Remote Schooling Plan
Remote Schooling Plan - Updated August 31
Phased Reopening Plan - Hybrid Begins October 12
Phased Reopening Plan - Power Point
Full Restart and Reopening Plan
August 27, 2020
We hope that you and your family are well and that, despite ongoing concerns over our current health emergency, you’ve been able to enjoy time with those special to you. During a break from that time, we hope also that you’ll respond to our “Re-Entry Commitment Application” wherein we request information about which schooling model (hybrid or all-remote) you prefer for your child(ren), if you’ll take advantage of or waive your transportation privileges, and whether or not you’ll need childcare for your youngsters in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Having accurate data enhances our ability to plan effectively.
As we continue to plan for our re-entry to school, a number of parents have reached out to their children’s principals, other school-district officials, or school-board members to request that our schools accommodate parental requests to identify the students with whom we’ll group the parents’ youngsters as we develop our learning cohorts. Some parents have sought these accommodations because they’d like to set up “pods” of students so they, the parents, can provide additional academic and other support to their youngsters, particularly on the latters’ remote-schooling days.
We understand the motivation of the parents: They want what’s best for their children. It’s the same as each of us wants for ours.
If our schools officially enable self-selected cohorts to arise, albeit with well-meaning intentions on the part of the pods’ advocates, then our school system, an institution that values community, diversity, fairness, equality, and equity, may inadvertently but directly contribute to fostering instances of racial, ethnic, or other forms of discrimination. Allowing parents to identify with whom their children should attend school is a solution that may serve what some families see as their legitimate needs, but it tramples on values we hold dear.
Thus, our principals and their colleagues will use the following guidelines in assigning students to cohorts. Our guidelines are neutral and positive: They neither abet nor deny parents’ efforts to support their children beyond our schools’ walls as the parents see fit, and the guidelines affirm our commitment to valuing all our students equally.
PUMS and PHS
For our middle and high schools: We will assign students to Cohort A or Cohort B according to the initial letters in their surname.
We’ll make exceptions for students who live in the same household but who have different surnames to ensure we keep siblings together and maintain groupings for potential infection-tracking and -tracing efforts. Principals may make other exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
For Community Park, Johnson Park, Littlebrook and Riverside
For youngsters enrolled last year, we’ll assign pupils to Cohort A or Cohort B according to last spring’s educational recommendations of the school’s teachers, counselor, child-study-team (C.S.T.) members, and principal.
- For newly enrolled children, we’ll assign students to Cohort A or Cohort B based on educational and other relevant information the principal receives from the parent and from educators at the pupil’s former school.
- We’ll assign siblings and others who live in the same household to the same cohort to maintain groupings for potential infection-tracking and -tracing efforts.
- Although we may create an all-virtual school, we can’t provide guidelines related thereto as we don’t yet know how many remote-only pupils we’ll have nor how many teachers our board of education will have approved to teach remotely.
Thank you for working with us as we strive to put in place plans to support the success of all our students. We look forward to a safe, enriching, and productive year ahead.
Robert A. Ginsberg
Acting Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
School Will Start Remotely on September 14
We plan to open school remotely and then transition to a hybrid format that combines classroom and remote learning. We will do so in phases:
- The first phase, beginning September 1, will be dedicated to teacher training in such areas as Canvas, the new learning management system; techniques for improved hybrid learning; effective uses of aides in remote schooling, and practices to address trauma induced by the pandemic or racism.
- All students will begin remote instruction on September 14.
- Students needing the most acclimatization and teacher support will begin in-classroom instruction first. Thus, children in preschool through Grade 5, as well as pupils in the autism program and those with learning or multiple disabilities, will begin in the classroom on October 12.
- Finally, as of October 19, students through high school will attend in the classroom.
With the exception of preschool, which we expect will run four days a week in the classroom, each grade level will be divided into three cohorts. One cohort will take instruction remotely only. The other two will participate in both classroom and online instruction:
- Kindergarten through Grade 5 will attend in the classroom two days a week and virtually three days. Cohort A will attend in the classroom Monday and Tuesday; Cohort B, Thursday and Friday.
- In middle school and high school, students will attend in the classroom for four days, then six days virtually. Cohort A will attend in the classroom Monday through Thursday one week; Cohort B, the next week.
- All students in all grades will depart the classroom at 1 p.m. The remainder of their instruction on any given day will be virtual.
This timing reflects a delay from our initial plan, which would have begun in-classroom instruction for pre-K through Grade 1 on September 14. In order to pursue instruction in our school buildings, we must first meet two criteria:
- We will need to ensure that we have sufficient teachers with the correct certifications on site to run the programs in the classrooms. In addition to a survey of teachers, we are discussing teachers’ plans with them individually, grade by grade.
- We must ensure that the planned installation of new air filtration units in the school buildings is complete and that the units are functioning effectively. These units are expected to significantly improve filtration, by 4 to 5 MERV levels in each building.
We believe that Canvas will significantly improve the virtual learning process. Canvas is a highly reliable platform, with up-time above 99 percent. It consolidates all student learning into a single platform, and it integrates seamlessly with Google and Microsoft applications. Canvas will be paired with hardware investments: iPads for pre-K through 1st grade, Chromebooks for 2nd through 5th grade, and MacBook Air for middle school and high school students.
Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, our staffs have been working hard to get ready for the new school year. We are very excited to begin welcoming our students back to school, both virtually and in the classroom.
