Back At It!

Back At It!
Posted on 01/19/2021

Dear RVS Community,

We've been back in school over a week now with minimal repercussions from COVID. So far, we are still able to say there have been no transmissions at school and for that we remain profoundly grateful.

However, as most of you are aware, it became necessary to revert to remote learning for all of 7th and 8th grade students for today, January 14 and tomorrow January 15. This was due to staffing complications and our current dire shortage of substitute teachers. Next week is B week and all students in Cohort B are expected back in school.

You may have wondered each time you receive one of those notification letters from me, "What exactly does this mean?" The notifications are simply to share with you the fact that we have been made aware that a member of the school community has tested positive for COVID-19 or has circumstances whereby they are presumed positive. We are not permitted to let you know whether it's staff or student. Our intrepid school nurse, Mrs. Neretich, gets busy making phone calls to alert people if there is known exposure. If you don't receive a phone call, you're in the clear. So far, our minimal cases have been through outside-of-school exposures with most people recognizing potential symptoms and staying home. Please understand that this is the best way to keep our community safe! Do not come to school if you have COVID symptoms (see below). Classrooms are thoroughly cleaned every night and sprayed with electrostatic sprayers to restrict any type of viral transmission. The New Jersey Department of Health has new recommendations regarding children and COVID infections which you can review by clicking the highlighted link.

Just to make sure we're all on the same page: In order to keep school open, to keep our cohort students and all of our staff safe, we need to heed all the precautions.

  • Stay home if you have symptoms:

    At least two of the following symptoms: fever (measure or subjective), chills, rigors (shivers), myalgia (muscle aches), headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, congestion or runny nose; OR

    At least one of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new olfactory disorder, new taste disorder.

  • Conduct daily at-home screenings of your students before sending them to school using the above list of symptoms.
  • Everyone must stay home if someone in your household has been tested until that person receives a negative test result. If the result is positive, you all must quarantine for 14 days.
  • If you travel outside the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania or Delaware), you are strongly urged to self-isolate your family for at least 10 days after travel (7 days if family members receive negative test results after travel).
  • Wear masks at all times when outside the home.
  • Avoid congregating with persons outside of your immediate "family group."
  • Wash hands frequently and practice adequate social distancing.

I cannot stress strongly enough that in order to keep exposure to a minimum, the above guidelines should be followed at all times. If we stay apart now, we can hopefully play together this spring or summer. I'm counting on our entire community to help us stop the spread of the virus.

The second marking period is scheduled to end on January 22. Please check the Parent Portal and/or your child's Google Classroom(s) to make sure teachers have received all the work that is due this term. If you have questions about assignments, projects or homework, please email the teacher involved. Your child's teacher will get back to you within 24 hours.

We've had some staffing changes recently. As you know, Mr. Cocca (6th grade mathematics) retired after several months of a leave. Mrs. Olsen, who has taught the class since November will continue through the end of the year. Mrs. Molloy (7th/8th grade science) has begun her leave and Mr. Michael Ennis will be filling in for her through the end of the year.

Please remind your neighbors with Preschool- or Kindergarten-age children that registration has begun. Families interested in Preschool should download our application and families needing to enroll in Kindergarten should fill out the registration paperwork under the Registering Your Student tab on our website. Spaces in Preschool are limited and Kindergarten registration is ongoing through January 31. Timely registration is enormously helpful in knowing our staffing and facility planning needs for the upcoming school year.

Next Monday, January 18, is a school holiday in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Teachers, however, will be involved with a variety of professional development opportunities to learn new digital teaching skills and delve further into anti-bias teaching activities. Please use this day off to catch up on missed work, complete a project, take a long walk outside with your family, get into a great book or movie that's been on your family's list for a while. Try some of the winter activities we sent out last month.

We're nearly at the half-way marker. The cliché that "we're all in this together" has never been more true. Stay safe!

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