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Riverside News

November 24, 2020

Dear Riverside Families,

As we head into the long holiday weekend, I have a few important announcements and reminders to share...

* Next week (November 30 - December 4), all PPS schools will operate entirely remotely, and our daily schedule will be reverting to the one that we used in September and early October before launching the hybrid model. Your child(ren)'s teacher(s) will be providing the information that you need for their classes that week.

* As you plan ahead, the district also has a remote day (operating on a Wednesday schedule) set for Monday, December 7th for contractual PD responsibilities for our staff members in the afternoon. Our Cohort A students will then attend on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 8th and 9th before returning to our normal schedule for Cohort B students on Thursday and Friday, December 10th and 11th. That will also be the first week in person for students who have signed up to switch from Cohort C into our hybrid model, and our office staff will be following up with those families to confirm those details over the next week.

* I do want to echo our district administration and health authorities in encouraging everyone in our school community to take all proper precautions during the upcoming holiday season as we certainly want everyone to remain healthy. In that same vein, please remember that for most travel destinations (both foreign and domestic), New Jersey residents are required to quarantine for two weeks upon return so if that is the case for your family, please reach out to your child(ren)'s teacher(s) and let them know so that they can anticipate your kids joining with the all remote group each day during that period. Please note that our teachers cannot be expected to prepare large packets of work several weeks in advance due to travel and quarantining.

* I also wanted to offer a few reminders about Zoom etiquette and safety on behalf of our staff members. We have had a few instances of unnamed people trying to access and "Zoombomb" lessons, and our teachers are being vigilant to only admit recognizable names and accounts so please make sure that your kids at home are using their real names. We also continue to work with children on etiquette related to raising hands, keeping a consistent video background, using the chat appropriately, and remaining "muted" unless directed otherwise.

* Finally, as many of you know, our school has long sponsored the "Jetta Hall Fund" which provides direct financial assistance to families in our school community during times of financial distress, and this need is certainly greater than ever while our ability to raise plenty of funds has been severely limited by the pandemic. Thus, if you are in a position to offer financial support to this important fund, we would welcome your generous donations. The easiest way to donate is via check (made payable to the "Riverside PTO" with "Jetta Hall" in the memo line), and you can bring those by the main office during school hours -- or send them with your child (in a sealed envelope) or via the U.S. mail.

I know that this year has been unprecedented and stressful and uncertain, but through this chaos, I have been more grateful than ever for this wonderful community of people -- our dedicated staff members, our delightful and inquisitive students, and our supportive families. While Thanksgiving will certainly feel different this year, that spirit persists, and I wish you and your loved ones a safe, relaxing, joyous holiday.

All the best,

Mark Shelley


  • Riverside