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Additional School Reopening Guidance
 
July 30, 2020
 
Dear Mount Laurel School Families,
 
We are providing our families with some additional information and guidance about our current school reopening plans.  This may also assist you in your decision about whether you want to register for the Full-Time Remote Learning Option or remain in the Hybrid Cohort Model that provides in-person instruction.
 
The deadline for registering for the full-time remote option has been extended to Monday, August 3, 2020. After you review the information provided, use the link at the end of this letter should you decide to register your child for Full-Time Remote Learning.
 
Also, all parents/guardians will be notified of their cohort assignment the week of August 10th. Siblings throughout the district will be assigned to the same cohort.
 
Length of Day for In-Person Attendance
Cohorts A, B, & C will attend for in-person instruction on their designated days and follow a single session schedule, which is a 4-hour day.  Each school has a specific start and end time which will be followed; you will be receiving the schedule.
 
District Policies
District policies for attendance and grading will be followed for both remote and in-person learning.  All students will be required to complete assignments, log in to live teaching sessions, and attend school when scheduled. Full-Time Remote Learners will be responsible for their learning and meeting classroom expectations on their assigned platform, as well. 
 
Key Conditions for Learning
Some key considerations for learning regardless of the schedule you choose, is that your child or children will receive the same ratio of synchronous (live) instruction and asynchronous lessons and assignments whether they are in the Full-Time Remote Learning Option or following a Hybrid schedule.
 
There is no question that technology will play a major role in our teaching and your child’s learning this year.  All students will receive the requisite technology they need to learn in either schedule, the Full-Time Remote or Hybrid.  Our remote learning is carefully crafted with your child’s developmental and educational needs in mind.
 
Students in cohorts that will be attending for in-person instruction at school will need to have a book bag that can accommodate a small school-provided Chromebook.  Students attending in-person instruction will be bringing their Chromebooks home and to school.
 
Hybrid and Full-Time Remote Learning Schedules
The schedules for both the Hybrid and Full-Time Remote Option for each school level are linked below. Please be aware that these schedules may be subject to minor changes, otherwise they are the proposed overall schedules for September 2020:
 
District-Wide Elementary School
 
The Hartford School
 
Thomas E. Harrington Middle School
 
Full-Time Remote Learning
If you decide to choose the Full-Time Remote Learning Option, your child will be assigned a dedicated certified Mount Laurel Remote Learning Teacher. For elementary school level students, this will be a grade-level teacher to match your child’s grade.  For upper elementary and middle school students, you will receive content area teachers that match the same schedule and content areas of students in the Hybrid Model according to your child’s grade level.   Your child’s teacher or teachers will be providing a combination of both live and asynchronous teaching that matches the ratio provided to students in the hybrid model.  There will be no difference between the two, except your child will be on a Full-Time Remote Learning Schedule.  You will have some flexibility for assignments and lessons when they are provided in an asynchronous manner.
 
As stated previously, all parents will have the opportunity to make a one-time request at mid marking period to change from the Full-Time Remote to the Hybrid schedule or vice versa.  Such requests, once approved, will take place at the change of a marking period. 
 
Grading and Attendance
Students on remote learning will follow a schedule for live teaching and have more independence in completing asynchronous tasks. Our teachers are experts and experienced in evaluating student work in both platforms and will use their professional judgement in assessing student work to ensure it adheres to the learning standards and benchmark expectations.
 
In School and Remote Learning Class Sizes
The average class size in our schools due to our cohorting students will range from 8 to 12 students in a class. This allows your child to attend school in a classroom where 6-feet social distancing will be followed. Furthermore, all district policies on class size will be adhered to without modification whether your child is in a Hybrid Model or a Full-Time Remote Learning Option.
 
Child Care
Child care will be provided in September but obviously, will be limited in the number of students it can serve to allow for 6-feet social distancing and offered to students only on their cohort attendance days.
 
Social Emotional Learning and  Support Services for all Students
Whether on a Remote or Hybrid schedule, the social emotional needs of all students will be prioritized.  Especially during this time, we realize students have experienced social emotional difficulties during the closure and will benefit from additional support services through our counseling and Child Study Team specialists.
 
