HANOVER TOWNSHIP — A Message from Michael J. Wasko, Superintendent of Schools.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope this letter finds you and your family safe, healthy and enjoying the summer. Since the New Jersey Department of Education released its comprehensive strategic plan for reopening schools in September 2020 (The Road Back: New Jersey’s Restart and Recovery Plan for Education), there have been many discussions among educators, parents, and community members. Understandably, everyone wants to know what the plan will be in their respective school districts. Please know, the Hanover Township Board of Education and the administrative team is fully committed to safely reopening our schools for in-person instruction in September. While we understand some of the hardships involved in anything less than a 100% return to school, our goal is for all students to be in school as much as possible while preserving the safety of all students, teachers, and staff.
During the last several weeks, members of the Board of Education, the district administrative team, and most recently, our District Restart Advisory Committee as well as our school-based Pandemic Teams have been working hard discussing various schools reopening plans and reviewing stakeholder feedback from our Return to School Parent Survey. As I am sure you can understand, creating a plan for a situation that is fluid, and may shift at any time, is very challenging as was evidenced recently with the frequent changes in graduation guidance for the class of 2020. Therefore, in order to best prepare the community for what the future may hold, the District is in the process of developing multiple plans for September based on current New Jersey Department of Education guidance, CDC social distancing guidelines, health conditions in the community, staffing, and building/classroom capacities. The four plans are listed below.
· Plan A:
- Schools will reopen for in-person instruction for all students every day on a regular full-day schedule
· Plan B:
- Schools will reopen for in-person instruction for all students every day on a modified early dismissal schedule (no lunch/recess) and will include a virtual/remote cohort of students as needed.
· Plan C:
- Schools will reopen for in-person instruction for students on a modified early dismissal schedule (no lunch/recess) by splitting the students into two A/B cohorts. One cohort will attend school on “A” Days and the other cohort will attend school on “B” Days using a “hybrid” model (mix of virtual/remote learning and in-person learning). The virtual/remote cohort schedule will parallel the in-person learning cohort
· Plan D:
- Virtual/remote learning for all students every day on a modified early dismissal schedule
As of July 17, 2020, it is our intention to reopen schools using “Plan B” for our PreK through 5 Elementary Schools (BMS, MTV, SDS) and “Plan C” for Memorial Junior School. The specific details, such as the scheduling of student cohorts at Memorial Junior School and utilization of instructional space at all schools are still being developed by the members of the administrative team.
It is very important to remember that conditions may change prior to the start of school in September and as a result, plans will likely need to be revised and adjusted accordingly. This correspondence is not meant to be comprehensive.
Our full plan will address many other issues and considerations with respect to school routines, instruction, curricular resources, scheduling, technology support, health and hygiene practices, transportation, the HTSACC Program, and more. We will provide additional information by the end of July, but wanted to provide you with a sense of our direction. Additionally, final plans will require Board support, as well as support from the local Department of Health and the New Jersey Department of Education.
I would like to thank you for your continued support and patience as we continue on this journey to develop and finalize our plans for the reopening of schools in September. If you have any questions regarding any of our Plans, please feel free to contact your respective building principal and/or me.
Be Well, Be Strong, and Stay Safe.
Michael J. Wasko
Superintendent of Schools