Parents should also be preparing for the new school year with a pandemic perspective:
• Find a reusable/washable face covering that your child is comfortable wearing, and gradually get him or her used to wearing it for extended periods of time.
• Be sure you have a working thermometer at home to help monitor possible symptoms of illness.
• More important than ever: If a child seems sick, keep him or her home. A Daily Home Screening Checklist can help with those at-home evaluations.
different approach for 2020/21
Our plan for reopening Rutherford Public Schools is grounded in our core goals of having students in school as much as possible, while preserving the safety of all students and staff. We started working on the plan in May, and we researched how European schools managed. We pulled together a committee of more than 60 staff members, Board of Education representatives and parent volunteers who worked within the guidelines issued by the State of New Jersey.
The health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff has always been a top priority, but that responsibility takes on a different meaning when discussed during a pandemic. We are addressing every single aspect of our operations and are preparing to submit our plan to the Department of Education for its review. We will be ready to welcome students in September.
While distance learning worked for Rutherford as a whole last spring, we need a different approach for the 2020/21 school year. Our youngest students do best with in-person instruction, and space accommodations in classrooms and schedule adjustments, they can be in school daily. Our older students did well with distance learning, which, along with space concerns, is why we believe a hybrid model will work best for them.
Things are changing quickly in this climate. That’s why our plan is split into phases, which will allow us to re-evaluate the plan based on a better understanding of current data. While we would love to “go back to normal,” our hope is that one day we will do that, and can change our plans to reflect that. We will be ready for that, too.
-- Jack Hurley, Superintendent of Schools
All of Rutherford's preliminary plans are subject to changes by the district, as well review by the NJ Department of Education.
We will share the details as soon as we are able to describe the ways we will reopen our schools.