General Health and Safety Protocols
Our schools will be implementing stringent cleaning and sanitizing protocols in all school areas and classrooms as per CDC guidelines on a daily basis. In addition, based on our cohort model, Wednesdays will allow for deep cleaning between each cohort’s attendance.
 
All staff, visitors, and students will be required to wear masks while in school as per the Burlington County Department of Health requirements.  Students when social- distancing and at their desks will have the opportunity to take masks breaks, only when safety can be assured.
 
Each day we will be conducting daily health screenings for all staff and students prior to their entering school for teaching and learning. The health screening will adhere to recommended protocols and require both staff and parents to answer a daily questionnaire and temperature-check themselves. All staff and students will be carefully monitored while in school for symptoms and health conditions.  In the event an individual shows symptoms associated with COVID 19 , each school will be maintaining an isolation room as per the NJDOE guidelines to separate them from others until they can be picked up by their parent/guardian or if a staff member they will be sent to seek medical attention.
 
If a student or staff member is suspected of COVID-19, our schools will be following CDC guidelines regarding procedures and quarantining requirements, communicating with the BCDOH and immediately implementing isolation and contact-tracing protocols as per our guidelines. Our school nurses will be instrumental in serving as liaisons with the BCDOH and with parent communication when necessary.
 
Student Mobility in School - Cohort Modeling
Our schools will be implementing practices to carefully reduce student flow, entry, exit and movement in all common areas, in classrooms, and throughout the building.
Cohorting in all areas of our attendance and scheduling allows us to reduce exposure and risk of contracting COVID-19.
 
Students will be remaining in their classrooms to the greatest extent possible with special area teachers reporting to them rather than students moving about the building in different areas.
 
Specialized support services and programs for English Language Learners, Corrective Reading, BSIP Math, and Gifted and Talented instructional supports will be provided remotely whenever possible.
 
Transportation
Transportation will be offered to all eligible children who attend school. In the event parents on Remote Learning wish to transition to in-person instruction, transportation will be available. The Transportation Department will follow reduced capacity protocols so students can socially distance on the bus,  require face masks for students riding buses, and follow a cleaning and disinfecting schedule throughout the day for all buses.
 
Special Education K-8
Only students who attend special education self-contained programs will be offered 4 days per week of in-person instruction and placed in Cohort C. All other students with IEPs, will be assigned to either Cohort A or B and attend classes as scheduled with their general education peers, as per their current IEPs. Exceptions will be addressed through the IEP process.  For all students with IEPs, special education and related services will be provided both in-person and remotely.
 
Preschool Students with a Disability
Preschoolers with IEPs will be assigned to Cohort C, allowing for 4 days of in-person instruction on Mon., Tues., Thurs., and Friday. Wednesday will be Remote Learning for all students. Preschoolers with IEPs are eligible for the Full-Time Remote Learning Option.
 
Lottery Preschool Students
Parents whose children have been accepted into the Lottery Preschool Program, will be able to attend either Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday in-person with a remote learning day on Wednesday.
 
Meals
Our food service will be offering a Grab and Go Model for Lunch. We will not be serving lunch in the cafeteria to eliminate large gatherings and exposure. Rather, students will receive an individually prepackaged lunch.
 
Extracurricular Clubs and Activities
All after-school extracurricular activities and clubs are suspended until further notice.  However, in the event activities are offered, all students will be eligible to participate, including Full-Time Remote Learners.
 
 
Thank you all for your patience and understanding, we know you have difficult decisions to make and if there is any way we can help and support you, we will. This communication was merely intended to provide you with information to help you with your decision.
 
Sincerely,

Dr. George J. Rafferty,
Superintendent of Schools
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Statewide Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Statewide 211 system is now up and running for emergencies related to COVID-19
If you would like to receive regular updates on COVID-19,
text NJCOVID to 898211
For live assistance, text your zip code to 898211
 
 
A Chronology of the COVID-19 Crisis and Our Schools:
Communications from Superintendent Dr. George J. Rafferty
 
Thursday, April 16, 2020
 
Monday, April 6, 2020
 
Friday, March 27, 2020
                                                                                 
Thursday, March 19, 2020
 
Monday, March 16, 2020
 
Monday, March 16, 2020
 
Monday, March 16, 2020
 
Saturday, March 14, 2020
 
Friday, March 13, 2020
 
Thursday, March 12, 2020