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December Schedule Update 12/10
Thursday, December 10, 2020

Dear Hopewell Valley School Community:

I would like to begin this note by thanking our HVRSD families for your continued support and patience throughout this most unusual year. I would also like to acknowledge our students, particularly our high school students and those involved in activities.  We have avoided similar outbreaks to those which have occurred in other high schools; this is a direct result of the positive behavior of our students. I recognize that this situation is difficult and I appreciate your efforts.  Finally, and most importantly, I would like to publicly acknowledge the tremendous efforts put forth by our staff and administrators and to thank them for their commitment to educating our students during this time.  Our thanks alone are not sufficient, but I hope that we may collectively acknowledge that the quality of education that our students are receiving is due to their efforts. 

A temporary move to full remote learning December 21 - January 15

In coordination with our Department of Health and our school physician, we have determined that a temporary move to full-remote learning connected with winter break will help address issues we are facing related to student and staff quarantining and will help mitigate the potential for additional spread in our schools and community.  

All HVRSD schools and programs will transition to full remote learning from December 21 through January 15.  All schools will reopen for in-person learners on January 19.  This move does not impact our plan for our K-5 students to transition to a five day a week program. Your building principals will share additional information on this in the coming days. 

We recognize the impact this move has upon district families. We have again coordinated with the Hopewell Valley YMCA who will offer child care for students in Kindergarten through 8th grade.  This childcare service will be based at Stony Brook Elementary School and will run on a day-by-day basis.  Please register here.

Cases and Notifications

In addition to notifications of in-school staff and students who test positive, we have decided to notify families if a fully remote or quarantining student or staff member (even though the staff member may not reside in Hopewell Valley) tests positive.  While these cases have no direct impact on the daily operations of our schools, we feel strongly that we should report them to district families.    

To date, we have no evidence of any in-school COVID transmissions in HVRSD.  This is supported by the fact that none of those identified as in school close contacts to our COVID cases have tested positive.  Additionally, all HVRSD cases have been directly linked to cases outside of school (meaning the virus was transferred by a family member or at a social gathering, not in school). 

All cases are listed on our district dashboard at

Next Steps

We are committed to returning to an in-person, full-day program, as soon as safely possible. After the new year, we will assemble a committee to reevaluate our status with the hope of moving to full days in the spring. In the meantime, you have my continued commitment that we will continue to work diligently to provide a safe and meaningful education to our students and a safe environment for our staff. 

 I wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable holiday season. 


Thomas A. Smith, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


*As with all of our temporary closures, our return to school date will be reevaluated.  Determinations will be made with consideration for the number of cases in our community and any additional guidance received from the Department of Health and our district physician. Any changes will be communicated promptly and prior to our return to in-person instruction.