March 31, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians:
As we start the third week of virtual learning, I want to say again how proud I am of our teachers, staff members, administrators and students for their flexibility and commitment to the implementation of virtual learning. We understand this has not been an easy time for anyone as we juggle work and school and taking care of our families under one roof. We know that not all students will embrace virtual learning so please reach out to us if your student is struggling in any way. All of our teachers, counselors, case managers and administrators are available throughout the school day to help you and your student.
During virtual learning days, we have given teachers the flexibility to follow synchronous or asynchronous learning, or a combination of both. In synchronous learning, teachers would follow the two hour delayed opening bell schedule with daily rotation and hold a virtual class or assign work during the time that class would meet according to the schedule and be available in realtime. In asynchronous learning, teachers can post presentations or videos in Google Classroom and assign homework to be completed by a certain due date. We have asked all teachers to check in with students on a more regular basis as we know students need that connection with and motivation from their teachers. There has been an increase recently in the use of Zoom and Google Meet so I believe that this is happening. We also asked teachers to set office hours so their students know the best time to reach them. We recently pushed out Google Hangouts to student Chromebooks so students can instant message teachers, or any staff member, during the school day with questions or concerns. Again, we understand teachers are juggling a lot at home so we wanted them to have the flexibility to create a virtual instruction plan that worked best for them and their students.
As the principals mentioned in their recent videos to the community, the New Jersey Department of Education has applied for a waiver to cancel the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments in May. Also in May, we learned in a recent update from The College Board that Advanced Placement exams will take place, but will be administered online. The full exam schedule will be shared by The College Board by April 3rd, which we will share with AP students and parents.
While we await the Governor’s directive to reopen schools, I want to assure you that we will do everything we can to hold important events that have been postponed. We truly hope that we will be able to celebrate the Class of 2020 at graduation on June 12th. If we have to reschedule the event, we will do so because graduation is an important milestone for every student.
As these virtual learning days count as school days toward the 180 day requirement, we will continue to follow our 2019-2020 school calendar. The 3rd Marking Period ended on March 25th and grades will be posted soon in Aspen. We will still have Spring Recess and no homework/no pressure days in April. The last day of school will be Monday, June 8th as we had one snow day.
It is important for us to stay connected during this closure. We need to practice physical distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19, but we need to maintain the social aspect of our lives. I encourage students to reach out and stay connected to their friends as much as possible.
As we continue to work through this ongoing situation together, please know that we are here to support each of you however we can and that you can reach out to us with questions or concerns. Again, thank you for your flexibility and patience.
Superintendent of Schools
North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District