Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!
Posted on 09/09/2020

September 9, 2020

Dear Falcon Families,

I'm happy to report that the first two days of school are complete. We've seen all of our students, and, while there may have been a couple of starting up glitches, overall it's been a very smooth opening.

The students who reported to school did an outstanding job of acclimating themselves to social distancing, mask wearing and staying within their classrooms. The students at home are quickly learning how to join their in-school classmates via Zoom and the two groups are melding very nicely. Together with their teachers, we seem to have passed the first hurdle: how is all this really going to work?

Toward the end of last week, we were compelled to make some staffing decisions. Two staff members applied for and were granted leaves of absence at the end of the summer. We have been extremely fortunate to have secured coverage for both teachers. Matthew Spender, already a member of the RVS staff, accepted our offer to be the leave replacement teacher for Mrs. Berner. Debra Shatynski will return to us on September 21 to cover Mr. Cocca's leave. Mrs. Shatynski has taught here in the past, having covered a previous leave of another faculty member. Mr. Spender has been with us since last year assisting in Mrs. Richardson's class and we're pleased he will be able to use his teaching experience and knowledge in the first grade classroom. We're also excited to welcome Julie Olsen as our new full-time staff substitute teacher. Mrs. Olsen will spend the first two weeks covering Mr. Cocca's class. We're very fortunate to have been able to make these appointments with qualified people; I know from conversations with fellow superintendents that other districts have not been able to fill all of their open positions.

Here are a few reminders:

Please login to your account in the parent portal and complete the annual forms there as soon as possible. Your student's health forms, the coronavirus symptom attestation, and other information is of vital importance to the effective operation of the school. Please remember that access to your children's records will not open until you've completed the 2020 forms.

The procedure for reporting your student's absence remains the same as always. Whether your student scheduled for remote or in-person learning, please call the attendance line as early as possible (973-334-4162, Press "1").

If you are driving your students every day, please let the homeroom teacher know that is your plan for the foreseeable future. If you're picking up only occasionally, as always, send a note or email that day so the teacher doesn't put your child on the bus.

If you selected 100% remote learning but now want to join your cohort in the A/B schedule, please notify the school office between now and September 23. You must let us know one week prior to the first day of the month. Your student will then join the A/B cohort on October 1. Changing back to in-person attendance in your cohort will take place on the first of every month only. The school must be notified 1 week prior to the first of each month.

Families with 100% remote students should have picked up their textbooks and any other materials their teachers wanted them to have either yesterday or today. If you were unable to get here, your items are still waiting for you in the lobby. Please call the office to arrange a pick up time.

Update: We had previously announced that school picture days would take place on October 9 and 12. Sadly, we learned yesterday that our longtime school photographer, Royal Photographics, is unable to continue to remain in business due to constraints and complications the pandemic has placed on their operations. As soon as we have engaged a new photographer, we'll get new dates to you. Meanwhile, no need to get the fancy haircut for the dates we had announced.

Thank you to everyone who made our reopening go so smoothly. It was a journey and a learning experience to get here but we made it. I encourage you all to continue making healthy choices for families, mask up when you're out, wash hands often. I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to be back with our teachers and students, including those learning and contributing from home. We all need to do our part to keep the forward momentum going.

Welcome back Falcons! Stay safe and healthy; stay strong.

With Falcon pride,

Christian Angelillo

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