Westwood Regional School District
2021-2022 School Year
Safe Return Plan
Remote Instruction Plan
BoE Approved September 23, 2021
Frequently Asked Questions Drop Down
How will lunch be handled? Please contact the principal of the school to obtain specific information.
Why are the schools not air-conditioned? Can't we put in window units? Currently, the district is in the process of assessing the electrical capacity of each building. This will allow us to determine the available load capacity of each building, the amount of energy we currently drawdown, and the available load capacity to expand. We have no additional breakers for window units.
Why is lunch in the cafeteria/multi-purpose room and not the classrooms? Although COVID is at the top of everyone's mind, we cannot negate the fact that we have hundreds of students with life-threatening food allergies. Snack in the elementary classrooms has food that is prohibited due to students who have severe allergies. If we had lunch in the classrooms, we would have to prohibit nuts, peanuts, and other allergen foods from being eaten. We would also need personnel to monitor each child's lunch to make sure it does not contain an allergen. It would also be difficult to have the custodians clean every classroom quickly enough for when the students return from lunch/recess.
Why can't the District announce the mask optional days to parents the night before? The temperature varies throughout the day, especially in September and October. Masks may be required in the morning but optional in the afternoon. We may want to wait until the school day is underway to make the decision.
At what temperature will masks be optional? There is no one measure we can point to. We are going to consider the "feels like" temperature, not just the outside temperature. Upon consultation with the school physician and the New Jersey Department of Education, consideration in classrooms without air conditioning for a “mask optional” day will be given if the temperatures rise to the level of extreme heat.
Contact tracing is a strategy used to determine the source of an infection and how it is spreading. Finding people who are close contacts of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, and therefore at higher risk of becoming infected themselves, can help prevent further spread of the virus.
Per the CDC, close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of someone with suspected or known COVID-19 for 15 or more minutes during a 24-hour period. In certain situations, it may be difficult to determine whether individuals have met this criterion and an entire cohort, classroom, or other group may need to be considered exposed.
In the K–12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) where both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.
Vaccinated individuals will not need to quarantine if they are exposed to the virus unless they are experiencing symptoms or test positive. The District is remaining neutral on the subject of vaccinations. We feel it is a parental choice, and we will neither encourage nor discourage students to get the vaccine.
Since the community transmission level is at the moderate (yellow) or low (green) level at this time, close contacts will be excluded from school for 10 days (or 7 days with a negative test result collected at 5-7 days).
If our transmission rate increases to high (orange), exposed close contacts will be excluded from school for 14 days.