Hello Marlboro Community,
This has truly been a year like no other. In a typical year, our leadership team is always in a mode of constant planning. This past year, that has exponentially increased.
Our constant focus was to deliver the very best education possible in this pandemic. I want to thank our dedicated staff for their tireless efforts.
For the last few months, our district has focused upon two very important goals.
Goal #1: Increase In-Person Instructional Days to Five (5) Half-Days Per Week
Goal #2: Implement Full-Days of Instruction
I am proud to let you know that MTPS has a plan for both of these initiatives and more.
Our focus will be to successfully accomplish these two goals without closing a building or the district.
This can only occur if we are united as a community. It is essential that we all do some very simple yet powerful things in the next few months.
Important COVID-19 Information:
Encourage family members to practice good mitigation measures including wearing face masks, social distancing, and washing hands frequently for at least twenty seconds with soap & water
If your child has any “COVID-19-like” symptoms, please keep him/her home and contact the school nurse for guidance. If someone else in the home has symptoms, please keep all of your children home until they have been tested and/or cleared to return to school.
If someone in the home has a pending COVID-19 test, please do not send your child(ren) to school until the test results are back. Consult the school nurse for additional guidance.
Please recognize that when you and/or your children spend time with people who do not live in your house, there is a risk of exposure. Be mindful of any COVID-19 symptoms if you are going to engage in play dates. Consider scheduling playdates outdoors, while wearing masks. Socialization is important during childhood. While it may be difficult to hold playdates outside in the winter months, proper dress can still allow for outdoor fun!
Anyone who is sick, is quarantining, has been exposed to COVID-19, or has a pending test, should not participate in any playdate or social gathering
Testing after exposure is recommended. It is best to wait seven (7) days after exposure before getting tested. A PCR test is the most accurate method. Testing will not shorten the length of time of quarantine but is important information to know. Having this information will assist in determining the length of quarantine and/or isolation for the rest of the family. Please contact your school nurse, and she will advise when to get a COVID test, as different scenarios require different optimal times for taking the test. Also, confirmed positive tests may allow for less quarantine time for the current and future exposures.
If your family is traveling, please reach out to the school nurse to determine the recommended time to quarantine after returning to New Jersey and before returning to in-person instruction at school.
Quarantines Are Not Negotiable
Quarantines are not negotiable. There are specific guidelines from the New Jersey Department of Health. Our district follows the guidelines for each specific risk category. Please understand that this guidance is for the protection of our students and staff. It is essential that we all follow the above guidelines so that we can keep our district operational.
Five In-Person Half-Days of Instruction
MTPS will begin five half-days of in-person instruction the week of Monday, April 5th.
This is the day we return from spring break. You may wonder why we will not transition sooner. Here is the answer. CentraState has been wonderful in helping our staff receive their vaccines. On March 3rd, over 300 staff members (of our approximate 900) were scheduled to receive first vaccinations. That meant that the second dose of the vaccination was scheduled for Wednesday, March 24th. Transitioning to five in-person half-days of instruction would have meant we would have added one (1) half-day of in-person instruction before the week of April 5th. It just didn’t make sense. So, we will begin our five (5) half-days of in-person instruction the week of April 5th.
Our goal is to remain in this design for four (4) weeks. Please note that Wednesdays will be synchronous instruction for remote learners similar to our current design. There will no instructional change for in-person learners. This allows our district to still hold our necessary meetings in the afternoons on Wednesdays. Please expect a communication from our buildings regarding the addition of Wednesday as a day in school.
Weeks of Five In-Person Half-Days of Instruction
Our goal is four weeks of five (5) half-days of instruction.
Second Round of Staff Vaccinations
As just mentioned above, our second round of vaccinations is scheduled for over 300 staff members (of approximately 900) on Wednesday, March 24th. The following will be the plan for the second round of vaccinations:
Wednesday, March 24th: Staff may post work for specific subjects depending on the time of vaccination. The time of each staff member's vaccination will match the first vaccination time from March 3rd.
Thursday, March 25th: Due to the side affects of the vaccines, MTPS will hold a virtual day on Thursday, March 25th. As each individual reacts differently to the vaccine, it may mean that specific staff post work depending on reactions to the vaccine.
Friday, March 26th: Friday, March 26th MAY be a virtual day as well. I want to make a decision based upon facts. So, this will be a decision made during that week. Please be ready for a virtual day on Friday, March 26th as well.
