School Counselor)

Alec Johnson (School Counselor)

Victoria Paino (School Counselor)

Sherrie Tolve (School Counselor)

Carrie-Anne Vos (School Counselor)


John H. Walker Middle School

Joe Cappello (Student Assistance Coordinator)

Jill Divilio (School Counselor)

Alisa Gennace (School Counselor)


Lincoln & Spring Garden Schools

Nancy Thunell (School Counselor)


Radcliffe & Yantacaw Schools

Lauren Alfaro (School Counselor)


Washington School

Kelli Cerniglia (School Counselor)


Wellness Resources




The Nutley School District serves approximately 4,100 students in Kindergarten through grade 12. The five elementary schools serve students K-6 and include Lincoln School, Radcliffe School, Spring Garden School, Washington School and Yantacaw School. John H. Walker Middle School serves students in grades 7-8 while Nutley High School addresses the needs of students in grades 9-12.