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COVID-2019 March 13, 2020 Update

Dear Marlboro Community,
I wanted to take a moment and provide you some information and our plan to address the Coronavirus.
As a parent myself, I understand that you will have questions and concerns.
To date, our district has not had a confirmed case of COVID-19. I made the decision to close our district because of the state of the world in which we are living in order to protect our students, staff, and community. I sent my initial communication home prior to any announcement or directive because our students, staff, and community are what really matter.
Our district will be closed starting Monday, March 16th through Friday, March 27th.
Monday, March 16th will be considered one of our inclement weather days. In other words, it will be treated just like a snow day. There will be no expectation of students to complete any type of work on this day.
Tuesday, March 17th through Friday, March 27th will be remote learning days. On these days the students will follow the plan that is explained below.
Please know that we are and have been adhering to strict cleaning protocols in the district. We will continue these protocols while our schools are closed.
Late last week, we were provided guidance from the New Jersey Department of Education asking us to develop and submit a written preparedness plan. We had been holding district discussions for quite some time. Once we received the guidance, we began formalizing our District Preparedness Plan. I am going to explain the highlights of the guidance from the New Jersey Department of Education below:

The plan has several requirements that we must address.

1 - It must include the specific ways we are to provide instruction to students in the event of a school closure. And, it must include the specifics for instruction and instructional materials.
2 - It must address the provision and plan appropriate for all students, including special education and related services for students with disabilities.
3 - It must also address the provision and plan for school nutrition benefits or services for eligible students.

Home Instruction

Each child in Marlboro Township Schools is officially being placed on Home Instruction as per N.J.A.C. 6A:16-10.1 beginning Tuesday, March 17th through Friday, March 27th.

Home Instruction In Grades Pre K-2

Pre K - 2 teaching staff will be utilizing individual Teacher Web Pages to deliver instruction and instructional activities. Currently, each teacher already has a teacher website and communicates information to you via this platform.
You can locate each teacher’s website by navigating to www.mtps.org and choosing your child’s school.
Then use the link to navigate to “Teacher Websites”.
Each of our buildings that instruct students in Pre K through grade 2 has a button located at the top right of the toolbar. This will then allow you to navigate to each individual teacher page.

Follow the pictures. I used Marlboro Elementary as an example:

A Quick Resource: Each School's Teacher Website Page . . .

Home Instruction In Grades 3-8

Grades 3-8 teaching staff will be utilizing Google Classroom to deliver instruction and instructional activities.
Currently, each student in grades 3-8 is completing assignments at home virtually. Teachers will continue to upload content, assignments, and instruction on a daily basis for each day we are closed.

What Can Parents & Guardians Expect?

For all students grades Pre K-8, teachers will provide a reasonable length of time for instruction per day that will continue each student’s academic progress.
Unless students are ill, the expectation will be that students will complete assignments each day.
Our teaching staff will be online and ready to answer questions and address the needs of our students by email and/or Google Classroom between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Students certainly can work outside of these hours, but these hours are when our teaching staff will be available for questions and guidance.

What Can I Expect As Far As Workload Each Day?

As a general rule, staff will upload approximately 3 hours of work for each day we are closed.
Staff will place the instruction and instructional materials on Teacher Web Pages and/or into Google Classroom each day we are closed.
Our supportive and incredible Board of Education has invested in online tools to support learning of specific skills and standards for all students. Your child’s teacher(s) will be utilizing these resources to support instruction during these virtual days.

What if I Really Need A Question Answered When We Are Closed?

Please know that our teaching staff will be online between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. to answer any questions you may have. Our administrators will be online during longer hours should you need to email your building leadership or a central office administrator. You can also call the building and our administrative offices.
I literally answer emails at all hours of the night (ehibbs@mtps.org).
We will be here to support you. Please contact us with any questions or concerns. You can expect updates from me as we navigate these difficult circumstances.

What Policies Did You Use in This Process?