Plan for Five Full-Days of Instruction
MTPS plans to transition to five full-days of in-person instruction on Monday, May 3rd.
This date was chosen to provide four (4) weeks of monitoring the district on five (5) half-days before a transition to full-days of instruction. There are a tremendous amount of considerations and planning that must occur for this to take place.
Students will eat lunch utilizing a barrier. Please note that our district will not be socially distant. We have a tremendous amount of safety measures implemented at each building. Individual buildings will disseminate information to you regarding lunch, recess, and other important information regarding school operations. Please look for this communication in the upcoming weeks. As this is a major change to our instructional format, we realize some parents and guardians may want to change instructional choices. Please look for a separate communication from each building regarding changes to instructional models.
You may recall that all students are eligible for a free lunch for the entire 2020-2021 school year. Students will be able to receive a free lunch when we are eating in the buildings. All lunches will be "Grab & Go". You can expect a separate communication regarding lunches.
As MTPS is progressing forward with our reopening plan, it is now time to allow students to eat snacks in our schools. Snacks will be allowed in our usual grade levels and buildings. MTPS will begin snack on Monday, March 15th.
Due to the specific circumstances, we are going to place some limits on snacks for the safety of all students. Please note that in-person students are not socially-distant in our schools and will not be socially-distant while eating snacks.
Important Snack Information
Students will eat snacks behind their barriers
Weather permitting - we may eat snacks outdoors
No snacks that require a spoon/fork will be permitted
Please refrain from any snacks that would cause a mess in the classroom
All classrooms will be equipped with hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes
Due to COVID-19, we have the ability to provide a free snack to all students. MTPS will be providing a healthy snack to all students on Fridays beginning March 12th; snacks will be packed for five (5) days.
Parent(s)/guardian(s) may choose to send the district-supplied snack to school or provide their own snack. All district-issued snacks are peanut free and shelf stable; snacks will come with a variety of juice or milk. The monthly snack menu will be emailed home to all students. Our plan is to provide snacks to students for the balance of the 2020-2021 academic year. Please refer any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 732-972-2100 ex. 6730.
Another Picture of Snacks
MTPS is progressing with spring sports. I recently held a meeting with all of the superintendents of the schools that send to the Freehold Regional High School District. We are all progressing with spring sports. Due to the nature of this year, MTPS will not be charging for spring sports for this year only.
MTPS is unable to provide transportation back to school for spring sports due to the cost of the extra runs. I truly wish that we could provide this service, but it is not a service we are able to provide.
Spring Break Travel and Guidelines
MTPS will not be transitioning to all virtual instruction for the entire district for the two weeks following spring break. Our schools will reopen for in-person instruction on Monday, April 5th.
If travel is unavoidable, travelers should consider getting tested with a viral test (not an antibody test) 1-3 days before the trip and again 3-5 days after the trip
If travelers test positive, they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should postpone travel during that time
If travelers test negative, they should quarantine for a full 7 days after travel
If testing is not available (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for 10 days after travel
Graduation & Moving-Up Ceremonies
MTPS will be holding ceremonies this year. We are planning for in-person and outdoor ceremonies at all usual grade levels. Specific information will come from your individual buildings.
Thursday, March 9th Parent/Guardian Webinar on Supplemental Instruction
Supplemental Programs, Special Services Information, Etc.
We held a comprehensive discussion on the upcoming budget, the supplemental offerings for our students, and the plan for special services at our March 9, 2021 Board of Education Meeting. The video will be posted at the link below.
March 9th BoE Presentation
ELA March 2021 Data Video
You can watch the video below narrated by Mr. Michael Ballone, Assistant Superintendent, where he discusses reading achievement for MTPS students. Stay tuned for the next video regarding mathematics.
Questions Regarding Next Year
I have received some questions regarding the design of next year. My intention is to hold a normal year. But, this will all depend on the decisions made by Governor Murphy. You may wonder if we will have to provide virtual instruction. As of now, there is absolutely no guidance provided for next year.
MTPS is planning for all contingencies. As soon as we are provided guidance, which we are strongly advocating for, I will keep the community informed. Please refer all building-level questions to your child's building principal.
Thank you for your support of our school district in this very trying year. My sincere hope is that brighter days are ahead for us all. Be Safe and Strong!
Superintendent of MTPS