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Reopening Schools

July 23, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian,

On Monday, July 20, Governor Murphy gave approval for school districts to offer a virtual/remote only option (meaning students do not come to a building and, instead, receive all instruction online) for families when schools reopen in September. To learn which option our families want, per child, we are requiring families to formally register their option choice via a form linked below. Accurately knowing the selection for every child, along with transportation needs, will allow us to finalize our re-entry plans.

Please complete a registration questionnaire for each child in your family that attends Lawrence Township Public Schools. The deadline for completing the form is 4 PM on Monday, July 27. Registration Questionnaire Deadline extended to Wednesday, July 29 at 4 PM!

When schools reopen in September, we will offer two options, as outlined below. To assist parents in choosing an option, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is linked here. The FAQ provides greater detail about plans for reopening schools. As we continue to get more guidance from Governor Murphy and the health department, please know that the plan will continue to change. As always, our ultimate goal is to eventually have all students back in district for safe, in-person learning.

Option 1: Virtual/Remote Only Learning

Families will have the option to choose a completely virtual (remote) option for learning during the 2020-2021 school year. We have taken the feedback provided by school community members about our online instructional programs and will make improvements in preparation for the upcoming year. Our completely virtual (remote) instruction will be taught by Lawrence Township Public Schools (LTPS) teachers, and will follow the same district curriculum as used for in-person instruction.

Our virtual learning option will consist of the following:

  • Students will interact virtually via live instruction several times a week with a LTPS teacher. This will include both live, scheduled classes with an instructor at a set time as well as student self-paced learning.
  • Assessments, projects, content, and resources will all be a part of the remote learning plan and will follow the district curriculum and New Jersey learning standards.
  • In addition to the live lessons, teachers will post assignments on a weekly basis and teachers will provide feedback for students on a regular basis.
  • Daily attendance will be taken and monitored.

We require that a child registered for our Virtual/Remote Only Learning Option must remain in that option until the mid-point of the 2020-2021 school year (approximately January 29).

Option 2: Hybrid/ Blended Learning

In a hybrid/blended learning environment, students will receive a combination of in-person instruction and virtual (remote) instruction. A group of students (cohort model) will be used to determine student schedules. The district will try to have family members living at the same address attend on the same in-person instruction days. We are anticipating shortened day schedules for in-person instruction and will provide more information as we move forward.

  • Under the current social distancing requirements and health concerns, we will not be able to have all students in our school buildings each day. These parameters are being dictated by the guidelines set by the State of New Jersey and the Department of Education. Once all our families register their option for each child, we can establish a schedule based on how many students register and request in-person instruction days.
  • At the current time and due to health and safety concerns, we do not plan on providing lunch in school. Thus, students will be scheduled for approximately four (4) hour days for the days they are in the buildings and have in-person instruction.
  • Students and staff will be required to wear a face covering while in school.

We are currently examining various hybrid schedules in which students are in groups (cohorts). Two examples are below:

Example 1: Cohort A would attend in-person two days a week and participate in remote learning when they are not physically in the building, and Cohort B would attend in-person two other days that week when Cohort A is not in the building.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Cohort A in school

Cohort A in school

Virtual Work, Additional Services

Cohort B in school

Cohort B in school

Cohort B at home completing virtual instruction

Cohort B at home completing virtual instruction

Cohort A at home completing virtual instruction

Cohort A at home completing virtual instruction

**The number of students in each cohort and the number of cohorts will be determined by the number of students choosing this option.

Example 2: Cohort A would attend school for one week while the other group, Cohort B, participates virtually/remotely that week. The following week the group that was attending in person will participate virtually/remotely and the group that was participating virtually/remotely will attend in person.

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Week 1

Cohort A in school

Cohort A in school

Cohort A in school

Cohort A in school

Cohort A in school

Cohort B at home completing virtual instruction

Cohort B at home completing virtual instruction

Cohort B at home completing virtual instruction

Cohort B at home completing virtual instruction

Cohort B at home completing virtual instruction

         

Week 2

Cohort B in school

Cohort B in school

Cohort B in school

Cohort B in school

Cohort B in school

Cohort A at home completing virtual instruction

Cohort A at home completing virtual instruction

Cohort A at home completing virtual instruction

Cohort A at home completing virtual instruction

Cohort A at home completing virtual instruction


**The number of students in each cohort and the number of cohorts will be determined by the number of students choosing this option.

Transportation

  • Schools are required to have students maintain social distance (6-foot distance) while riding a school bus. This limits the district to transport no more than 11 students on a 54-passenger school bus in one trip.
  • Students participating in district-provided transportation will be required to wear a face covering when traveling to and from the school.
  • Busses will be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day.

We have subcommittees composed of parents, staff, administrators and Board of Education members advising the finalization of our re-entry plan. They are working diligently to have the plan ready for Board approval on August 12th. Thus, it is critical that all families complete the registration questionnaire linked in this letter by 4 PM on Monday, July 27. For families that do not register, we will place their child(ren) into Option 2: Hybrid/Blended Learning.

Please contact me with any questions. Thank you for your patience and for working with us as we finalize plans to get our students and staff safely back to school.

Respectfully,

Ross

 

Additionally, here is a brief video from Ross.