Dear Cranford Parents/Guardians,
I hope this correspondence finds you and your family well. The District is excited to welcome students to the 2022-2023 school year! It will be filled with exciting activities, events, and initiatives that will enrich educational opportunities for all students.
Just like every other year, families should continue to monitor their children and keep them home if they are sick. Additionally, students who are symptomatic with COVID like symptoms must remain home and contact the nurse for next steps specific to a return to school date. For those with medically documented chronic illness/allergies, only new symptoms or symptoms worse than baseline should be considered for a student not to attend school.
Here are the remaining protocols still in place regarding COVID-19:
Please continue to report positive COVID results to the District. After COVID isolation, students may return to school on day 6 if asymptomatic or if symptoms improve. Wearing a mask in school will be required on days 6-10 for those returning after a positive result. The faculty will update their google classrooms / provide work for students to complete while they are at home (there will be no live streaming). Faculty will be accommodating in catching students up on anything they missed --students will not be penalized for having to isolate.
The District will continue to maintain its COVID-19 dashboard as requested by some individuals in the community.
There is no universal masking mandate in New Jersey. Please be reminded that it is essential that we all work together to promote an environment where everyone can feel comfortable with their choice while respecting others who may make a different choice. Parents/ Guardians can help foster a safe and nurturing environment by having empathetic discussions at home to support the conversations that will be taking place in the classrooms.
K-12 highlights for this year will include the following:
- The District continues to work towards placing a referendum on the ballot in December! The proposed referendum is guided by the results of a town wide survey which indicated that about 71% of the community was in support of District enhancements, i.e. Updating science labs, modernizing library/multimedia centers to support 21st Century STEM programs, enhancing performing arts spaces, enhancing accessibility options, installing AC in large common spaces, upgrading electrical services, making repairs districtwide, etc… Additionally, the survey indicated that approximately 65% favored full day kindergarten in the currently zoned elementary schools. We are thrilled about the new and exciting opportunities a referendum would provide for our students districtwide and our community at large. We look forward to sharing more information regarding the referendum in the upcoming weeks.
- The District is in the final year (year 5) of its implementation of the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. We thank our entire school community for all of the progress we have made over the past few years and look forward to engaging you once again in the process of creating a new 5 year strategic plan as we continue to work together in “Growing Tomorrow’s Leaders Together.”
School Scheduling Information
- Please see current School Scheduling Information here.
- New Middle School Schedule - Hillside Avenue School and Orange Avenue School are excited to announce the piloting of a new middle school schedule for this coming school year. Enhancing the current middle school schedule was already a part of the District Strategic Plan, but the need to focus on the “whole” child is even more critical as a result of mental health, social-emotional, and learning acceleration challenges brought on by the pandemic. The new schedule will provide greater opportunities for enrichment and intervention, increased teacher and student interactions, and infusion of executive functioning skills every week through an additional period at the end of the day.
Safety and Wellness
- Upgraded cameras and canopy lighting - Throughout the school year, security cameras and exterior canopy lighting will be updated throughout the District.
- Visitor Entry - The District will also be adding a digital visitor management system at each of the school building entrances. We will provide more information to the community when we roll out the new process.
- Digital Mapping - All school buildings will be digitally mapped in order for safety professionals to have immediate access to critical information.
- Annual Safety Presentation - The District annual safety presentation will occur on Wednesday, September 21. As in the past, this meeting will be presented in partnership with the Cranford Police Department, Cranford Fire Department, and Cranford’s Office of Emergency Management. The presentation will provide safety updates as well as an open forum for the community to have input into the District's safety initiatives.
- The District continues to provide training for our faculty through a Youth Mental Health First Aid Program. All new teachers will participate in and current faculty will continue to be offered an 8-hour course that teaches staff how to help students who may be experiencing challenges in the areas of mental health and substance use. The training helps individuals identify, understand and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses. Over 200 faculty members have already been fully trained in the program!
- The Cranford School Counseling Corner is the district school counseling website which provides helpful resources and links related to your child’s age development and also provides resources for parents and guardians. Please check the website often as it will be updated throughout the year.
- No Place for Hate, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, is a self directed program for grades K-12 that assists all members of the school community in providing an inclusive and equitable learning environment while also decreasing acts of bias and bullying. Each Cranford public school was awarded the No Place for Hate designation again in 2021-2022 and we continue to provide programming that supports this initiative each year.
