TPS Return to School Plan Update - November 13, 2020


November 13, 2020

Dear Teaneck Parents/Guardians, Students & Staff,

Since Wednesday evening’s Board decision to postpone the opening of schools, and knowing that a re-opening will not happen before January 2021, my team has been working very hard to rework our go-forward educational plans for the second marking period.

First and foremost, I want to assure you that I heard our families with regard to student screen time. In fact, next week we will be issuing a survey regarding this specific matter and are already working towards shifting our instructional practices for the balance of this school year.  To that end, please note that the next two weeks will be a transition time and we will keep the “Half Day” schedule for our students through Wednesday, November 25 (we are closed for Thanksgiving November 26 & 27). Our staff will use this time for professional development to focus on a variety of sessions including content area planning, technology training, and remote assessment training.

Special Education Families: 
  • In order for all related service providers (Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy) to participate in the professional development being offered, student sessions will follow a half day schedule. 
  • For the students, parents/guardians, and staff working with the 18-21 STAR Program these students will continue to follow their previous schedule. Communication will be provided by the Special Education Department. 
Although not yet finalized, we are exploring the following to begin Monday, November 30:
  • Modifying the full day schedule to minimize screen time and incorporate opportunities for student academic support working with teachers, counselors and/or coaches;
  • Reviewing academic data to provide meaningful, targeted instruction; and 
  • Continuing to enhance the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) by incorporating advisory groups within the student schedule.
Final plans regarding the above will be communicated by November 25.

On Wednesday, November 18 at 7:30 pm, there will be a Special Board Meeting where I will present our updated Return to School Plan. I invite you to join this virtual meeting (webinar link will be posted on our website homepage - top of page - next week). This presentation will include winter afterschool and athletic programs, addressing technology issues, December meal distribution, and childcare support for beyond January 2021. 
Ultimately, a return to “normalcy” is what we all want for our children. I ask for your patience and cooperation; and with everyone’s support, we can accomplish our goals together.

Please continue to stay safe and thank you for your ongoing support.

Dr. Christopher Irving, Superintendent of Schools 
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