March 27, 2020
Dear Teaneck Parents/Guardians, Students and Staff,
We have just completed our second week of “Learning from Home” lessons, and as I mentioned in my last communication to you, we are currently planning for the month ahead. Additionally, as we receive new information nearly every day from various health and education departments/agencies, I want to update you with some very important news.
I will start with the important updates:
1.) Governor Phil Murphy announced this week that the State of New Jersey is cancelling all statewide student assessments for the spring 2020 testing window. This includes the springtime administration of the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA), ACCESS for ELLs, and the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) assessment.
2.) As we move through this pandemic/health crisis, we will begin to hear about students, staff members, parents, etc. who will have contracted COVID-19. Per very clear guidance that we have received from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the NJ Department of Education, and Teaneck Township Health Department, the Bergen County Health Department is the only entity permitted to contact individuals they feel may have been in contact with the person during the time he/she was symptomatic. We are not permitted to confirm or issue any communications about specific positive cases.
Next, I want to share some good news:
1.) Although the building remains closed, the Teaneck Township Library has a host of digital/virtual resources available to you and our students
. These include digital books, videos, and online yoga and mental health sessions. Please visit the Teaneck Library’s website for more details: https://teanecklibrary.org/
2.) Our district went “1 to 1” with our Chromebook rollout for middle and high schools students and staff. On March 13, we permitted all middle school students to take these Chromebooks home and we offered free Wi-Fi to those who need it. NOW, I am pleased to announce that we will be doing the same for grades 1 – 4 effective the week of spring break (April 6 – 10). More information on this will be forthcoming regarding the actual schedule and pick-up times.
Lastly, I want to discuss our upcoming lesson plans:
1.) I have heard you loud and clear, and it is our intention to move to an online learning platform to deliver instruction using Google Classroom when we return from spring break. This means that over this next week, the following will take place:
a. We will use Kyte Learning as a platform for training faculty and other staff on the basics of training for Google Classroom. A set number of hours will need to be completed for Google beginners, intermediate and advanced.
b. By end of next week, teachers will begin to prepare go-forward lessons plans while we will offer parents training on how to access their child’s Google Classroom.
c. Our faculty will then create a Google classroom at each school and invite parents/guardians to participate per an updated school schedule (which will be forthcoming).
d. On April 13, we will begin providing online lessons and assignments via Google Classroom.
NOTE: Lesson plans for the week of March 29 will be up by Sunday, March 28. No instruction will take place during spring break – April 6 – 10, 2020 (this will be used for elementary school pick-up of Chromebooks at Teaneck High School).
I realize this timeline will seem aggressive for some and not fast enough for others. All I can say is that this is our reality and I will ensure that online learning is put into place. The process for accessing the Google Classroom and each child’s schedule will be released by end of next week.