As we move forward into 2022, I want to send a personal thank you for your support and partnership in helping our schools maintain safe and welcoming environments for our students. I am proud of the fact our schools have continuously stayed open, students and staff have continued to be safe, and students have been engaged in learning and activities. We should all have a sense of pride for what we have accomplished together over the past months. I am grateful to our students and families who have followed the required protocols to allow us to be successful in school, and to our faculty, staff, and administration for their dedication and service that has remained above and beyond. I know we will all enjoy a much-deserved holiday break.
We will no doubt face new challenges and uncertainties in the new year that will require all of us to be flexible. At this time, our intent is to resume full in-person learning when school resumes for students on Monday, January 3, 2022. However, if COVID cases continue to surge over the holidays, we may receive new guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health or New Jersey Department of Education. We will continue to follow NJDOH guidance on school operations, and keep you informed of any required changes.
Based on our plans we are again asking that you complete the Parent Covid Agreement that is located in the Parent Portal on RealTime.
This survey is now open and MUST be completed by Monday, January 3, 2022. This deadline has been set to accommodate those who may have been traveling over the break.
As a reminder, for those traveling, the CDC provides travel guidance for unvaccinated individuals to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Unvaccinated individuals who do travel, domestically and outside of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, should get tested 1-3 days before their trip and 3-5 days after travel. Even if they test negative upon return, the CDC recommends unvaccinated individuals stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after domestic travel, and for 10 days if they are unable to test.
More travel guidance can be found here. https://tinyurl.com/TravelQuarantine
We will also continue to make testing available to all students regardless of vaccination status. Testing for students is voluntary, and there is no requirement to test. In-district testing is for those who are asymptomatic only. If your child is feeling unwell, or is unvaccinated and has been exposed to COVID, they must seek medical advice. We can only provide well-testing. Testing will be held in the NHS cafeteria Monday afternoons after school, by appointment only.
The testing will be performed with the use of either a nasal swab or saliva PCR test - you will choose the testing method via the online testing center link provided during registration. Nasal swab results will be in the patient portal within 24 to 36 hours. The saliva test does take up to 48 hours to process. Your student does not need to quarantine while awaiting test results.
Weekly Testing Schedule The district is, once again, partnering with the Bergen New Bridge Medical Group. All parents interested in testing their students weekly will need to complete this survey: https://forms.gle/DbPZ44CVGmctFEJA6 by 4pm Thursday, December 30, 2021 to be scheduled for testing on Monday, January 3, 2022. You will be provided with an individually scheduled testing time/date. This testing time will be reserved for your student each Monday. If your child has a standing appointment time you do not need to register again.
You will not be asked for any insurance information. Insurance no longer covers the cost of diagnostic testing, however, the district has received grants from the CDC Foundation and FEMA to pay for the cost of testing in the district. There will be no charge for testing in-district at this time.
Positive Test Results
As has been done previously, you will receive a personal call from Bergen New Bridge with any positive test result. Additionally, the school nurse will be notified. Parents of all tested students will receive a follow-up email with their positive result, and both positive and negative results will be available in the patient portal. If your child’s test is positive, he/she will be required to isolate for 10 days from the testing date prior to returning to school or activities. There are numerous free testing sites in each county if you miss your district testing appointment. You can find a listing at: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing#test-sites
As always, please continue to wear face masks, socially distance, and use hygiene practices such as frequent handwashing. This will mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread, allow us to continue in-person operations, and plan for the best structure of educational services to minimize risk to staff and students.
As I look forward optimistically to 2022, I’m confident that we will continue the amazing work taking place in the Nutley Public Schools. The Board of Education and I want to wish each of you a safe, relaxing, joy-filled holiday season! May the new year bring you and those closest to you the brightest of days, good health, happiness, and prosperity this Christmas and holiday season. I couldn’t imagine being on this journey with anyone other than the amazing and dedicated staff, students and families in Nutley. I’m so fortunate to be part of our community.