December 20, 2021
Dear Newark School Community,
In light of recent developments regarding COVID-19, I’m writing to inform you of additional plans, protocols, and procedures that will be implemented in the coming weeks.
As you all know, our response to COVID-19 has included adherence to very strict district protocols and procedures. With vaccinations and weekly testing in schools, coupled with all of our other mitigation strategies, we have created a safe environment in our schools and buildings.
Nevertheless, COVID-19 continues to be a brutal, relentless, and ruthless virus that rears its ugly head at inopportune times. With the number of positive cases on the upswing, we cannot let our guard down. We are redoubling our efforts to be prepared for any necessary changes and a potential pivot to remote instruction. Some may move to that point sooner than others, but we all will be prepared if and when necessary.
As we continue to monitor the numbers daily and receive guidance from the Newark Health Department, this is the plan for the next few weeks. This week, January’s staff development day will be rescheduled to this Thursday, December 23, 2021. As a result, schools will not be in session for students that day. Before then, schools will assist students and families in reviewing and preparing their remote instruction locations. This includes confirming the availability of technology, connectivity, materials, and all necessary links and codes to access learning remotely. All students should be reminded to take their Chromebooks home this week. Next week, deep intensive cleaning protocols are scheduled for all schools and buildings. Upon our return in January, in-person instruction and tutoring will resume unless circumstances warrant remote instruction for specific classes, groups, or schools. Weekly rapid testing will also resume in schools as regularly scheduled.
This remains a very trying time, and I want to commend and thank all of you for your flexibility, patience, confidence, and resilience. Change has been the only constant in this fight against coronavirus and I want to applaud everyone’s ability and willingness to adjust. Please continue to refer to the district and/or schools’ websites for updates.
On behalf of all of our children and staff, I appreciate and thank all of you, and know that we have accomplished everything we have because of you. Please exercise utmost caution during these holidays and winter recess, and follow all CDC travel guidelines. I wish you all a healthy, safe, and prosperous new year.