● 5310 HEALTH SERVICES ● 8451 CONTROL OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASE ● 3161 EXAMINATION FOR CAUSE ● 5305 HEALTH SERVICES PERSONNEL ● 2481 HOME OR OUT-OF-SCHOOL INSTRUCTION FOR A GENERAL EDUCATION STUDENT FOR REASONS OTHER THAN A TEMPORARY OR CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITION ● 2412 HOME INSTRUCTION DUE TO HEALTH CONDITION ● 7420 HYGIENIC MANAGEMENT ● 5755 EQUITY IN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND SERVICES ● 5850 SOCIAL EVENTS AND CLASS TRIPS ● 7523 SCHOOL DISTRICT PROVIDED TECHNOLOGY DEVICES TO STUDENTS ● 2363 STUDENT USE OF PRIVATELY-OWNED TECHNOLOGY ● 2361 ACCEPTABLE USE OF COMPUTER NETWORKS/COMPUTERS AND RESOURCES ● 9120 PUBLIC RELATIONS PROGRAM ● 2460 SPECIAL EDUCATION ● 5200 ATTENDANCE ● 9400 MEDIA RELATIONS ● 5307 NURSING SERVICES PLAN ● 2464 GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS ● 2428.1 STANDARDS-BASED INSTRUCTIONAL PRIORITIES ● 2260 AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAM FOR SCHOOL AND CLASSROOM PRACTICES ● 2200 CURRICULUM CONTENT ● 2624 GRADING SYSTEM ● 3270 PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES ● 2330 HOMEWORK ● 5750 EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY ● 8420 EMERGENCY AND CRISIS SITUATIONS ● 8220 SCHOOL DAY ● 8540 FREE AND REDUCED RATE MEALS ● 6510 PAYROLL AUTHORIZATION ● 7510 USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES

Click the button below to view our entire MTPS Policy Manual.

How Will We Communicate

Email
School Messenger Texts and Phone Calls
District Website (www.mtps.org)
District Facebook
District Twitter

I Want To Read the NJDOE Broadcast . . . Can I?

How Is the District Going to Handle Special Education and Related Services?

MTPS is going to have a Two-Pronged Plan if we are mandated to close.

First Prong = Activities for you to accomplish with your children while schools are closed.

Initial Plan During School Closure: Each professional associated with each category below will individually email parents/guardians the written plan of instruction that students should accomplish on days when school is closed as needed. If you do not receive an email related to your child's specialized service or programming, please refer to the Pre K-2 or grades 3-8 plan mentioned above.
Speech & Social Skills (Staff will email parents/guardians activities.)
Occupational Therapy (Staff will email parents/guardians activities.)
Physical Therapy (Staff will email parents/guardians activities.)
Specialized Reading Programs (Staff will email parents/guardians activities.)
Counseling (Psychologists and Social Workers will email parents/guardians activities/plans.)
Behavior/BIP skills training - BCBAs will individually email parents the written plan of activities and instruction.
AUT/MD/ Elementary LLD (Teachers will email plan)
Pre-School (PSD and Integrated) (Staff will email parents/guardians activities.)

Second Prong - Make-Up Services When We Return

The provider will track the hours missed during the school closure and will submit the total number of hours missed to the Special Services Office.
The Director and Supervisor of Special Services and provider will meet, review, and assess the hours that will be made up for each student.
CST will design and disseminate a notification to parents/guardians explaining the process for meeting the individual needs of students and the system for additional support time.

Expect an Email from Each Related Service Provider with Activities.

For elementary LLD, Autism, and MD, please expect a detailed email from the teaching staff which will outline a plan for instruction and instructional activities. Teachers will continue to email content, assignments, and instruction on a daily basis for each day we are closed. All self-contained teachers (Pre K - 8) will provide a reasonable length of time for instruction per day that will continue each student’s academic progress. Unless students are ill, the expectation will be that they will complete assignments each day. Teaching staff will be online and ready to answer questions and address the needs of students by email between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday; students certainly can work outside of these hours, but these hours are when our staff will be available for questions and guidance.
If at any point, your child misses special education services or programming, you will be notified by the child study team who will be designing an individualized plan based on your child's specific needs.

What Is Your Plan to Address School Nutrition?

