HVRSD was excited to bring this pivotal Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month presentation which emphasized both the contributions of AAPI citizens in the United States and the need for AAPI studies to be taught in schools in New Jersey. The video, titled Make Us Visible NJ, facilitated a conversation with activists and scholars from some of our local universities. Use the link to watch the video to learn more about how you can get involved in the movement. https://drive.google.com/file/d/12qjOjGejAXgx5QlYr3Gyb_55ksZ7cajM/view?usp=sharing
Author Emily Pan's Community Talk Recording is Now Available Use this link: https://hvrsd-org.zoom.us/rec/share/6ZOxAScv_6fsAFEV-f5dr4agHNokamEfWsgNFdiB4krgFNEfeplRT5KzF-RVDwNW.3v1l4nPyMslbrJEP Access Passcode: 54tMViT+
Information on HVRSD's Summer Programs: https://drive.google.com/file/d/14EUJpeo4A3E1E8q1wRcpzDeqyRUZHC5V/view?usp=sharing https://drive.google.com/file/d/1arpZiGz_iDAlsd8Ymj7VcVq0Hum2cBrn/view?usp=sharing
Hopewell Valley Green Week starts tomorrow!!! Join Us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14Ty_8mHf1k Details: https://sites.google.com/hvrsd.org/hopewellvalleygreenweek/home
HVRSD classes resume on Monday, April 5, 2021 Classes are fully remote April 5 - 9, 2021 Hybrid/In-person schooling resumes on Monday, April 12, 2021
HVRSD Parenting Conference this Saturday! From 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM via Zoom. Registration closes today. There is no charge for this year's conference! https://hvalliance.org/parentingconferenceinfo.html Keynote by co-authors William R. Stixrud, PhD and Ned Johnson of The Self-Driven Child
Below is an update on the current state of our schools related to COVID planning. Thanks to the commitment of our staff and the support of our families, we are one of only two districts in the area that has provided an in-person program for all grades since September. We have been meeting or exceeding the CDC school guidelines since we opened and our efforts are working. We continue to have the lowest number of cases and the most in-person days of any district in the area. In addition to providing in-person academics, our efforts have enabled us to be the only district in the area to run sports on all levels, including middle school. Our talented and creative staff also restructured our middle school and high school clubs and activities to provide additional opportunities for our students. On the elementary level, we expect to offer enrichment opportunities this spring. Next Steps Our goal is, and remains, the safe return to full-day, five days a week instruction for PreK-12 in this school year. The next steps will include the following: the combining of cohorts on the high school level so that all in-person students attend five days a week, the rolling return by grade-level on the middle school level, and the eventual expansion of the elementary and secondary in-person school day. We are also planning summer support programs for students on all levels. Specific details will be shared in the coming days and weeks. Although the COVID activity levels for our county have improved, we require your continued vigilance regarding social distancing outside of school, so we may continue with our plan. It is important to note that some of our return to school goals may be hindered by space and social distancing requirements that remain in effect. As the weather improves we will utilize outdoor spaces for classes and lunch to assist us in meeting our goals. At this time, we do not anticipate a mandatory move to remote learning after spring break. This stance is subject to change and is dependent on COVID cases, consultation with the Department of Health and school physician, and the commitment of families who travel and adhere to quarantine regulations when they return home after traveling. Remote and Hybrid Learning Expectations and Attendance Our teachers require your support to ensure that the remote learning experience is effective for all involved. As we enter the second half of the school year, we are noting some disappointing trends in remote learning behaviors. Please help us reinforce these expectations. Effective immediately: All students must be on time, with their camera on, prepared to participate and work throughout the period or they will be marked absent and will not receive credit for the period. Students must be sitting at a desk, table, or in a similar learning environment. Please do not allow your child to attend class from restaurants, stores, moving cars, or other distracting environments. This is disruptive to everyone in the class. The use of GoGuardian has been expanded so that teachers can monitor students’ open tabs while in class. Students will be asked to close out all non-school-related tabs. Our Tech Help support tickets indicate that many student connectivity issues are the result of students having multiple tabs open and/or streaming non-school-related items (e.g., Netflix or games) while in class. If a student is at home with any illness, they must have a doctor’s note to return. Students must attend school on the in-person days for which they are scheduled. Mental Health We recognize that this has been a difficult time for many students, staff, and families. Please take the time to speak to your children about their mental wellness and any issues they may be facing. If you have any concerns, your child’s school counselor is your first point of contact. Our counseling department has developed a list of resources for families. If you have more immediate concerns, our district TIP Line is available. Our district website has a Help and Hope link with mental health and prevention resources. Please contact our tip line via telephone 609-737-4000 x 8477 (TIPS) or email firstname.lastname@example.org For an emergency, please call 911. Our goal is to keep schools open and moving toward a return to a 5-day a week with full-day instruction. By working together, I am confident that we can achieve this goal.
