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Dr. Irving's Letter - October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students and Staff,

At Wednesday night’s Board meeting, I presented our proposed Phase 2 “Return to School Plan” for the second marking period (which runs from November 16, 2020 through January 28, 2021).  As I shared with our Board members, in order to ensure we are moving in a manner that is safe for all, it is my intention to bring back our students and staff in a phased-in approach throughout the balance of this school year. 

The first groups of students scheduled to return to their respective school buildings have been chosen because they are among our most vulnerable students who struggle in an online learning environment. They are:
  • Pre-Kindergarten students
  • Kindergarten students
  • Self-Contained special education students grades preschool through post graduate (PG) in the following programs:
    • Preschool disabilities (PSD);
    • Multiple disabilities (MD and 18-21 STAR Program);
    • Learning and/or Language disabilities (LLD); and
    • Behavioral disabilities (BD).

While I realize this decision will be disappointing to some families, please know that over the next two months our administration will continue to meet to discuss the return of other grade levels to their schools – perhaps later in the second marking period or during the third marking period. Until that time, the remaining student populations will continue to follow their current remote learning schedules as we enter the second marking period.

For the children scheduled to return on November 16, per the guidance provided by the State of New Jersey during this pandemic, our district will provide these families with the option to continue with remote learning.  These families will receive additional guidance on this from their school principals over this next week.

I invite everyone to review our second marking period plan, which is currently posted on our district website: https://www.teaneckschools.org/Downloads/Revised%20Phase%20II%20Re-entry%20to%20School%20Plan.pdf 

Still, I want to stress that this is the current framework for how we plan to proceed with a “phased in” approach to bring our children back into their school buildings. We will not finalize these plans until the principals and I have completed our sessions with parents, students and staff to receive feedback on this proposed plan. This will occur over the next two weeks. Also, these plans are making an assumption that there are no major changes in COVID-19 numbers over this next month – to such a point where returning to school is no longer an option. I will continue to keep you updated on our final plan.

On a separate note, I would like to remind everyone of two important items:
1.)     With our move to an all virtual learning environment for the first marking period, we had to make a few changes to our district calendar. This includes the fact that the district will be “open” (although all virtual) on Election Day, November 3.  For the most up-to-date calendar, please visit the district website: https://www.teaneckschools.org/2020-2021DistrictCalendar.aspx
2.)     At our monthly Regular Board meetings, I present a comprehensive “Superintendent’s Report” which includes input from every district school. If you are unable to attend these virtual meetings, you can still view this monthly report – including the one from this Wednesday evening – here: https://www.teaneckschools.org/PreviousReportsfromtheSuperintendent.aspx

As always, I appreciate your continued support and patience as we navigate through this difficult time together.

Dr. Christopher Irving, Superintendent of Schools

Teaneck Staff in Action

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