September 3, 2021
Dear Parents/Guardians, Students and Staff,
Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! I hope you had an enjoyable summer, and that you are now energized and ready for an exciting year ahead.
On Thursday, September 9, our students will return to a full-day, in-person schedule. For many, this could be their first time back since March of 2020. Recognizing this, we plan to focus our first two days on the social-emotional needs of our students. We know that it will take time for everyone to feel comfortable in their respective classrooms and educational environments. But I want to assure you that we have put in multiple layers of protection for the health and safety of all. If you did not have the opportunity to learn more about these steps in one of our recent virtual Town Hall events, then please review my Return to Schools Expectations Memo from August 20 (Expectations Memo
) or our safety protocols outlined in the presentation I shared at the August 25 Board Meeting: Return to School Board Presentation
. I also invite you to review our Frequently Asked Questions document that can be found on our newly designed district website under the COVID-19 icon: FAQs for Parents
Most importantly, we must be honest with ourselves about the state of our own health. No one should attend school or come to work if you are not feeling well or exhibiting certain symptoms. This year, instead of asking you to verify this daily, we are taking a different approach whereby you will need to attest ONE TIME to following this practice DAILY. A separate email is being sent directly to our staff and to our parents (to complete for each child). Parents must submit this one-time Wellness Attestation Form before September 9.
Certainly, the safety of our students and staff remains our top priority for the start of this school year. However, I assure you that we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure your children receive a high quality education, and in the fulfillment of our five year District Strategic Plan - now entering “Year Three” - where we will focus on the following areas:
1.) Continued Expansion of our Gifted and Talented Program
2.) Middle School Athletics Program
3.) Expansion of our High School Career Pathways
4.) Year 1 of the TV Production Program at THS
5.) Year 1 of our Aspiring Leaders Academy for faculty who want to become district leaders
Additionally, I want to share the following important updates with you:
- Our District now has a brand new mobile app available for download in your respective app stores under “Teaneck Public Schools” (see:District Mobile App).
- The newly designed district and school websites have many new features. For some helpful hints, check out this quick tutorial on our District YouTube page: New Website Tutorial
- Please be sure to complete the Free or Reduced School Meals application - only one application per household is needed: Free Reduced Lunch Application
- We love taking photos of our students and staff to post on our website, social media, or in the newspaper. If you do not want your child photographed during the year, please be sure to notify your child’s teacher and the school’s main office.
- If you are on Facebook and have not already “liked” or followed our district page, please join us @TeaneckPublicSchoolDistrict.
In closing, I am truly excited to have everyone return to our school buildings and I cannot wait to see you in person. We are Teaneck Public Schools - strong, resilient and ready to showcase “The Teaneck Advantage”.
Please remain patient and compassionate with each other through these first few weeks of school; and let’s keep all who have lost a loved one in our prayers.
Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend, and Happy Rosh Hashanah for those who are celebrating.
Best wishes for a successful school year.
Dr. Christopher Irving
Superintendent of Schools