HVRSD will continue with our remote learning program for all students on Tuesday, Feb 2. Same format as today: Early dismissal, remote day schedule, all afternoon classes and activities are canceled, and a homework free day.
The HVRSD Friday FOCUS is here. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1F9eS__OtLVHL36C05srycbVjvIrTy5bA6fJDrcO8QEw/edit?usp=sharing What is the FOCUS? It is your weekly update from HVRSD with quick updates from every school.
the HVRSD Friday FOCUS is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14QXCU6SvPjXGGGr5prS4MV4Dhll5DDokayFVG9F5MsY/edit?usp=sharing
REMINDER: HVRSD classes resume on Monday, January 4, 2021. Classes are fully remote until January 15, 2021. Hybrid/In-person schooling resumes on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
7:50am Update: Google service is restored!
OnCourse and Zoom are currently working. Google's issue is widespread.
We are experiencing issues with Google and OnCourse - We do not believe these issues are related to HVRSD. We will share any details when we have them.
You can find the HVRSD weekly FOCUS here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14JD8ou41I4giGVfOVvX1ObAT2xNLwkX9UZlhiGq02GU/edit?usp=sharing. What is the FOCUS? It is your weekly update from HVRSD with quick updates from every school.
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 www.hvrsd.org 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. Sincerely, Thomas A. Smith, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools he/his/him email@example.com *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.
As part of our District’s continuing commitment to equity and developing a more culturally sensitive school community, on December 9, at 6:30 pm via Zoom, Dr. Lauren Kelly returns to HVRSD to moderate a follow-up to her June Community Dialogue. https://hvrsd-org.zoom.us/j/99030705620?pwd=WDRjSjZpajBNL25ldlRqZkZOMmlRdz09 Dr. Lauren Kelly facilitated our June Community Dialogue and is collaborating with our schools to continue our work to develop a more culturally sensitive school community. We invite teachers, students, and community members to engage in a conversation to identify and address equity issues in the district. Our Board of Education and administration remain committed to identifying and addressing equity issues in the district and I invite you to join us on our journey as we engage collaboratively in critical discovery and exploration.
