Welcome Letter From Mrs. Wisniewski

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to the upcoming 2020-21 school year at Katharine D. Malone Elementary School. We are excited to welcome your child back to school for what is looking to be an amazing year! This is a school year like none other, we are met with many emotions, curiosity, worry, excitement, wonder, and anticipation.  This year we will focus on coming together as a community in support of our students, staff, and families. The dedicated staff of Rockaway township has developed curricula and programs that will challenge students academically, nurture their social and emotional growth, and capture students’ interest and provoke deep thinking as the students acquire and apply new knowledge in a problem-solving context. I believe as we join together to create a strong home-school connection, that is collaborative, creative, encouraging, positive, and honest, our students' success will have no limits. I look forward to being part of this journey as we come together to embark on the 2020-2021 school year.

The first day of school is September 8th and 10th and we understand that this year’s circumstances are unique. Although school will look a bit different than in previous years, rest assured the love, support, and enthusiasm from our staff and teachers will remain the same. Rockaway Township Public Schools are committed to continuing to provide academic, social, and emotional success for all. 

 

The following is a brief ‘cheat ’sheet of the district plan for you to use as a quick reference guide. For more detailed information, please refer to the full plan sent by the superintendent of schools.

 

As always safety of our students and staff remains our top priority and we are doing our best to balance the requirements from the federal / state governments as well as abide by guidance from local health departments, CDC, and still follow our district policies. As information changes daily, so do our plans. Due to these unique times, we appreciate your patience as we adjust our protocols and procedures to do what is in our best interest for our students. 

 

This year we have committed to several methods of instruction:

  • The preferred method is a hybrid virtual and in person school model with some full school days.

  • The full school days include approx 50% of students in person for a full/normal day.  

  • Students are assigned to either a Green or Gold team (Siblings on the same team). - Green Tuesday/Wednesday : Gold Thursday/Friday

  • 1 day will be a “flex” day when we run our OID - Mondays 

  • Most students will attend two full days of in person school each week.  

  • For some students recieving special services, days may be different than stated above.  

 

As parents and educators ourselves, we recognize the hardship a hybrid model creates for families in terms of supervision and child care.  

Here are some of the topics that have come up in frequent communications with the community:

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Teacher assignments:

  • We will share student schedules and teacher info with all families early September. 

Transportation: 

  • Face coverings will be required for all students to ride our busses. No mask, no entry.

  • First on, last off procedure for entering and exiting our busses.

Masks:

  • Required for all students. No bandanas or gaiters

  • Throughout the day, students will wear/remove their masks per the teachers instructions.

  • We recommend each child bring several spare masks in a bag with their name each day. 

YMCA:

  • The Randolph YMCA is planning to offer full-day off-site care services.  

  • They will also continue to offer before and after care at the designated schools.

  • More information will be available on their website. https://www.randolphymca.org/

  • YMCA Safety Protocols

Lunch:

  • All meals for all grades will occur in a classroom setting.  

  • Students will wash or sanitize their hands prior to and after consuming food.

  • All classrooms will be considered nut free food environments.

  • There will be no snack time during the day.

Recess:

  • Recess will occur with students remaining in the same daily cohort.

  • Students will not mingle with other classes or student groups.  

  • Specific areas shall be designated for each class to avoid cohort mixing.

  • Shared item play and playground equipment use will not be permitted.

Water Bottles:

  • The bottom part of our water fountains will be restricted so that only the contactless refillable section will be accessible. Please send your child in with a water bottle labeled with their name that they can use and refill as needed.

Visitors:

  • No visitors are permitted inside the school unless there is an emergency and with an appointment. Drop-off box will be located near the main entrance. 

  • All visitors will be required to wear a face covering and will only be granted access to the lobby area.

  • Visitors will undergo a verbal screening and then will sign in with our Class III Police Officer.

Arrival:

  • Visual screening will be conducted of all students upon entering the school building.

  • Staff will be trained on the symptoms of COVID-19 and appropriate visual screening protocols.  

  • Students identified through visual screening with possible COVID-19 symptoms will be sent to a designated area separate from the student population for additional screening.  

Field Trips, Extracurricular Activities, & Use of Facilities Outside of School Hours:

  • Rockaway Township School District will not permit any student field trips. 

  • External groups will not be granted permission to hold meetings or activities in the school buildings.

Outdoor teaching:

  • Much of the information out there suggests being outdoors is more favorable than being indoors/ Therefore we are encouraging our teachers to make the most of our outdoor spaces where possible (courtyard, gazebo, etc.)

A/C and windows

  • We have Air Conditioning Units in our classrooms, so with these units and our encouragement of opening windows, we do not anticipate any issues with ventilation.

Attendance Policy

  • Attendance is an essential component to a student’s academic success. We expect the same standards of attendance whether a student is in person, or online. 

SEL/ Mental Health

  • We will be providing daily opportunities, particularly when school resumes for students to work on their Social and Emotional Health.

As conditions of this pandemic change we will likely receive updated guidance/directives and protocols from federal, state and local sources and we will be ready to adjust our plans accordingly. Even though safety is our first priority, know that our goal is to increase the number of in person days for all students as soon as conditions allow.

Thank you for your partnership.

Sincerely,

Stacey Wisniewski

Principal

 

 

 

 

Minds on because we want to see you thrive academically

Masks on because we want to keep everyone safe

Cameras on because we want to see you are safe and engaged

At Rockaway Township Public Schools we have our masks on, minds on, and cameras on!