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11.20.20 Community Update

From Superintendent Goldberg

November 20, 2020

 

Dear Springfield Public Schools Community:

The purpose of this letter is to update you regarding the status of our hybrid learning program.

As we have noted throughout this challenging year, the health and safety of our students and

staff is our first priority. In consultation with the local health official, and in consideration

of the upcoming holiday season, Springfield Public Schools will pause hybrid instruction

and will shift to fully virtual instruction for PK-12 students beginning Monday, November

23, 2020. Please note, this shift does not impact the virtual schedules for our PK-8 schools for

November 23-24, 2020. It is our hope that this temporary pause will mitigate the risk for

increased spread of COVID-19 in our community, and allow us to maintain a consistent

schedule of virtual instruction.

Our consultation with the local health officials and the decision to pause in-person instruction

was based on consideration of the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) COVID-19

Activity Level Report for the Week of November 14, 2020, which was released yesterday,

November 19, 2020, and shows that the “Central East Region” in which Springfield is located,

and all surrounding regions of the state, are now identified as having “High Levels” of COVID-19

activity. This report advises the state health departments regarding regional rates of spread of

COVID-19. It can be found here:

https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/documents/topics/NCOV/COVID_19_Report_Week_46.pdf. At the

bottom of this letter, please find links to other resources consulted in this decision-making

process.

We expect to resume district-wide in-person hybrid learning the week of January 11,

2021. All decisions regarding resuming in-person instruction will be made in consultation with

the local health department and based on available public health data. There is no question

that the only way we will be able to resume in-person learning opportunities will be for our

community to remain vigilant and follow the guidance of the NJDOH and the CDC to minimize

indoor gatherings, wear masks, wash hands, and monitor your health for symptoms.

Information about related services for students (OT, PT, Speech, etc) will be shared by the

Special Education departments. During this period of time, food distribution will continue, and

information about the schedule, along with shifts in the schedule due to the holidays, will

continue to be shared via email and social media. In addition, our technology help desk will

continue to provide support to ensure access to virtual instruction. If you need assistance with

technology during this time, please reach out to tech_contact@springfieldschools.com.

We are proud of the work our staff has done to maintain flexibility and increase our ability to be

responsive to this public health crisis. Since September, we have successfully transitioned from

a full virtual model to an in-person hybrid model, and we are now prepared to pivot between

these models as necessary with limited interruptions in student learning schedules. I am

confident that our teachers and staff will continue to provide high-quality, meaningful learning

experiences for students throughout this period of virtual instruction.

Finally, we recognize and acknowledge that this is a time of high anxiety and concern resulting

in the ongoing disruption in our lives. If your child or a member of your family needs support,

please do not hesitate to reach out to our schools. Links to support social-emotional health can

be found here: https://www.springfieldschools.com/Content2/890

Please note, additional information and communication will be shared by your school principal,

and we ask that you direct your questions or concerns to your school principal.

Thank you for your ongoing support, patience, and understanding during these challenging

times.

Sincerely,

Rachel Goldberg

Links/Resources:

https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/documents/topics/NCOV/RecommendationsForLocalHealthDe

pts_K12Schools.pdf

https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/statistics/covid/

https://www.springfieldschools.com/Content2/-content-922

https://www.springfieldschools.com/Content2/924