James Monroe Newsletter

January Edition

A message from the principal

Dear James Monroe Families,


Welcome 2022! I know we are all hoping this year will be a lot smoother. As we continue to face challenges from the pandemic, our team is constantly monitoring our school's practices to ensure our children can enjoy school and learning in the best and safest possible environment.


Thank you to the families and staff in our community for their continued efforts to take care and follow safe practices by staying home if showing symptoms, getting vaccinated if possible and testing. The James Monroe team has resumed their vigilant practices for health and safety when they returned from the winter break.


We are taking the following steps in addition to our COVID protocols which include:

  1. Wearing a mask at all times with the exception of lunch
  2. Leaving windows and doors open to improve ventilation when possible
  3. Refrain from small group instruction in order to maintain social distancing
  4. Encourage frequent hand washing
  5. Use of thermal camera screenings at school entrance


Please read Dr. Bragen's most recent communication about remote access to instruction and view our district's exclusion policy. Additionally, the district will now be using a dashboard on the website to communicate updates about Covid cases.


If you ever have any questions or require assistance, please don't hesitate to call or email us.


Warmly,

Mrs. Cyndi Tufaro, principal

cyndi.tufaro@edison.k12.nj.us


Mrs. Maggie Callahan, assistant principal

margaret.callahan@edison.k12.nj.us

January Calendar

Check out our calendar for upcoming events and days off. Don't forget the following dates!

Wed. January 12th is a 1:30 closing day

Mon. January 17th NO School - MLK Day

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Wintry Weather Updates

ARRIVAL - Please check the owl sign in the front window for arrival procedures daily depending on the weather/temperature. An announcement will be made as well. Students will enter the building at 8:45 a.m. on inclement weather days.


  • DO NOT ARRIVE BEFORE 8:45 A.M.
  • DRESS WARMLY
  • ALL FAMILIES MUST WAIT ON THE SIDE BLACKTOP AREAS. DO NOT CROWD BY THE FRONT DOORS FOR SAFETY AND SOCIAL DISTANCING.


DRESS FOR PLAY - Please remember to check the weather for the need for WARM coats, gloves, scarves and hats. We will go outside for recess as long as the "real feel" is above 32 degrees for healthy fresh air and exercise! Students will also go outside for a break each day for fresh air and some release!

Close Contact Updates

We are happy to report that the close contact policy was revised yesterday afternoon. The policy permits remote access to those who have been close contacts to a confirmed POSITIVE person or if the child is positive. The children may access instruction remotely while awaiting PCR results or for the 10 days after the close contact.


We have been trying to answer every email each day, but please know there has been a backlog and we are doing our best to respond in a timely fashion.


If your child had been recently denied remote access due to a close contact, please reach back out regarding your situation.


While we are in an age of technology which allows for remote access, please know the following:

  • Technology does not always work properly, sometimes it does not work at all.
  • If your child is ill/has symptoms, let your child rest and do not join remotely. No one will forget how to read or write while they rest for a few days.
  • All students must stay muted unless the teacher addresses the children specifically. This is not a hybrid situation, therefore, participation is mostly limited to following along with the class as best they can.
  • Parents should not interrupt during online teaching.

Lessons Learned

The days of just "monitoring" your child for a day or two and then sending them back to school are gone for the time being.


If your child is showing symptoms, a PCR test is in order. Many of our students who tested positive after Thanksgiving were kept home for a day and then sent to school only to be sent to the nurse and turn out to be positive exposing everyone around them.


These are some the signs of COVID as experienced by our students - NOTE, some only had one symptom:

  • headache
  • nausea/stomach ache
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • congestion


While fully vaccinated students/staff are permitted to attend after being in close contact with a COVID positive individual, considering there are many break through cases, it is always a good idea to get a PCR test on days 5, 6 or 7 after exposure to that person.

Covid Reporting

When you report that a child was a close contact to a positive individual/is positive case/or is experiencing symptoms, please include the following information:



  • Child's first & last name
  • Child's teacher
  • Siblings' names & teachers (inform other schools if older)
  • Date of exposure to close contact and/or date of symptoms and date of PCR test collected (not reported)
  • Send a screenshot of the PCR report when you receive it (not a home test)



The district has moved away from our individual letters to a dashboard which will be updated each Friday on the district website. You will no longer receive letters from the school.

How can you help?

VACCINES


  • Vaccines are now readily available for all children ages 5 and up.


MASKS
  • Send children in with clean CHILD SIZED masks daily. (Adult masks are not appropriate and do not fit.)

STAY HOME

  • If a household member is sick or awaiting PCR test results, keep all children HOME.
  • Keep sneezing and coughing children home.
  • If you are questioning if your child is possibly ill, STAY HOME
  • As per the district protocol, if a member of your household is symptomatic, all Edison students must stay home until that household member tests negative.
  • These absences will be excused
  • A doctor's note to return to school due to allergies/strep if a child was symptomatic is not sufficient. A negative COVID test must accompany the doctor's note.
  • Do NOT give your children cough medicine and fever reducers and send your child to school. We are trying to keep everyone healthy.

COVID TESTS

  • NO HOME TESTS are acceptable.
  • If you take a rapid test, please also take a PCR test which is much more reliable.
  • You must remain home while awaiting results of your PCR tests

CLASSROOM LINKS

  • Only students who the school requires to stay home are permitted to listen via a classroom link. It is not available for everyone.
  • This is not hybrid. There is no interaction between the students and teacher.
  • The camera will only stay on during whole class instruction.

Travel

International travel requires a quarantine of all unvaccinated people.

Your child(ren) must


  • share their date of return to the US via passport stamp and
  • quarantine for 10 days after return date OR
  • quarantine for 7 days after return date as long as you take a PCR (not rapid) test on days 3, 4 or 5 after your return as per your passport

If your child(ren) are fully vaccinated, you must share your proof of full vaccination

Full vaccination is defined as two weeks past the 2nd dose.

Cafeteria/Lunch Updates

Exciting News! Our school will begin selling snacks, drinks and extra meals starting next week! This is in addition to their free lunch.

You can add money to your child's account by using this link. Be prepared with your child's student ID number.


Go to https://www.myschoolbucks.com/


REMEMBER

TUESDAY IS CHIP DAY!

THURSDAY IS PRETZEL DAY!


You can always view the menus HERE. Students need to select if they will be ordering a lunch each morning when they arrive to their class. All breakfast and lunches are free this year.

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A Recap of our Winter Solstice Stroll

A warm glow brightened the night as families enjoyed the lights and decorations at our Winter Solstice Stroll on a crisp December evening. The outdoor event was a huge success and the perfect way to celebrate the diversity in our school. Students handcrafted decorations for our gardent to represent many different holidays. Special thanks to our staff, PTO, our Garden Club, the chorus and members of the community such as the Edison Police Department for coming together to help organize this wonderful winter event.
James Monroe Parent Handbook

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