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North Arlington – Full Remote Through Phase 1

Google Translate Available at www.navikings.org

 

August 19, 2020

 

Good afternoon, school community members.

On June 26, 2020, our former Commissioner of Education, Lamont Repollet, released “The Road Back Restart and Recovery Plan for Education.”  After working on our district-wide plan for over a month, the NJDOE’s plan was revised on July 29, 2020.  On July 30, 2020, the North Arlington Board of Education approved our Restart and Recovery Plan, which included hybrid and virtual options for our students.  The NJDOE required submission of this plan by July 31, 2020.  Immediately after our submission, on August 3, 2020, the NJDOE once again released further revisions to “The Road Back Restart and Recovery Plan for Education” and released a “Reopening Checklist,” prompting immediate revisions to our plan.  Also on August 3, 2020, Governor Murphy mandated that all students had to wear masks, which required further modifications to our plans that were established based on the NJDOE’s previous guidance.

Since the release of North Arlington’s Restart and Recovery Tentative Schedule (2020-2021) on August 4, 2020, several unforeseen developments have taken place.

On August 13, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 175, which allows for school districts to provide full-time remote instruction to all students pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-9, if “unable to satisfy the health and safety requirements for in-person instruction.”  Also on August 13, 2020, the New Jersey Department of Health released a very detailed document further outlining health and safety protocols for public schools.

Over the past six days, we’ve continued to prepare our buildings to ensure the safety of our students and staff; however, there are still several pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfectants that have not yet arrived:  sanitizing wipes (5/29/20 & 6/18/20), plexi-glass for our main offices (6/30/20), disinfectant solution of newly installed devices in each room (7/8/20), additional electrostatic sprayers (7/8/20), and desk shields after confirming student data (8/7/20).  All of these items were ordered in a timely fashion, in coordination with the State’s, “The Road Back Restart and Recover Plan for Education; however, after weeks of delays, there is no guarantee that they’ll arrive for the opening of schools.

While taking into consideration all of the aforementioned information, and in coordination with the North Arlington Board of Education, North Arlington Public Schools will be providing remote instruction to all students to begin the school year.  Please anticipate full remote instruction to take place through Phase 1 (October 16, 2020); however, if we receive these items sooner, we will modify our plans to accommodate those who prefer the hybrid model, which currently stands around 55% of our student population.

Finally, I want you all to know that we are working diligently to overcome these challenges caused by delayed guidance and lack of available resources to open safely.  Please keep in mind that the health and safety of our students and staff has been and will continue to be at the forefront of our decision-making process.  Without these items in-hand, we are unable to open safely.

More information will be released in the coming days (e.g. Virtual Schedules, Athletics, Extra-Curricular Activities, & Childcare). 

Thank you for your continued patience and support.  Stay well.

 

Stephen Yurchak, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools