Roadmap Back To SchoolBy Brian Betze
Robbinsville Schools Superintendent
UPDATED: August 26, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
After much consternation and deliberation, the decision has been made for our students in grades 6-12 to go fully remote until Monday, October 12. 2020. Pk-5 will remain in the hybrid/100% remote model, as detailed in our reopening plan. Additionally, our self-contained students’ schedules Pk-12 will not be altered by this decision. My expectation is for teachers not approved for leaves to be working from his or her classroom following the schedules provided by your principal. Our schools are safe and ready for the youngest students and staff to begin the 2020-2021 school year in-person.
Robbinsville is facing the same challenges of hundreds of other similar districts in New Jersey, as we all struggle with the challenges of reopening our district. Due, in large part, to local districts’ decisions to change their plans and close their schools to in-person instruction, we are forced to make this change. Family comes first, so with these districts making a change, a number of our teachers with young children living in those communities made the difficult decision to take authorized and permissible leaves to care for their families. Although our safety and health protocols are in-place, staffing, unfortunately, became the straw breaking the back of our reopening plan for grades 6-12.
There is still a chance that, by working with our new substitute provider and implementing a few other initiatives, we may be able to procure enough substitutes to still offer the hybrid model to one or more grades 6-12 by September 8th and phase in other grades soon thereafter. As I have stated before, every day brings new challenges needing innovative resolutions. However, as it stands today, we need to adjust grades 6-12 to be fully remote until October 12. Pk-5 and self-contained Prek-12 schedules will not be altered.
Anticipating September as typically very warm, the date of October 12 was selected due to the weather becoming cooler at this time, allowing for those affected schools in nearby towns to open windows and improve the learning environment. The hope is that when they can open, our teachers’ children will return to school, allowing our staff to resume working here in Robbinsville.
Not wanting to be beholden to other districts’ decisions again, the administration will be utilizing our resources to procure certified substitutes, if needed, and implementing new initiatives to support teachers as we focus all our efforts on phasing in grades 6-12 over the next few weeks with a goal of opening all grades for the hybrid option on October 12. I am confident, without unforeseen variables, we can meet our goal of opening our 6-12 grades to the hybrid model at that time. We will be closely monitoring the situation and communicating with our stakeholders throughout the month of September.
Once again, grades Pre-K-5 will attend school following a hybrid schedule beginning on September 8, 2020, while grades 6-12 (except for those students in self-contained classrooms) will be working remotely until Monday, October 12, 2020. Additional information and details will be forthcoming from our building principals.
Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding while we continue to work through the complexities of this undertaking. If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please feel free to contact my office (609) 632-0910 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Very truly yours,
Brian J. Betze