Any student on Free or Reduced lunch will have a lunch delivered to either his/her home or a common area within walking distance.
Chartwells will prepare the food, and they will be delivered in bags.
We will check each child for possible allergies or intolerances and address accordingly.
Each lunch bag will contain a main food, a vegetable, juice, milk, and a fruit.
We will aim to depart for deliveries no later than 10 a.m. each morning we are closed.
We will deliver food in two-day cycles. So you will receive two meals for each child on any given delivery day.
For the week of March 17th - March 20th, we will deliver lunches on both Tuesday and Thursday. Both of these deliveries will include lunch for the following day. Tuesday's delivery will include Wednesday. Thursday's delivery will include Friday.
Any questions can be sent directly to our amazing Director of Dining Services, Vincent Palmiero @ vpalmiero@mtps.org.

In Closing . . .

We truly care in MTPS about our students, staff, and community. We will do our best in this awful situation to support you in any way we can. If you have an issue, please don't hesitate to contact your building leadership so that we can assist you. Thank you again for your support.
We Are Marlboro - And That Certainly Means Something!

Below Are Excerpts from My Last Newsletter . . .

The CDC and World Health Organization are closely monitoring the national and global situation.

Coronavirus are a family of viruses and there are different strands of coronavirus within that family, much like there are different strands of influenza viruses.

Coronavirus are not new; they are quite common and are a frequent cause of respiratory illnesses such as the common cold.

Coronaviruses tend to circulate in the fall and winter months, similar to influenza. Many people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives.

The type of coronavirus that has recently emerged in Wuhan, China is a new type of a coronavirus and is infecting people for the first time; this means people do not have any immunity to it.

Common symptoms are similar to a respiratory illness such as cough, fever, and shortness of breath.

Early on, many of the patients in the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Person-to-person spread has been reported outside China, including in the United States and other locations. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring in China. In addition, other destinations have apparent community spread, meaning some people have been infected who are not sure how or where they became infected.

It is unclear as of now how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading among people. Typically, with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

More cases are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States. It’s also likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including in the United States. Widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States would translate into large numbers of people needing medical care at the same time. Schools, childcare centers, workplaces, and other places for mass gatherings may experience more absenteeism. Public health and healthcare systems may become overloaded, with elevated rates of hospitalizations and deaths. Other critical infrastructure, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, and transportation industry may also be affected. Health care providers and hospitals may be overwhelmed. At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it. Nonpharmaceutical interventions would be the most important response strategy.

What To Consider . . .

Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your sleeve, not your hands.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Stay home from class or work if you are sick.

Avoid people who are sick. Consider a flu shot.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.

Everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat; the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.

If you are a healthcare provider, be on the look-out for people who recently traveled from China and have fever and respiratory symptoms. If you are a healthcare provider caring for a COVID-19 patient or a public health responder, please take care of yourself and follow recommended infection control procedures.

If you have been in China or have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you will face some limitations on your movement and activity. Please follow instructions during this time. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow the spread of this virus. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, contact your healthcare provider, and tell them about your symptoms and your travel or exposure to a COVID-19 patient. For people who are ill with COVID-19, please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others.

What We Are Doing and Considering . . .

At the building level, nurses and/or health teachers are discussing and practicing good hygiene. In addition, principals have met with head custodians to reinforce the already existing cleaning and disinfecting plan for the entire district (including buses). Our school nurses are vigilant for any signs or symptoms of respiratory illness.

At this time, we are only considering cancelling school related events that are not vital to the educational program and that place students in very public areas (malls, movie theaters, etc.) We will remind students of good respiratory hygiene at school as usual.

The CDC recommends that school districts continue their usual processes to clean schools. We always believe in cleaning thoroughly.

Nancy Messonnier, the Director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, told reporters, "The question is no longer if the coronavirus will spread across the United States but when it will happen." We are being given the guidance to plan for the worst. This is a proactive response.

Things to Discuss AGAIN With Your Children & Do in the House

Talk to your child about how to properly wash his/her hands. (Even though I know you already have!)

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Discuss the importance of not touching the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Keep kids home if they are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.