Transition Back to Full-Day, In-Person Learning on Monday, January 10
Good afternoon Cranford Public Schools Community,
Please be advised that based on current projected staffing, the District plans to return to full-day, in-person learning on Monday, January 10.
I want to thank the parents, guardians, and students for their patience and flexibility as they work through this week --I know it is not easy. I also want to thank our amazing faculty for their outstanding efforts as they provide remote learning this week --it has not been easy for them either. They are hard working professionals who genuinely care about your children and this community and would much rather teach in-person. Unfortunately, we are still in a pandemic and even the most careful person is susceptible to getting COVID-19 and required to quarantine.
Although we will certainly do our best to keep them to a minimum, we all need to be prepared for potential disruptions.
Here are some important updates (I apologize for the length of the correspondence, but I can assure you the information below is very important):
Free Testing for CPSD students - optional - parental / guardian consent required on Friday, January 7 from 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm, and Saturday, January 8, from 9:00 am - 10:30 am. Testing will take place at Lincoln School.
Prior to the break, our region turned red, signaling a very high transmission rate according to the NJDOH Covid Activity Level Index (CALI) report. In addition to redoubling our efforts in implementing all of our protocols and procedures, we have also arranged for testing for all students whose parents / guardians would like to have their children tested. The testing, which consists of a non-invasive PCR spit test, will be provided by an outside company, Mirimus, and parents/guardians must complete this consent, prior to arrival, for their child to be tested.
Please note that we are working on expanding this program so that it takes place weekly.
Required Testing for participation in extracurricular activities (athletics) - parental / guardian consent required
Please note that athletics and extracurricular activities can resume. However, as per the Township Health Department, and in alignment with updated NJDOH guidance, the District needs to implement greater strategies to prevent the spread of Covid-19 since we are in the “very high transmission” (red) category. Therefore, the District has arranged for testing twice a week for any extracurricular activity that cannot mirror the standard protocols and procedures that are implemented in the classroom settings, specifically athletics. All individuals who choose to participate in athletics will be required to be tested for Covid-19 twice per week. Please be advised that the Township Health Officer would not support the continuation of our athletic program without these additional steps. This testing, which consists of a non-invasive PCR spit test, will be provided by an outside company, Mirimus, and parents/guardians must complete this consent, prior to arrival, for their child to be tested.
Please note the following:
Testing will occur on Mondays and Thursdays at CHS from 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
The Athletic Department and coaches will be providing additional information.
The District Pandemic Committee has decided to move to a District dashboard, like most other Districts, to report cases, as opposed to sending out letters each day from the principals and from me. The dashboard will contain the cases by school and will be updated daily. Contact tracing will still be performed as it has been and individuals will be notified if they have been determined to be close contacts. The dashboard will be live on the District website on Monday.
On Friday, January 7, be on the lookout for a new form to report positive Covid-19 cases and close contacts. The revised form will streamline the process for you, as well as the nurses.
Given the amount of students who are currently quarantined, it makes sense to shift from the home instruction model to a “live streaming” model for those who are quarantined in grades 3 through 12. This new model will be in place for the month of January and then the District will reassess moving forward. Please understand that this allows students who are quarantining to listen in on the class. This model does not include two-way communication. Your child is always welcome to follow up with the teacher at a later time and their teacher will do everything possible to assist your child upon their return. Grades Pre-K through 2 will continue with the home instruction model when an individual is quarantined, unless they have to switch to a “live stream” due to capacity limitations.
Quarantining Guidelines Update
CDC has not yet applied the recently revised isolation and quarantine timeframes for the general population to high-risk congregate care settings (e.g., corrections, shelters, group homes, drug treatment centers) and other specialized settings (e.g., schools, institutions of higher education, childcare). Therefore, these settings should continue to follow current posted CDC/NJDOH setting-specific guidance. Once CDC updates guidance for these settings, NJDOH will update state guidance/recommendations accordingly. While we expect CDC will release updated guidance soon, we do not have dates for when this will happen.
Again, please remember to keep any child who is sick home from school and contact the school nurse for further guidance.
These are far from ideal times, but the latest reports indicate that we should be in much better shape within a few weeks. We sincerely appreciate your continued flexibility, partnership and support and are optimistic that our future is bright!
Be well and stay safe!