The HVRSD Weekly FOCUS is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10qJAJffriR5TcpdfiUnNOg3Otdf82jZr6ttniAKSl5A/edit?usp=sharing
Dear HVRSD School Community: I am writing regarding the recent increase in COVID activity in our area. Yesterday, our area entered the “orange” phase according to the New Jersey COVID-19 Activity Level Report. This change in status is due to the number of confirmed cases in the "Central West" region. The rate per 100,000 was 29.72. This elevated case rate is balanced by two additional markers that remained in the “yellow” (moderate) range. As a result, our region turned “orange,” indicating a high COVID-19 activity level. What does that mean for HVRSD? When an area moves into the "orange" phase, as explained in the New Jersey Regional Risk Matrix, schools may consider a transition to fully remote learning, but if they choose not to, they must follow specific guidelines. Fortunately, to ensure the safety of our students and staff, the district opted to adhere to these steps prior to the start of the new school year and has continued to do so since September. As an added layer of safety, we will be adjusting our screening questions and exclusion guidelines. Details will be shared next week. We have planned for a temporary move to full remote learning from Wednesday, November 25-December 6 and aim to return to our hybrid model on December 7. However, we will continue to monitor the state indices to determine if further action is required. Please be prepared for a change in our schedule. How many cases have we had in HVRSD? To date, we have had 14 confirmed cases in our district. For your reference, we have placed a COVID Dashboard on our website that lists each case. Six of those 14 cases involved either fully remote or already quarantining students and/or staff. We believe the remaining 8 cases were due to transmissions that occurred outside of school. The district’s case rate is significantly lower than the local, state, and county numbers. Together, we are doing an admirable job and we are working exceptionally hard to uphold all safeguards while providing a meaningful education, both in-person and virtually. How are determinations made regarding closures? While many school districts follow the New Jersey Department of Health guidelines, which permit a school to remain open if they have a confirmed case, we have taken a very conservative approach to dealing with confirmed COVID cases in HVRSD. When it is determined that a case exists in a school, we will close that school for at least one to two days to complete contact tracing and deep cleaning. Additionally, we have decided to notify our entire school community when we learn of cases involving remote students and staff, even if those infected were not present in our schools during their infectious period or when the test results were received. These cases do not necessitate a school closure. If our region is designated to be in the “red” phase in the future, we will be forced to move to virtual learning at all of our schools. We hope this does not happen, but the decision will be beyond our control at that point. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor all data and cases to ensure the utmost safety for our students and staff. Terminology: Contagion, Isolation, Quarantine and Close Contact Notification In an effort to clarify the terms being used around COVID cases, I have included a glossary of terms (below) provided by our community partner, Princeton Nassau Pediatrics. Hopewell Valley is an incredible community, and I am confident we will continue to persevere as we have done over the past eight months. As we face this next phase, we remain committed to providing a meaningful education in the safest educational environment possible for our students and staff. Sincerely, Thomas A. Smith, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools he/his/him firstname.lastname@example.org Terminology: Contagion, Isolation, Quarantine and Close Contact Notification* Contagion and Isolation - The person with COVID-19 is considered to be contagious from 2 days BEFORE they developed symptoms until 10 days AFTER their first day of symptoms. The contagious period is the time during which it is believed that they may spread the disease to others. During this time, they should isolate and not leave the home unless going to a medical facility. They should notify any medical facility that they have tested positive before arrival. Close contacts and quarantine for household members - The contagious period starts two days before the first day of symptoms or in asymptomatic positives, two days before the day the test was performed. A close contact is defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of the infected person during this time for more than 15 minutes. A list of close contacts is generated that fits this description. All household members are considered to be close contacts and are recommended to quarantine for 14 days from the LAST day that they were exposed to the household member with COVID-19 while they are contagious. Since the infected person is contagious for 10 days, that means that the household members could be quarantined for as long as 24 days if the infected person cannot be isolated. To avoid this and to quarantine safely in the house, the New Jersey Department of Health recommends that the infected patient stay in their own room as much as possible, use their own bathroom, always wear masks when outside their room and eat all of their meals in their own room. If a household member is unable to do this in their home, the 14-day quarantine period begins the first day that they are able to effectively quarantine the household member.Though masks are very helpful, they are not factored in while determining who needs to quarantine. Notification of Close Contacts - All close contacts will be notified by the Department of Health. Healthcare providers may notify families in advance of the department of health. Remember, this is a community effort to protect each other! Testing of Exposed Individuals - If someone suspects or confirms that they were exposed, they should quarantine immediately and should contact their health provider to determine if they should be tested. Students should not attend in-person school or any events outside of the home. Other household members do not have to quarantine, as long as the exposed household member is asymptomatic. Exposed students should not attend school. Exposed individuals without symptoms should contact their healthcare provider to determine if they should be tested. _______________________________ *Source: Princeton Nassau Pediatrics