Remote Education—Fact Sheet August 19 2020
The Princeton Public School System is well prepared to provide a robust educational experience remotely. Unlike last March, when the switch to remote learning was abrupt and unexpected, we have been preparing for this situation for the past five months.
We will provide as seamless an experience as possible—our teachers are well versed in the practices and resources required to meet the academic, physical, and social-emotional needs of students. They will be paying particular attention to changes in students' behavior and attitudes which might indicate the student is distressed, and will reach out to parents with guidance regarding helpful resources when appropriate.
We’ve designed our plan to align our students’ education as closely as possible to that which they would experience in the classroom, while bearing in mind that the remote environment presents unique challenges. Teachers will assess and grade students as they would normally while being flexible, within reason, regarding deadlines. And because there is no way to prevent students from consulting textbooks and other reference sources, teachers will design quizzes, tests, and projects that invite critical thinking, creativity, and informed opinions rather than just recall.
If a student is unable to participate in remote learning because of illness, parents should report that to the school secretary via e-mail. In addition to the standard reasons for an excused absence, a Covid-related illness, parent work schedule, or child-care issue within the student's household will also be acceptable reasons.
All students will have access to the technology they need for online learning. We are providing an appropriate device for students in all grades, from Pre-K through grade 12. Our new Cloud-based Learning Management System, called Canvas, provides a platform for assignments, updates, learning agendas, and other critical information. Everything will be in one place, so students, teachers, and parents need only navigate one system. There are videos and a tutorial on our web site by Friday.
Students with Individualized Educational Plans (IEP) will continue to receive the services specified in their plans. Speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy and English-as-a-Second-Language services will also be provided. To the extent possible, and when parents agree, students may be offered the opportunity to receive occupational therapy or physical therapy in-person at one of the schools. Case managers and supervisors will work with parents to arrange services.
We are committed to supporting our students and their families in every way we can, so please don't hesitate to reach out to teachers and school officials with questions or concerns.
July 30, 2020
I hope this finds you and your family well.
As Aug. arrives, my colleagues and I are deep into planning for the arrival of our new academic year in Sep. Our journey from our abrupt closing on Fri., Mar. 13th to our anticipated opening on Mon., Sep. 14th, has been an arduous one.
Now that we’ve put in place the broad outlines and some details of how we expect to provide safe schools and robust learning beginning in about six weeks—you can access our school district’s overall plan here, District Reentry Plan, although we frequently update it—we seek your input regarding your family’s specific needs. To that end, we respectfully request that you immediately complete the attached survey and return it to us no later than Thu., Aug. 6th.
Of course, we recognize that circumstances related to NJ's progress in confronting COVID-19 may change over the next several weeks and, with that, our families’ and staff members’ health, financial, and personal situations may change as well. But, by providing your responses now, you’ll enable us to refine our plans to accommodate your and your neighbors’ needs as best we can.
With your thoughtful and prompt reply to the survey, we’ll move forward with refining, in a deliberative manner, school schedules and procedures that will allow both you and us to plan for the fall. So, it’s vitally important that you share with us your current thinking.
Please complete one survey for each of your children. The questions focus on each individual student’s need (or not) for transportation and childcare (the latter only for elementary-school pupils) and on which model—hybrid schooling (in-person and remote) or all-remote schooling (100% remote) you see as best for your family.
Robert A. Ginsberg
Acting Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
Espero que usted y su familia se encuentren bien.
A medida que llegamos al mes de agosto, mis colegas y yo estamos planeando la llegada de nuestro nuevo año académico en septiembre. Nuestro viaje desde nuestro cierre abrupto el viernes 13 de marzo hasta nuestra próxima apertura el lunes 14 de septiembre ha sido arduo.
Ahora que hemos establecido los esquemas generales y algunos detalles de cómo esperamos proporcionar escuelas seguras así como de proveer un aprendizaje sólido en aproximadamente seis semanas. Si desea puede acceder al plan general de nuestro distrito escolar aquí, Plan de reingreso del distrito, que está siendo actualizado con frecuencia.
Es por este motivo que solicitamos su opinión respecto a las necesidades específicas de su familia. Con ese fin, le pedimos su colaboración para completar de inmediato la encuesta adjunta y nos la devuelva a más tardar el jueves 6 de agosto.
Por supuesto, reconocemos que las circunstancias relacionadas con el progreso de NJ en la confrontación de COVID-19 pueden cambiar en las próximas semanas y, con eso, la situación con respecto a la salud, la situación financiera y personales de nuestras familias y miembros del personal que también podrán cambiar. Pero, proporcionando sus respuestas inmediatas, nos permitirá refinar nuestros planes para satisfacer sus necesidades y las de sus vecinos lo mejor que podamos.
Con su pronta y rápida respuesta a la encuesta, avanzaremos con los detalles, de manera deliberada, sobre los horarios y procedimientos escolares que nos permitirán tanto a usted como a nosotros planificar para el otoño. Por lo tanto, es de vital importancia que comparta con nosotros su pensamiento en la actualidad.
Por favor complete una encuesta para cada uno de sus hijos. Las preguntas se centran en la necesidad (o no) de cada alumno individualmente tanto para el transporte como el cuidado de niños (este último solo para alumnos de primaria) así como el modelo que elija : escolarización híbrida (en persona y remota) o escolarización totalmente remota (100% remota), lo que a usted le parezca mejor para su familia.
Robert A. Ginsberg
para currículo e instrucción