Curriculum / Instruction
- The District will begin the first year of a four-year grant to participate in the Data-Driven Instructional Coaching Model (DDICM) project with Rutgers University to assist in creating a robust coaching model for K-3 reading intervention.
- The district Math Intervention Team for coaching and small group lessons will expand into grades 6-8 and two new Math Interventionists have been hired for the district.
- Curricula have been updated for Mathematics K-2, Reading and Writing in 3-5, World and U.S. History, and many elective courses.
- High School AP students and teachers will have access to Albert IO to assist with preparing for the AP exams.
- A pilot program has been created to help provide middle school students with stronger executive functioning skills and lessons on the district's Full Value initiative.
- The District will implement Year 4 of its District Data Plan and Year 1 of its Assessment Action Plan.
- The High School will continue its work with the NJ Coalition for Inclusive Education to further foster an environment where children with disabilities and learning differences are welcomed as classmates, valued as learners and empowered to succeed. Through our collaboration with the NJ Coalition for Inclusive Education the High School will be piloting the Collaborative Consultation Model in several senior elective English classes (Sports America, 21st Century Communication and Film as Literature). This model will provide the opportunity for students to receive the assistance of a special education teacher who will also work with students to develop self-advocacy and independence skills to assist with students' post-secondary endeavors.
- The District provided Math and ELA support in grades K-8 to approximately 300 students this summer with in-person On Ramp support classes.
- New courses in ELA and Science will be offered this year as dual enrollment opportunities at the high school in partnership with Rutgers University and NJIT.
- The District will hold virtual Coffee and Conversation with the superintendent meetings on Tuesday, November 22 and Tuesday, April 4 from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm. These informal meetings will provide a forum to discuss topics that are important to the school community.
- As part of the District’s goal to increase meaningful stakeholder engagement to enhance practices, structures and, ultimately, student learning, each school sends out climate and culture surveys, including a section on engagement in the spring to gauge current sentiments around engagement. Responses will help inform future engagement efforts.
- The District will continue to enhance communication through the District website and social media in partnership with our student led communications design team who is responsible for designing and updating all district websites, harnessing social media applications as well as developing additional apps to further communication and engagement efforts.
Data, Technology and Infrastructure
- The District has created a Director of Data and Learning Acceleration position that will help the District enhance its use of data to help inform instructional decisions and support students.
- Cranford Public Schools will continue with the one-to-one Chromebook access for students and teachers to allow for innovation, communication, and collaboration.
Our first priority is the safety of our school community. Please be sure to read the attached letters regarding the visitor entry protocols and the Board policy regarding permitted items at highly attended public events. I appreciate your partnership in supporting our security procedures so as to provide an even safer community. Additionally, please be sure to update and verify your emergency information in InfoSnap prior to the first day of school. It is imperative that we have the most current information so that we can best provide for your child.
The PTA (Parent Teacher Association) is a wonderful organization and a crucial part of our school community. They plan special events, provide cultural arts experiences, offer an organized venue for parents to have direct feedback into the academic and social programs we offer and provide endless support. We, as a school community, would be at a great disadvantage without this organization and the resources it provides. Please be sure to join this terrific organization. We all benefit from your support and involvement!
Attached please find a packet with the following information: Visitor Entry Protocol letter; Permitted Items at Board-Sponsored Public Events Policy #9160.1 and accompanying letter; 2022-2023 School District Calendar; School Scheduling including delayed opening and single session schedules; Emergency/Crisis Protocol information; HIB Specialist information and a copy of the District HIB Policy #5512; Internet Safety and Technology Policy #2361.
You will also receive information from your child’s principal which will be specific to your particular school. Should you find there is any additional information that you need, please check the school district website www.cranfordschools.org or contact your child’s principal directly.
We look forward to working with you and your children and thank you for your continued support of Cranford Public Schools.
As always, please contact my office if you have any comments, questions and /or concerns. I look forward to an academically rigorous, productive, and rewarding school year!
Dr. Scott Rubin
Superintendent of Schools
- Cranford Custodial Procedures Handbook
- Emergency Procedures
- HIB Policy #5512
- Annual HIB letter from Dr. Rubin - 2021-22
- Acceptable Use of Computer Networks_Computers and Resources Policy #2361
- Internet Safety and Technology Policy 6142.10
- School Scheduling Information - 2021-22
- CPSD 2018-2023 Strategic Plan
- Permitted Items Letter and Policy