February 25, 2021
Dear Parents and Guardians, Staff Members, and Students:
This letter shall serve as a follow-up to my communication on February 11th in which I announced the elimination of virtual Wednesdays and indicated that the district’s administrative team would continue to explore further modifications to our operational plan.
The administrative teams at the middle and high school levels have reviewed their current in-person enrollment and classroom dimensions to determine if combining the current A and B cohorts would be possible. I am happy to report the following:
Effective Monday, March 8, 2021, the cohorts at Montville Township High School will be combined and current in-person students will attend five days per week.
Effective Monday, March 8, 2021, the cohorts at Robert R. Lazar Middle School will be combined and current in-person students will attend five days per week.
Both schools will continue to maintain their early dismissal schedule.
It should be noted that in some instances, the combination of cohorts at Lazar will result in a number of settings where we are unable to provide six feet of spacing between students for social distancing. The district has acquired desk shields to be utilized in these specific situations. In its Reopening Plan, the district adopted the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the New Jersey Department of Education’s The Road Back, which indicates that if schools are not able to maintain six foot social distancing in the classrooms, they may implement additional modifications such as physical barriers (desk shields) and turning all desks to face in the same direction.
This transition to five days a week of in-person instruction is currently only available to students who have been attending in-person during the third marking period. We are not able to admit additional in-person students at this time. Current in-person students will be expected to attend school in person every day.
The district will issue a survey at the end of March to provide parents of current fully remote students to indicate their intention to have their children attend school as in-person student for the fourth marking period. The school administrative teams will analyze this data to determine whether social distancing of between 3 and 6 feet will still be possible in the classrooms based on any increase in in-person attendance. This will determine whether the school will be able to continue to offer in-person instruction five days a week or whether a return to hybrid instruction, based on a cohort model, will be necessary.
Our administrative team continues to evaluate our operational plan on an ongoing basis and is also engaged in planning for the 2021-2022 school year. We continue to await critical decisions from the New Jersey Department of Education with regard to the requirement for fully remote learning and other operational parameters.
René T. Rovtar
Montville Township Public Schools
86 River Road
Montville, NJ 07045