May 4, 2021
Dear Parents and Families,
On Monday May 3 we received notification from the Public Health Office that, “based on of review of the *COVID-19 Weekly Activity Report for week ending April 29, 2021 the entire State of New Jersey has a COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI) Score of 2/Yellow. This change moves the activity level of our region from High to Moderate.”
NJDOH’s COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Local Health Departments for K-12 Schools updated March 23, 2021 contains the COVID-19 Regional Risk Matrix for Moderate COVID-19 Activity Levels. According to the Matrix, the Nutley Public Schools are now able to return grades 7-12 to in-person instruction with a minimum of 3 feet of physical distancing between students in the classroom.
Beginning Monday, May 10, Grades 7 and 8 at John H. Walker Middle School will return to a five day per week, regular full-day schedule. Using the designated cafeteria and auditorium there is enough available space to provide a bagged lunch with the required 6 feet of social distancing at meals to accommodate this schedule.
Beginning Monday, May 10 Grades 9 -12 will also return to a five day per week schedule for all students, maintaining the current rotation schedule for continuity of instruction and learning. We will be restoring 11 minutes per period to reinstate our pre-pandemic 56 minute period schedule. Dismissal will be at 1:06 PM. The grab and go lunch for all students will still be offered. NHS will be maintaining office hours virtually after lunch until 2:53 PM in order to continue supporting at risk students that have already been identified and in 5 days per week. During this time, students not attending office hours are working on asynchronous projects/assignments/assessments.
Information on updating your choice of in-person or 100% virtual instruction will be provided by the school.
Additionally, beginning Monday, May 10 our K-8 ABA students will be returned five days per week, full day. If applicable, PK students will be notified as to their individual schedule.
There will be no change at this time for the remaining PK-6 students. Since returning five days per week April 19, staff and administration in each building have worked diligently to determine any solution to the current barriers of full day instruction at the elementary and high school level. Even pre-pandemic our schools were significantly overcrowded and, with the current social distancing requirements still in place under Executive Order 238, we are unable to overcome transportation, shared instructional space, and meals for all five elementary schools, and meals at the high school. If the guidance changes, we will revisit and update again.
We are looking forward to implementing these long awaited changes to in-person instruction. With the updated capacity guidance we will also be working to schedule many of the school and PTO year end events that have happened in the past, with appropriate social distancing, masking, and other health and safety guidelines. Please expect detailed follow-up communications from your building administrators.
Dr. Julie Glazer, Superintendent
Mr. Charlie Kucinski, BOE President