Jackson Schools plans to reopen in the fall
JACKSON – With graduation ceremonies now a memory, the school year is over, but the school board and administrators are already looking to next year to start in a more traditional format.
With the state of emergency over in New Jersey and other states, Jackson’s classrooms are expected to look a little more normal in September, but authorities will review health and safety conditions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, including cases of variant viruses.
During the report of her superintendent at the last meeting of the school board, Nicole Pormilli mentioned the end of the current school year.
âIt was a magnificent closing. It was so beautiful and nice to see our students and staff smiling. For our high school diplomas, we couldn’t have asked for better weather. The fact that our graduates were able to be outside with their whole family being able to attend as if we had no protocol or pandemic – that was fantastic, âshe said.
âWe were able to participate in the proms and activities that were outside for the students. After 15 difficult months, it was a great end to the school year. Thank you to our community, thank you to our teachers and I hope our students and their families really enjoyed these events, âadded the Superintendent.
She reviewed the district’s goals for the 2020-21 school year while Assistant Superintendent Robert Rotante provided an overview of the district’s safe return plan that every school district in the state is required to submit.
Plan for next year
Rotante said âthere has been no direction from the Education Department or the governor’s office on how to reopen. We sent out a survey that had over 2,100 responses from parents regarding the school reopening in September and we had a staff survey with over 800 responses. “
âWe have had meetings with our district administrative staff at the school level and meetings with teachers and our administrative groups,â Rotante added.
He said the plan was to reopen all schools in September with a return to five full days of learning for all students working normal schedules. This includes the available breakfast and lunch sessions. âMasks will continue to be optional. Social distancing wherever possible, dictated by class size. “
Grants and objectives
Pormilli announced that the school district would receive $ 8.3 million from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) which will be used to “meet the challenges of the pandemic.” This will certainly help us with our S2 budget deficits (state aid funding formula) and our overall cuts of $ 18 million that we will have in our budget. It will help us, but there are specific uses for this money and the district plans to use this money to reduce class sizes, to provide interventions for our students, to provide support for the mental health needs of our students. and our staff. We will also be offering programs for students and families, some of which will take place this summer to help accelerate learning. “
In his presentation review, Pormilli said that these goals included health and safety and the implementation of all health protocols required by the State Department of Education. âWe have trained our teachers and staff in these procedures. These objectives have been achieved.
Pormilli said the school district plan that had been approved by the state had been revised as security protocols changed. âThese pivots were necessary because of changes in the guidelines. More importantly, it was revised with synchronous learning, as we had started with two separate programs and much of the training was also provided for this synchronous learning to our staff. Expensive training.
âOur staff and students have been trained on health protocols. Our nurses were trained by our nurse coordinator and medical screening was created and implemented for students and staff and had to be revised multiple times based on health numbers (cases) and travel advisories. I feel that this goal has been achieved, âadded Pormilli.
A regular goal each year relates to the curriculum and student success. Pormilli said, âThis year we had to create two unique programs very quickly before the doors opened in the school district. We have created an in-person learning program and a comprehensive distance learning program. We had students who were always at a distance with a teacher and we were very satisfied with the result. We thought it was the best for student success and academic progress.
A question of quality education
“Can you, speaking for the whole district, say that with all the challenges we have been able to provide sufficient education, quality education to match what would have been if there was no? had no covid restrictions? Board member Gus Acevedo asked Pormilli.
âI will say by all means that we worked really hard last summer with our curriculum to embrace the grand standards – the most important in ensuring that a student is prepared for that grade level. We worked with our teachers before the school opened with both approaches – the hybrid approach and a distance academy – I think our students received high quality education from our teachers this year â, a- she replied.